Teen writing contest set

Gilda’s Club South Jersey is sponsoring its annual teen writing contest, “It’s Always Something,” for students in the ninth to 12th grades. They are looking for personal essays and poetry. Each writing must be honest and speak to how cancer has affected that teen writer’s life.

All writings must be 500 to 1,000 words, double-spaced. One entry per student. The contest deadline is March 15. Winners will be selected by May 10. Both First Place Essay and Poetry winners will receive an Apple iPadPrizes will also be awarded to second and third place winners in each category

For more information, and a contest entry form, email Beth Wray, beth@gildasclubsouthjersey.org. To enter online, see gildasclubsouthjersey.org

Benefit concert set

R&B vocalist Terri Showers has teamed with 1970s soul group the Stylistics and other musicians to plan a benefit concert to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. The performance will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Shiloh Baptist Church and Community Life Center, 701 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City. The event is sponsored by the Fellowship of Churches.

Admission is one nonperishable food item or a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the Food Bank of New Jersey, for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The performers will donate their time to the Fellowship of Churches. Call Terri Showers at 609-741-1071.

College receives grant

Atlantic Cape Community College has been awarded a $48,625 grant from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to update computer and technology equipment for Atlantic Cape’s English as a Second Language program.

Atlantic Cape’s ESL program is based in Atlantic Cape’s Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus, which made the program eligible for support from the CRDA’s Atlantic City Community Development grant program. The grant will allow Atlantic Cape to equip two computer labs in the Atlantic City campus with a total of 42 new computers, which will support ESL learning software. The grant also will add iPads and vocabulary-enhancing software and apps to ESL classrooms.

See http://bit.ly/SAvsit to learn more.

Polar Plunge planned in A.C.

The Atlantic City Polar Bears will make their annual plunge into the Atlantic City Ocean at noon Jan. 1 in front of Resorts Casino Atlantic City. Each person who jumps into the chilly ocean will receive a commemorative Finishers Certificate.

The Atlantic City Polar Bears group encourages members to make a donation to this years’ charity Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. MSAA is a national organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. Sponsors are sought for the event. For more information or to register for the plunge, contact Mike Kahlenberg at 215-757-3564 or 267-566-4649 or acpolarbearclub@comcast.net.

Poetry, prose getaway set

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Galloway Township and Murphy Writing Seminars have partnered to present the 20th annual Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway set for Jan. 18-21 at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway Township.

The conference attracts more than 200 writers and offers workshops such as Poetry Writing, Creative Writing Sampler, Turning Memory into Memoir, Writing and Publishing Your Fiction and more. The event is designed for writers to advance their craft and energize creativity. See wintergetaway.com.

Art contest set for kids

Absecon Lighthouse is hosting “Abby and the Arts Birthday Festival and Art Contest” for Atlantic City students in grades six-12.

Cash prizes will be awarded for first and second place for the categories: Drawing/Painting, Photography and Poetry. Submissions will be accepted through 3 p.m. Jan. 6. Winners will be selected by a panel of local artists and arts administrators and will be announced at Absecon Lighthouse at 1 p.m. Jan. 13. Complete rules, guidelines, and entry forms are at abseconlighthouse.org, or call 609-449-1360.

The contest is part of the 156-year-old Absecon Lighthouse’s Birthday Festival, celebrated Jan. 13-15.

Restaurant collecting for storm victims

W.L. Goodfellows and Co. Restaurant and Pub in Galloway Township invites everyone to make a donation to “Goodfellows For Shore” to help South Jersey neighbors ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. Goodfellows will match all donations received, up to $1,000. Financial donations are asked, either through Paypal or in person at the restaurant, 310 East White Horse Pike, Galloway Township.

All funds collected will be used to deliver food and supplies to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey-Southern Branch.

First responders to be honored

Water Watch International will honor local first responders from Hurricane Sandy from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 12 at Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern, 2300 Fairmount Ave., Atlantic City. Partnering in the event is the Stockton College chapter of Water Watch.

Awards will be presented to local police, fire, emergency management service workers, public employees and utility company workers and more. The event will include a meal prepared by celebrity chef Terry French, winner of the Food Network’s “Extreme Chef,” and entertainment by comedian LaTice. Call 609-214-3967.

Restaurant to aid hurricane victims

As part of Operation Parma, patrons who dine at Atlantic City’s Palm Restaurant Sunday-Friday and bring in a small wrapped gift for an infant, toddler or child, will receive $15 off their check of $100 or more. All gifts should be labeled for a boy or girl. On Dec. 22, the staff of The Palm will deliver these gifts to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City for holiday distribution in the community.

The Atlantic City Palm Restaurant is located in the Quarter at Tropicana, 2801 Pacific Ave. Hours of operation are 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For reservations, catering or information, call 609-344-7256.

Help for college applications available

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Galloway Township is one of five regional institutions serving as hosts for Operation Apps, a program of the National Association for College Admission Counseling to help students submit their applications correctly and on time.

Professionals from NACAC, colleges and universities have volunteered to provide students affected by the storm with individualized help. Stockton’s admissions office will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 to provide services in reviewing or completing college applications. Computers will be available to submit online applications, and there will be help with college essay completion, college list development and financial aid information and advice.

The college is still looking for high school guidance counselors to help. To volunteer or for more information, call 609-652-4839 or email operationappNJ@gmail.com.

Volunteers needed for senior shuttle

Volunteers are needed for the Ventnor Senior Citizen Transportation Service.

This free shuttle service is available to all senior citizens residing in Ventnor and offers rides to anywhere in the Downbeach area of Ventnor, Margate and Longport. This service is performed by volunteer dispatchers and drivers, who are always needed to support this program.

Anyone who is able to donate three hours from 9 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday can call 609-823-7994 and leave your name and phone number. You will be contacted.

Vegan holiday dinner set

The American Vegan Society will host a holiday buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Careme’s restaurant at the Atlantic Cape Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing. The public is invited to experience the meal prepared and served by culinary students under the direction of their chef-educator.

Also on the evening’s program: “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home” (78 minutes), an award-winning documentary from Tribe of Heart by Jennie Stein and James LaVeck. The movie will be shown twice, before and after dinner, at 4:50 p.m. and 8:40 p.m., in room C108 There is no charge to view the movie.

Books and media will be for sale outside Careme’s before and after dinner. For reservations or information, see americanvegan.org or call 856-694-2887.

Food seminar set

Richard Stockton College’s “Foodie Tuesdays” community seminar series concludes for the semester at 6 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Hammonton Arts Center, 219 Bellevue Ave.

This month’s event, “Spicing Up Celebrations: The Chemistry and Culture of Flavors” explores the history of spice use, including religious and cultural practices connected with spice trade and use through history. Attendees will learn ways to spice up the holidays in new ways with their own cooking, and to experiment with flavors from cultures around the world. Following the seminar and discussion portion of the event, participants will enjoy a light dinner related to the topic at Annata’s Wine Bar, located a short walk from the arts center. Registration is $35 per person. If participants register with a friend, the cost is $30 a person.

Registration is limited and previous seminars sold out well in advance. Reservations strongly encouraged. Call 609-652-4227 or register online at stockton.edu/cs and select “Browse All Courses.”

Restaurant gala set for March

The 30th anniversary Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala will take place March 14 at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino. With the theme “Celebrate the 30 kNights,” the gala will feature Camelot-inspired decor and a feast.

Gala honorees include the Donio and Crescenzo families of Hammonton and Chef Kevin Scull of Egg Harbor Township. The annual fundraiser has raised nearly $3 million for scholarships since 1984. All gala proceeds benefit student scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College and Atlantic Cape Foundation operations.

Contact Carrie Leahy at 609-463-4672 or acccfdn@atlantic.edu, or see atlantic.edu/gala.

Gifts being collected

Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union is collecting gifts for their Starfish Angel Tree to benefit the men, women and children staying at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission. Stop by the Credit Union at 1434 New Road in Northfield or at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Pomona and select a starfish tag from the tree in the lobby. New gifts should be returned in a gift bag with the tag by Dec. 19.

For more information about the gift drive, call 609-646-3339 or see jerseyshorefcu.org.

Local woman gathers toys, clothing donations

Continuing her annual tradition, Alexandra Shuster, of Margate, delivered toys and clothing to Shore Medical Center’s Pediatric Care Center on Nov. 21 helping to brighten the holidays for Shore’s pediatric patients and their loved ones.

Shuster’s donation is the continuation of a community service project she began eight years ago while preparing for her Bat Mitzvah at Beth El Synagogue in Margate. Now 20, Shuster, a junior at Pennsylvania State University who is studying psychology, said she looks forward to doing whatever she can to help others.

Each year, Shuster collects donations from area businesses, which she then delivers to the Pediatric Care Center on the day before Thanksgiving.

A.C. Electric offers ‘gift of energy’

For those seeking to brighten someone’s holiday, Atlantic City Electric offers its Gift of Energy Program.

The Gift of Energy program lets you make a payment on someone’s Atlantic City Electric bill, and in return, receive a complimentary holiday greeting card. To purchase a Gift of Energy, see atlanticcityelectric.com/home/giftofenergy/default.aspx or visit an Atlantic City Electric Courtesy Center. The consumer should provide the Customer Care representative with the name and address of the Atlantic City Electric customer. The Gift of Energy Program runs through Jan. 15.

You can purchase the Gift of Energy at Atlantic City Electric Courtesy Centers including: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 2430 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City; 8 a.m.-4:30 p. m. Monday-Friday, 6814 Tilton Road, Egg Harbor Township.

College offers IT courses

Atlantic Cape Community College will offer information technology certifications, including career training and IT professional series courses, in 2013.

Computer System Support and Analyst Technician enhances the Computer Technical Solution Series by focusing on the principles of desktop and network management beginning Jan. 28.

Certified Ethical Hacker training allows students the opportunity to review the processes and tools hackers use to exploit systems and learn how to deploy effective countermeasures to prevent malicious attacks beginning Feb. 12.

In Microsoft Certified IT Professional, students learn how to set up and maintain network infrastructure services and learn how to secure a network environment using industry standard technologies, beginning June 3.

Computer Repair Technician (A+ Certification) prepares students to work with the latest hardware technologies, including: RAID, Serial Attached SCSI, USB and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express beginning June 3.

Information technology certifications classes are offered at the Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike. For more information or to register, see atlantic.edu/conted or call 609-343-4829.

DVDs needed for service members

AMVETS Post 911 in Somers Point is requesting new and used DVD movies to send to serving military personnel.

Donations of new or good condition DVDs will be accepted at: Chester’s Pastry Pantry Bakery, 506 New Road, Somers Point; Bennett Chevrolet, 6721 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township; and Essl’s Dugout Restaurant, 7001 Black Horse Pike, Pleasantville. Cash donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of mailing DVDs to the troops. Checks made payable to “AMVETS Post 911 NJ” can be sent to AMVETS Post 911 NJ, PO Box 413, Somers Point, NJ 08244.

College offers casino games training

The Casino Career Institute at Atlantic Cape Community College has prepared more than 50,000 people for careers in casino games and continues to offer training for those who wish to enter the profession.

The Half the Time at Half the Price Program offers table games professionals an opportunity to increase their value and marketability to employers by learning a new game in a short-term, low-cost program. CCI table games alumni who have graduated more than three years ago can refresh their skills as they return to the gaming workforce with an Alumni Refresher Program. Graduates may take the refresher program course only for the games they previously have taken with CCI. Alumni who have graduated from CCI within the past three years can revive their skills with the Alumni Practice Program.

Classes currently offered are Introduction to Casino Games-Blackjack, Craps, Baccarat, Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, Roulette and Pai Gow Poker.CCI also provides training in nondealing casino professions such as Surveillance Training. Gaming classes begin every two weeks. For more information, or to register, call 609-343-4829 or see atlantic.edu/cci.

Polar plunge set

The annual Brigantine Polar Bear Plunge will take place at 11 a.m. Jan. 1 at the 14th Street Beach. The event has grown from a local event into a major fundraising effort benefiting Fisher House, a top-rated charity that provides housing and transportation to wounded military members and their families. The 2013 goal is $60,000.

The event kicks off with live music, refreshments, color guard and official merchandise for sale. Participants in the plunge are encouraged to wear costumes with prizes awarded to the best costumes. The swim is set for noon followed by a post-plunge party at the Laguna Grill,1400 Ocean Ave. which will feature special food and drink pricing for the event. The Mott’s Creek Pickers will provide live entertainment.

Kiwanis helps food bank

The Atlantic City Kiwanis Club this week received more than 1,400 pounds of canned goods and other nonperishable items from two other regional clubs who joined with the city’s club to help families still struggling with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

The donated items have been delivered to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey to aid in relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The Kiwanis Club of Atlantic City was established in 1920, and was the region’s first Kiwanis chapter. For more information on joining the Kiwanis Club of Atlantic City, call Jon Bitzer at 609-926-9577.

Lighthouse offers special

Absecon Lighthouse is teaming up with Luke Palladino to warm your bones and limber you up for some holiday shopping. From now through Dec. 17, when you visit Absecon Lighthouse and make the climb, you can show your “I Climbed” card at Luke’s Kitchen at Revel and receive a bowl of steaming soup for $4, or a soup and sandwich combo for $8. The Lighthouse is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. Any shopper making a purchase for $25 or more is invited to climb for free.

The Gift Shop features lighthouse apparel, home decor, holiday ornaments, publications, toys, collectibles, and everything for the Lighthouse lover on your list. For more information about Absecon Lighthouse and its programs call 609-449-1360 or see abseconlighthouse.org.

Story time set at aquarium

The Atlantic City Aquarium continues its preschool Story Time in December with a selection of seasonal tales. Story Time is at 11 a.m. Tuesdays, and includes a craft or activity for children.

Programs include “The Night Before Christmas,” Dec. 18. The Atlantic City Aquarium is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children ages 4 to 12. Children 3 and under are free. Located in Atlantic City’s Historic Gardner’s Basin, the Atlantic City Aquarium offers a fun and educational look into more than 100 varieties of fish and marine animals.

For more information, call 609-348-2880 or see acaquarium.com. Coupons for discounted admission are available on the website.

Music lecture offered

Learn about the music that grew out of the period during and between the 20th-century wars at the December free music lecture by Paul M. Somers, sponsored by the Bay-Atlantic Symphony. In this final installment of a four-part series examining the effects of history on music during the last two centuries, you will see how the music scene evolved from Irving Berlin to Beatles and beyond.

The lecture will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Margate Public Library, 8100 Atlantic Ave., Margate. For more information, call the Bay-Atlantic Symphony at 856-451-1169, or Maurice River Music at 856-506-0580.

Scholarship applications accepted

Atlantic Cape Community College is accepting scholarship applications for the 2013-14 academic year. Atlantic Cape offers a variety of merit- and need-based scholarships for students who are continuing their studies at Atlantic Cape or transferring to another college in the fall 2013 semester.

The 2013 Student Scholarship Application Packet is available for pick-up at all three Atlantic Cape campuses, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing; 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House; 1535 Bacharach Blvd., Atlantic City; and at atlantic.edu/finaid/scholarships.htm.

The deadline to file a scholarship application is Feb. 8. Eligible students must submit an application, two letters of recommendation from faculty members and an essay that describes one’s personal and professional goals.

Scholarship recipients will be notified in April 2013, and are invited to attend Atlantic Cape’s Scholarship Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 20. For more scholarship information, contact the Financial Aid Office at 609-343-5082 or 609-625-1111, ext. 5082, or email finaid@atlantic.edu. In Cape May County, call 609-463-4774, ext. 5082.

Volunteer workshop planned

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center will host a stranding volunteer workshop at 1 p.m. Dec. 15 at Cape May Point State Park. At the workshop, volunteers interested in becoming “first responders” for stranded marine mammals and sea turtles in New Jersey will be trained by Stranding Center Staff on proper procedures for handling these endangered and protected species.

Potential volunteers must be at least 18 years old and reside within 15 minutes of a coastal waterway. To sign up for the workshop or get more information, call Sarah Miele, Education Coordinator, at 609-266-0538.

Spay pets for $10

Spaces are available now for State Sterilization Funding Program available to qualified residents. The program begins Jan. 1 (while funds last) at participating veterinary offices in the state to help qualified residents spay or neuter their pets for only $10. Because spaces go quickly, Shore Veterinarians is encouraging residents to sign up early for the program. Shore Vets participates in this state program at all four of their locations in Seaville, Williamstown, Hammonton and Egg Harbor Township.

Residents can spay and neuter their pets at veterinary offices for only $10 if they qualify for the state sterilization funding program. They must receive one of the following: food stamps, Medicaid, general public assistance, rental assistance, aid to families with dependent children, Lifeline Utility Credit, Tenants Lifeline Assistance, Supplemental Security Income, or Pharmaceutical Assistance to Aged and Disabled.

For more information, Atlantic County Residents can call 609-272-8777; Hammonton residents, 609-561-2802; Williamstown area residents, 856-728-6613; and Cape May County residents, 609-390-9113.

Toys for Tots needs help

The Cape-Atlantic Marine Corps League has faced obstacles for its annual Toys for Tots campaign and seeks the community’s involvement and the generosity of residents to acquire and deliver toys to children this holiday season.

Hurricane Sandy destroyed several of the businesses that traditionally volunteered to be dropoff locations. Many families lost their homes and possessions, increasing the need for donations for children. Two prominent conventions that historically supply many donated gifts were canceled due to the storm, the New Jersey Teachers Convention and the League of Municipalities. A thief broke into a storage trailer and stole a large quantity of donated gifts. Although a suspect was apprehended and charged with the crime, the toys were not recovered.

To be a toy dropoff location, donate toys or money to purchase gifts, call Frank Vesely at 609-868-0003 or email franky2842comcast.net or call Joseph Harris at 609-927-6402 or email bbstan@verizon.net.

Jazz Society seeks sponsors

The Somers Point Jazz Society is seeking sponsors for its 2013 Jazz @ the Point event, which will take place April 11-14 at various locations in Somers Point. Proceeds benefit the arts program in Somers Point Public Schools. Sponsorships start at $500.

To be part of this event, call the Somers Point Jazz Society at 609-927-6677 and sponsorship information will be sent.

County library system accepting food donations

The Atlantic County Library System is accepting nonperishable food items for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Southern Branch. Any unopened, unexpired, nonperishable food is appreciated, but the most needed items include meals in a can, canned tuna, peanut butter, canned fruits, canned vegetables, canned soup, shelf-stable milk, cereal, baby food and diapers.

Food items can be dropped off during regular hours at any Atlantic County Library System location or the Bookmobile. Atlantic County Library System branches are located in Brigantine (which will accept food donations upon reopening after flood remediation), Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township, Hammonton, Longport, Mays Landing, Pleasantville, Somers Point, and Ventnor. For a Bookmobile or Buena Community Reading Center schedule, see atlanticlibrary.org.

Sandy Relief Fund established for students

The Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation has established the Sandy Relief Fund for Atlantic Cape Students to collect emergency funds for Atlantic Cape Community College students affected by Hurricane Sandy.

More than 1,900 Atlantic Cape students live on the barrier island communities assaulted by the storm on Oct. 29. Student evacuees are now returning to devastating conditions-wrecked homes and vehicles, and destroyed computer equipment, school supplies and textbooks.

The Sandy Relief Fund for Atlantic Cape Students will provide assistance for students who need to replace books, computer equipment, clothing and food, and to cover commuting costs and other necessities. To make a donation to the Sandy Relief Fund for Atlantic Cape Students, see atlantic.edu/relief or send a check payable to the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation to: Sandy Relief Fund for Atlantic Cape Students, Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210-1972

For more information, contact Patricia Gentile, executive director of the Atlantic Cape Foundation, at 609-463-4507 or pgentile@atlantic.edu.

Senior Center open

The Hammonton Community Senior Citizen Center is open for seniors, age 50 and older, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and is located in the Canoe Club building off Egg Harbor Road at Park Avenue in Hammonton Lake Park. Recreational activities include card games, a walking group and book club. There are no membership fees or dues. On the third Friday of each month, Atlanticare Regional Medical Center sponsors a free lecture by a health care professional on a subject related directly to senior issues. The talk is followed by a luncheon provided by the Canoe Club Kitchen crew for $3. Bingo is held the fourth Tuesday of each month, followed by a free luncheon.

Call the Canoe Club at 856-322-7082 to speak to a volunteer for more information and to register for any event.

Master gardener program open

People who enjoy gardening and would like to take their skills to the next level are sought for the Atlantic County Master Gardener Program sponsored by Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Applications are now being taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. No experience necessary. The first training will begin Jan. 8, 2013.

This program is for all residents of Atlantic County. For more information or an application, call Mona Bawgus or Anita Wagner at 609-625-0056, ext. 6123, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, or see rutgers-atlantic.org/garden.

Professor seeks history info

Richard Stockton College Associate Professor of Art History Kate Ogden is working with the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society to research and learn more information about the city’s school of art and local artists.

The Vineland School of Art existed in the 19th century, and not much is known about it — Ogden hopes local residents may shed more light.Ogden’s students in her class on 19th century art are researching and writing about works of art owned by the society and will create a catalog of its many paintings, works of sculpture and other objects.

The Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society is interested in learning more about local artists from the Vineland area. Anyone wishing to contribute information, which will remain confidential, should call Kate Ogden at 609-652-4406 or email kate.ogden@stockton.edu.

Arts center lists 2013 exhibits

The Galloway Cultural Arts Center has announced its 2013 exhibit lineup. From Jan. 12 to March 16 is Fresh Start; March 16 to June 15, Anything Goes; June 15 to Sept. 21, All About Light; Sept. 21 to Jan. 11, 2014, South Jersey Life.

All dropoffs should be made to the Atlantic County Library/Galloway Township, 306 E. Jimmie Leeds Road, Galloway. Cost is $5 members/$10 nonmembers for each piece. To become a member, see gallowayculturalarts.org.

Health courses offered

The Health Professions Institute at Atlantic Cape Community College will offer a variety of programs for health care professionals interested in advancing their skills.

Certified Home Health Aide for CNAs is designed for the CNA who wants to become a Certified Home Health Aide and meets from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 15.

Emergency Medical Technician Certification will prepare students to perform basic life support. Participants will learn adult and pediatric medical and trauma assessment, basic airway support, use of AED, assisting patients with medication administration, splinting, bleeding control, lifting, transferring and transporting stretchers and patients. It will take place from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, beginning Jan. 29.

Multi-Skill Technician will prepare students to function as EKG and Phlebotomy Technicians. Curriculum includes: anatomy and physiology of the heart, medical terminology, medical disease processes and appropriate treatments, medical ethics. The class will meet from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday and Friday, beginning March 4.

In Administrative Healthcare Specialist, participants will learn a variety of administrative duties in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, dentists and other health care facilities. The class will meet from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 8 a.m.to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, beginning March 11.

Lecture and lab modules will take place at the Health Professions Institute at Atlantic Cape’s Worthington Atlantic City Campus, 1535 Bacharach Blvd. Clinical expertise will come from various hospital settings and students will also gain field experience on paramedic units.

For more information, or to register, call 609-343-4829 or see atlantic.edu/conted.

Black and White Ball set for Dec. 15

Generations of residents and friends of the Simon and Sylvia Zisman Seashore Gardens Living Center will be represented at the inaugural Black and White Ball on Dec. 15 at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.

Hosted by the Seashore Gardens Foundation, tickets are $250 each and sponsor tables can be purchased for $3,500 and $5,000. Black and white attire is requested for the black tie-required event. Complimentary valet parking and a special room rate are offered by Resorts.

For tickets and more information, call Sharon D’Angio at 609-748-4614, email dangios@seashoregardens.org or see seashoregardens.org.

Golden Cotillion planned

The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Iota Chapter will introduce a Golden Cotillion in spring 2013.

The Golden Cotillion, “Lovelier the Second Time Around, will feature women 60 and older. It will provide an opportunity for mature ladies to experience relevant workshops and an evening of dining, dancing and fun. Ladies are sought to participate. A sponsorship fee will be required. Sponsors may be individuals, civic organizations, social clubs, or churches. The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Iota Chapter has been the sponsor of the Debutante Cotillion for high school seniors for more than 50 years. The benefits of this cotillion have enabled the chapter presenting scholarships each of these years. The two cotillions will continue to benefit Iota’s Scholarship Fund and the sorority’s Youth Programs.

Anyone interested is asked to call Barbara Gilliam, chairperson, at 609-348-3654.

Online courses offered

Upgrade your current skills, gain fresh knowledge and develop new talents in the comfort of your own home by enrolling in online training courses through Atlantic Cape Community College’s Continuing Education division.

Concentrations cover Business, Grant Writing/Nonprofits, Career Ideas, Career Development, Personal Enrichment, Test Preparation, Languages, Personal Finance, Personal Enrichment, Computer Applications and more.

Most classes are $99. All students need to get started is Internet access, an email address and Web browser. Each course begins every six weeks and consists of 12 lessons, interactive quizzes, assignments, tutorials and online discussion areas. For more information, call 609-343-4829, or see atlantic.edu/conted.

Reassurance calls offered

The volunteers at CONTACT Cape-Atlantic offer free daily phone calls to say hello and check that all is well to help the disabled, elderly, and isolated citizens of Atlantic and Cape May counties who want to continue living independently. Anyone interested in receiving CONTACT calls, or who know someone who might be, call Jennifer Goudie at 609-823-0762 in Atlantic County or 609-463-4564 in Cape May County.

Winter clothing needed

Kathleen’s Closet, Second Chance Shop in the Shore Mall, Egg Harbor Township, is looking for coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots. These items will be sold at bargain prices. Proceeds from Kathleen’s Closet benefit the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 609-383-8843, ext. 104.

College to host foodie programs

Richard Stockton College will host fun and educational “Foodie Tuesday” programming Dec. 18 at the Hammonton Arts Center, 219 Bellevue Ave. The programs include a seminar and discussion, followed by a light dinner related to the discussion at Annata’s Wine Bar across the street.

Registration is $35 per person or $30 per person for two or more registered at the same time. Two people can register for the same course for $60. Call the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies at 609-652-4227.

Nursery school registration under way

Congregation Beth Israel Nursery School is accepting enrollment for the 2012-13 school year, with extended hours for “Before Care.” Parents now may drop off children as early as 7:30 a.m. Extended “After Care” also is available until 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and until 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Congregation Beth Israel’s Nursery School accepts children ages 2 to 5, with flexible days and times. Kindergarten enrichment is available for half-day programs. Classes run from 9 a.m. to noon and include the “Handwriting Without Tears” language program. Afternoon sessions and five-day options are available for ages three and up. The extended hours are designed to accommodate working families, with care provided by nursery school teachers.

Congregation Beth Israel is located at 2501 Shore Road, Northfield. Call Cookie Feldman at 609-641-3600 or email cookie.feldman@cbinorthfield.org.

Program set for families with young children

Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor has opened Mishpacha and Me (Family and Me). The program was created specifically for families with young children to age 4. Families will meet monthly on Sunday mornings to learn about Jewish holidays, sing songs, hear a story and create a special craft.

A Saturday morning component will feature an opportunity for families to attend Sabbath worship as a family in a supportive environment. For further information, call Hazzan Jeffrey Myers, Education Director, at 609-822-7116, ext. 104.

Local cookbooks wanted

Has your church, school, family, community group or civic organization created its own cookbook? If so, the Atlantic County Library System would love to have a copy of it.

Donations of local cookbooks can be dropped off at any Atlantic County Library System location or the Bookmobile. Library branches are located in Brigantine, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township, Hammonton, Longport, Mays Landing, Pleasantville, Somers Point and Ventnor. For a schedule of Bookmobile stops, call the library’s Outreach Services Section at 609-625-2776, ext. 6338.

Autoimmune support group forming

An autoimmune support group is forming and will meet the second and fourth Sundays of each month in the Chapel of Central United Methodist Church, Central Avenue and Shore Road in Linwood. Contact Pastor Joanne Drane through the church office at 609-927-4882 or through Central Counseling Center at 609-927-4149.

School registering students

The Kulanu School of Jewish Studies is registering students in grades seven through 11 for the 2012-13 school year. This year, Kulanu classes will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Congregation Beth Judah, 700 Swarthmore Ave., Ventnor.

Students do not need to be affiliated with a synagogue to attend. The Kulanu School of Jewish Studies offers a wide range of programs. Classes cover topics from Jewish ethics to culture, history, spirituality and the arts. Programs also foster a lifelong connection to the land of Israel. Electives offered range from Israeli dance to choir, yoga, art, Jewish cooking and Jews in American Film. There also is an optional Panim el Panim program, which brings Jewish teens to Washington, D.C., to explore service, advocacy and philanthropy. In addition, students entering their senior year of high school may attend the Morim Teacher Prep program through Kulanu.

The Kulanu School of Jewish Studies is sponsored by the Board of Jewish Education of Atlantic and Cape May Counties. For more information, call 609-822-1854 or email BJEatlantic@yahoo.com. To register online, see bjeatlantic.org/content/youth-education.

Library offers app

The new Atlantic County Library System app puts the library in your pocket. You can quickly and easily search the library catalog, check your record, renew the things you have checked out, and put items on hold with the app. Wherever you are, downloading audiobooks and eBooks; locating, calling or emailing a library branch; or accessing the library’s calendar of events, Facebook or Twitter pages are simple to do.

The free app is available for Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) and Google Android devices (Nook, Kindle Fire, LG, Samsung, and more) through your app store. For more information, see atlanticlibrary.org/app.

Family readiness group formed

The 150th/160th Engineer Company, New Jersey Army National Guard unit out of Hammonton has officially formed a Family Readiness Group to support the soldiers and families within the unit. The following positions were filled: Leader Wanda Tarquinio of Vineland, Secretary Janet Wilson of Mount Laurel, Treasurer Patricia Christensen of Tuckerton, and Special Events, Jennifer Freeman of Pleasantville.

If you are interested in joining the 150th/160th FRG or receiving their newsletter, or if your business or community would like more information on how you can contribute, email 150th.160th.NJARNG.FRG@gmail.com. To learn more about Family Readiness Groups, see state.nj.us/military/familysupport/frg.html.

Head Start enrolling preschoolers

The Atlantic Human Resources, Inc. Head Start and Early Head Start program is recruiting preschool children for the 2012-13 program. There is no cost to families who qualify.

Children to age 3 and pregnant women are eligible for the program, which has centers throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties. Call 609-348-4166.

Pulmonary support group forming

An evening support group is being formed in the Atlantic County area for residents with lung and related pulmonary disease in need of camaraderie and friendship.

Oxygen-dependent participants are encouraged to help begin this group. Sessions will feature speakers and forums for discussion. If interested, please contact 609-230-2859 or LungTalkGroupNJ@gmail.com. The meeting date, location and time will be announced upon participant interest.

Parent-child swim classes at Katz JCC

Families are invited to come for the LKSA Parent Tot class — and stay to play and mix and mingle.

On Fridays, swim from 11:30 a.m. to noon and play from noon to 1:30 p.m. Working as a group and individually, the class uses songs and simple drills to acclimate the child to the aquatic environment. This program begins the journey to water safety with the introduction of back-float survival skills. After the pool is playtime for children and socializing time for adults. Light snacks and beverages will be served

The Katz Jewish Community Center is located at 501 N. Jerome Ave.17, Margate.

MS group seeks members

The Jersey Shore MS support group is trying to reform, and is looking for people involved with MS who would like a forum. The group meets from 6 to 8 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month (not in summer) at the Galloway branch of the Atlantic County Library System on Jimmie Leeds Road.

Call Jackie at 609-266-8561, Phyllis at 609-266-1497 or email frejac1@aol.com.

Therapeutic riding program accepting riders

A therapeutic horseback riding program in Egg Harbor Township is accepting riders.

HEARTS TRC, LLC, is a NARHA/PATH member center providing therapeutic assisted equine activities. Sue Adams has created a new curriculum, “From the Ground Up,” exclusive to HEARTS TRC, which brings new and skills to all of its riders. Adams and the HEARTS TRC partners have more than 50 years of combined experience working with children and adults who are challenged physically, mentally, psychologically and socially. They also are experienced teaching riders without disabilities. Sessions cover care of the horse, equine anatomy, psychology of the horse, and training techniques. Techniques to be introduced also include equine massage and healing through touch, to relieve stress, pain, and create relaxation within the horse.

For more information or registration forms, call 609-703-9130 or email HeartsTRC@aol.com.

Scholarship available

The Vincent S. Haneman-Joseph B. Perskie Scholarship is awarded annually to Atlantic County law students who are admitted to an American Bar Association-accredited law school. The award is based on academic ability, financial need, leadership potential and character. An application is available for download by clicking on the scholarship item at atcobar.org or calling Mary Williams Berard at 609-345-3444.

Food bank also needs baby items

The Emergency Assistance Pantry at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey-Southern Branch, is in need of baby formula and disposable diapers for its clients. The pantry serves 2,600 families each month and is located at the West Entrance of the Shore Mall at the former site of Value City. For information, call 609-383-8843, ext. 120.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, serves Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and southern Burlington counties. The FoodBank has seen a 60 percent increase in need since 2008.

Mental Health Association reaching out to veterans

The Mental Health Association in Atlantic County, or MHAAC, is reaching out to OIF/OEF military veterans through a self-help group called MHAAC Veterans Network. It’s all about veterans helping other veterans through a member-run group process. In addition to MHAAC traditional services, this veterans group will offer education, advocacy and support.

While this group was formed to exclusively address the special needs of Atlantic County’s Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom military veterans and their families, other veterans groups also are planned. MHAAC, in conjunction with Richard Stockton College undergraduate and graduate social work programs are planning to hold meetings for Vietnam era, post 9-11, and Korean War veterans as well as topics addressing issues such as HIV and hepatitis C among veterans.

This first group for newly repatriated OIF/OEF veterans will meet from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the MHAAC office, 1127 N. New Road, Pleasantville. For more information, call Jaime Angelini, MHAAC Veterans Network, at 609-272-1700, ext. 308, or email jangelini@mhanj.org.