Cape May Stage offers subscriptions

Equity theater Cape May Stage has announced the lineup of plays and deals on subscription packages for the 2013 season, the theater’s 25th anniversary.

The schedule features: “How to Make a Rope Swing,” May 17-June 7; “Lend Me A Tenor,” June 12-July 26; “Boeing Boeing,” July 31-Sept. 13; “Freud’s Last Session,” Sept. 18-Oct. 19; “A Walk in the Woods,” Oct. 23-Nov. 16; “Jacob Marley’s Christmas,” Nov. 29-Dec. 29.

Subscriber benefits include as much as 50 percent off regular box office prices, complimentary exchanges and upgrades, priority seating, and discounts on our merchandise. Cape May Stage offers subscription series tickets for opening or preview night performances and subscription flex passes. Purchase of these series is equivalent to 15 percent off single ticket prices.

Subscriptions can be purchased by calling 609-884-1341, online at capemaystage.org or at the box office. All subscriptions expire Dec. 30, 2013.

Freeholders to reorganize

The reorganization meeting of the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders will take place at 5 p.m. Jan. 3 in the Freeholders’ Meeting Room at the Cape May County Administration Building, 4 Moore Road, Cape May Court House.

Freeholder Leonard C. Desiderio, who was re-elected in November to serve a three-year term, will be sworn in. The oath of office will be administered by Superior Court Judge J. Christopher Gibson. The director and vice-director of the board will be selected and departments will be assigned. For meeting dates and agendas, see capemaycountygov.net.

First Night celebration set

First Night, Ocean City’s nonalcoholic celebration of the New Year, will offer a selection of 60 shows from 4 p.m. to midnight throughout the city.

The evening is capped by a fireworks display at midnight. Admission is $15 per person, which also includes rides a Wonderland Pier from 5 to 9 p.m. plus miniature golf at Gillian’s Adventure Golf from 2 to 9 p.m. Entertainment includes popular children’s shows with magicians, jugglers and puppeteers, Broadway shows, a big band dance, Trout Fishing in America, the Grease Band, Japanese drummers and more. A chart with the entertainment schedule is available at firstnightocnj.com.

The Ocean City Restaurant Association offers Taste of the Jersey Shore at the high school cafeteria. Check the menu at firstnightocnj.com and make reservations at eatinocnj.com. First Night buttons can be purchased at the Wonderland Kiosk in Stainton’s, Eighth and Asbury Avenue at Chamber of Commerce headquarters, Ninth Street across from TD Bank, by calling 609-399-1412 or at firstnightocnj.com.

There is free jitney service from 5 p.m. to midnight, operating continuously between sites starting at the Transportation Center, Ninth and Haven Avenue and the Seventh Street Parking Lot, Seventh and Central Avenue for button holders. Street parking is free and many city parking lots are available for free parking.

There will be food at the Sports and Civic Center, Sixth Street off Boardwalk, featuring Dell’s Grille and light boardwalk fare, Ocean City Senior Center, 17th and Simpson Ave, with Yanni’s specialties, The Primary School, Fifth and West Avenue with light boardwalk fare and St. Peter’s Church, Eighth and Central Avenue with light boardwalk fare.

Emergency recovery center open

The Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to assist residents and business owners in Cape May County who incurred damage during Hurricane Sandy. The Disaster Recovery Center is in the lower level of the Cape May County Library’s Main Branch, 30 West Mechanic St., Cape May Court House, until further notice. Center hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Those affected by Hurricane Sandy should register with FEMA, even if you see no storm related damage now. The deadline for registration is Dec. 31.

If you have received a letter of disqualification from FEMA, read it fully and bring the letter into a DRC for explanation. Disqualification can be something as simple as a missed signature line or a need for one or two more boxes to be checked. Incomplete is returned as disqualified and can be confusing to the recipient. For more information, call 800-621-FEMA (3362).

Basketball Classic planned

The 15th annual Boardwalk Basketball Classic returns to the Wildwoods Convention Center Dec. 26-30 and features a lineup of more than 70 high school boys and girls basketball teams from South Jersey and the Delaware Valley areas.

Included this year is an additional day of competition Dec. 22, Battle at the Boards, which features showcase games of boys and girls high school basketball teams. It will feature the Andrew Alameno Memorial Island Championship Games between Wildwood and Wildwood Catholic high schools.

All games begin daily as early as 9:30 a.m. with select games broadcast live on 98.7-FM The Coast radio station. The last day of the tournament Dec. 30 will recognize National Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hurley by featuring two elite showcase games in his honor. The Bob Hurley Elite Showcase will feature four teams competing in two separate games.

The tournament is still seeking girls teams to complete the lineup. Interested teams can contact Brian Cunniff at boardwalkbballclassic@yahoo.com. For more information about the tournament, including the schedule, past results, tournament records and ticket information, see bbclassic.net.

Shore Slam set for Dec. 12

The Center for Community Arts will hold its Winter Shore Slam from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 12 at Lucky Bones Backwater Grille, 1200 Route 109, Cape May. Sign up to tell a story, share a poem or put one over during the bull slam — or just to enjoy the show. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Shore Slam is a monthly event open for anyone who has a five-minute story to tell on the night’s theme or a three-minute original poem to share. Shore Slam continues this year with the bull slam. Bull slam stories can be true, partially true or completely false. At the end, the audience votes. You win the bull slam by being the best at putting one over.

The theme for this slam is “Family.” Season winners from all the slams will face off at the Shore Grand Slam April 21 at Cape May Stage’s Robert Shackleton Playhouse, Lafayette and Bank streets, Cape May. Call 609-884-7525 or see centerforcommunityarts.org.

Benefit concerts planned

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 4-6 p.m. Dec. 16 at St. Peter’s Methodist Church, 501 E. Eighth St., Ocean 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.

Food collection under way

Through March 31, Cape May County government will collect nonperishable food items for those in need in Cape May County. Put items in the labeled containers located throughout county facilities and they will be distributed to those in need. For information, call 609-463-6678.

Fare Free office to close on Dec. 13

The Fare Free Transportation office will be closed Dec. 13 for an in-service training day for staff. There will be no bus service Dec. 13, but normal service will resume Dec. 14. The office will not be receiving telephone calls for appointments on Dec. 13, so make appointments by Dec. 12 for Dec. 14. Call 609-889-3700.

Toy donations sought for families

OCNJ CARE (Cleanup And Recovery Effort) is making an effort to bring Christmas to the children of Ocean City families affected by Hurricane Sandy and is asking for donations of new, unwrapped toys.

Toys may be dropped off at the Civic Center, 6th and the Boardwalk, from noon to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (closed Sunday). Please deliver toys by Dec. 21.

To make a monetary donation, see ocnjcare.org, deliver it to the Welcome Center at 9th and Simpson, or mail to OCNJ CARE, PO Box 807, Ocean City, NJ 08226, and note that it is designated for Christmas. Gift cards also may be mailed or delivered to the Welcome Center or mailed to the PO box.

To sponsor a family, call 855-622-2730 with your contact information and you will be matched with a family. If you or anyone you know needs storm-related assistance, register at ocnjcare.org or call the confidential CARE Hotline at 855-622-2730.

Sindia Day set

The Ocean City Historical Museum will celebrate the anniversary of the Sindia’s wrecking off the coast of Ocean City from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 16.

This year marks the 111th since that ship came to rest on a sandbar near 17th Street. Was the ship battered in a storm? Or was there something else going on? Find out! Refreshments to be served. The event is free. Call Jeff McGranahan at 609-399-1801 or see ocnjmuseum.org.

Weekend events go through holidays

Every weekend through Dec. 23, photos with Santa in a Lifeguard boat will be available from noon to 3 p.m. at the Music Pier, plus free horse and carriage rides those hours starting at City Hall, 9th and Asbury Ave. Hospitality Nights are set for the downtown for Dec. 14 and 21. Breakfast with Santa will take place every weekend through Dec.23 at a different downtown restaurant, 8:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Call 609-398-4662 for information.

Holiday Spectacular to hit stage

The Ocean City Theater Company’s annual Holiday Spectacular, produced and directed by Michael Hartman, returns to the Music Pier with a new show and cast of professional singers and dancers.

Tickets are $18 for adults, and $15 for senior citizens and children under 12. Special discounted school rates are available for the morning show Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m. Contact info@oceancitytheatrecompany.com. Shows will take place at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15-16.

MAC, East Lynne present ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’ rides

Classic American ghostly tales will be told in a dark trolley, while the twinkling lights of decorated homes and streets are seen through the windows of the heated vehicle.

The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company are co-hosting “Ghosts of Christmas Past” trolley rides. Most of the 30-minute rides begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children, ages 3-12, and run several nights a week through Dec. 30.

Reservations are strongly suggested, call MAC at 609-884-5404. If tickets are available the day of the tour, they will be sold at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

MAC contributes to Sandy relief

The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities is collecting donations and raising funds through its regular tours and activities to help residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

For a cash donation, visitors to MAC’s Carriage House Gallery, 1048 Washington St., can write their name on a paper ornament to decorate the Sandy Tree, part of the exhibit “An Old-Fashioned Christmas.” Funds will be donated to help students of Atlantic Cape Community College who were affected by the storm. For more information on the Sandy Relief Fund for Atlantic Cape Students, see atlantic.edu/relief/index.html?b1.

Nonperishable food items are being collected through December at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., for donation to the Cape May Community Food Closet, which feeds 250 needy families per week. Funds will be collected from staff during the annual MAC Christmas party Dec. 12, for donation toward Hurricane Sandy relief funds.

Free Christmas buffet offered

Peaches Lukens, of Ocean City, has organized a Good Samaritan Christmas buffet in Ocean City for 23 years. All are invited to this event, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 25 at St. Peters Methodist Church, Eighth and Central Avenue.

No reservations are required and the home cooked meal is free to all who need company, a good meal and some great cheer. There will be live entertainment and all the food you can eat. Takeout and delivery available. Transportation to and from dinner are provided. Call 609-398-8781.

Entrants sought for holiday parade

Entrants are sought for Woodbine’s Holiday Parade, 6 p.m. Dec. 22 starting on Bryant Street east of Washington Avenue.

Lineup starts at 5 p.m. The parade will head south on Washington to Clay Street, east on Clay to Heilprin Avenue, and north on Heilprin to DeHirsch Avenue. It will proceed west on DeHirsch and end up at the Woodbine Firehouse, where Santa and the mayor will light the Christmas tree. The parade route is about 1.5 miles, and marching units are encouraged to enter. Trophies will be awarded for: first and second place in: best appearing fire company, best appearing rescue, best float, and best marching unit. For more information and to register, call Jim Gurdgiel weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 609-861-4541 (leave a message). Send attendance confirmation by Dec. 14.

Tree of Hope celebration set

Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Dickie Noles, a member of the 1980 World Series team, will be the guest speaker at Cape Assist’s annual Tree of Hope celebration Dec. 13.

Noles, an advocate for addiction treatment, is an employee assistance professional with the Phillies. He works with major and minor league players on life skills and other issues. He will speak on his personal fight with addiction, and on prevention and treatment and also will share stories of his time with the Philllies.

The Tree of Hope began in 2001 as a reminder of the hope of recovery. People are encouraged to put a star or an angel on the tree in memory of or in honor of a family member or friend who is struggling with an addiction or in recovery. The ornaments on the Tree of Hope serve as symbols of hope and shining remembrances. The money donated for each ornament benefits the treatment scholarship fund. The ornaments, which can be initialed, personalized or placed anonymously, hang on the tree at Cape Assist through the holiday season. In January, those who purchased ornaments can pick them up or donate them back to Cape Assist.

To dedicate an ornament, contact Janet at 609-522-5960 or Janet@capeassist.org.

Culinary arts programs offered

Atlantic Cape Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts will offer its five-month noncredit Culinary Arts Training Program at the Cape May County Campus, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House, beginning in January.

The career preparation program offers participants hands-on courses to learn new skills or enhance existing ones. Students will become ServSafe Certified, learn to master cooking techniques, short order and pantry skills, enhance time management and organizational skills, acquire skills in bread baking, pie making, cake decorating and plated desserts, and develop techniques for making great stocks, soups and sauces.

The training program begins Jan. 7. Restaurateurs can sponsor a promising employee with a scholarship for the program. For more information, contact Judy DeSalvo at 609-343-5624 or desalvo@atlantic.edu.

Senior pets for seniors

Cape May County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center officials and with the Animal Alliance of Cape May County have teamed up to offer a special program until the end of 2012.

Senior Pets For Senior Citizens pairs the more than 25 cats and dogs older than 8 with seniors older than 60. Adoption fees for dogs and cats in the program will be waived for the adopter and paid by the Animal Alliance of Cape May County, a nonprofit organization that works closely with the shelter.

The shelter is located in the Crest Haven Complex, 110 Shelter Road, Cape May Court House. The facility is open seven days a week for adoptions and visitors from noon to 4 p.m. Cats from the shelter are available for adoption at the PetSmart store in Rio Grande. Call 609-465-8923, email animalshelter@cmcsheriff.net or see capemaycountygov.net.

Christmas Spirit Toy Run planned

The Christmas Spirit motorcycle toy run will leave from the Cape Classics Club, 337 W. Spicer Ave. in Wildwood at 1 p.m. Dec. 15 and head to the Sunset Beach Sportsman’s Club in Cape May Point.

All are invited to join in. Please bring a new toy. Refreshments and food will be provided. The run will happen rain, snow or shine. Anyone who can’t bring a bike is asked to bring a car or truck. Call Paul at 609-889-9679 or 609-425-6742 for more information.

Sea Isle City hosts holiday house lighting contest

The Sea Isle City’s Recreation Department teams-up with the Sea Isle City Garden Club to host the resort’s annual Holiday House Lighting Contest. The seasonal event is open to residential homes and businesses. Judging will take place at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13, by Garden Club members. Entries will be judged on creativity, aesthetics, effect and endeavor.

To enter Sea Isle’s 2012 Holiday House Lighting Contest, a completed entry form must be submitted to the Recreation Department by noon Dec. 12. Entry forms can be obtained seaislecitynj.us (via the “City Departments” and “Downloadable Forms” tabs) or in person at the Recreation Services Building, 6108 Central Ave., and at the Sea Isle City Welcome Center, JFK Boulevard and Park Road.

For more information, call the Sea Isle City Recreation Department at 609-263-0050.

Food donations accepted at theater

The East Lynne Theater Company will accept nonperishable items for the Cape May Food Closet.

Needed are small cans of soup, paper towels, and toilet paper. Any canned food items will be accepted, as long as they have current and future expiration dates. On closing night, Dec. 14, ELTC will give $5 from every ticket sold to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance through the West Jersey Presbytery. PDA provides monetary and spiritual care for immediate disaster situations, and for those who need it for months and years to come. The PDA team is helping families in Long Beach Island and farther north who were hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. These teams will continue to be with these families as they rebuild their homes and their lives. Funds raised at this performance night will only be used for victims of Sandy.

The performances take place at the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., where the company is in residence. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for full-time students, and free for 12 and under. Call East Lynne at 609-884-5898 or see eastlynnetheater.org.

Dog club gives donation

Members of the Cape May County Dog Obedience Training Club recently presented a check for more than $2,900 to the Cape May County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. The amount represents half of the proceeds of the 2012 Mutt Strut held on the Cape May Promenade in September. The donation is earmarked for the purchase of canine protective vests. None of the K-9s currently is protected. With a cost per vest of about $2,000, the donation is a start.

For information on Cape May County Dog Obedience Training Club programs and activities, email cmcdotc@comcast.net or see cmcdotc.com. More information on the Cape May County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit is at cmcsheriff.net.

Hospital earns approval

Cape Regional Medical Center has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.

In August, the Joint Commission conducted a four-day survey of Cape Regional Medical Center. The Gold Seal is awarded for demonstrating compliance with national standards for healthcare quality and safety. The commission’s hospital standards address important functions relating to the care of patients and the management of hospitals. The standards are developed in consultation with health care experts, providers, measurement experts and patients.

For more information on the center and its programs, see caperegional.com or call Sue Staeger at 609-463-2059.

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 a Gift of Energy at Atlantic City Electric Courtesy Centers including: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 420 Route 9, Cape May Court House.

Discounts on theater in exchange for food

This December, Cape May Stage is offering patrons discounts on theater tickets to the holiday production of “A Tuna Christmas” in exchange for donated food items for the Community Food Closet of Cape May, which serves families in need in Cape May.

Through Dec. 30, patrons can bring three nonperishable items to the box office and get a $10 discount off regular admission prices to see the holiday comedy “A Tuna Christmas.” The Food Closet specifically requests laundry detergent, small jars of jelly, small cans of soup, peanut butter, coffee, toilet paper, small boxes of cereal, and boxed pasta. Show up at the box office with your food items and pay for your ticket at the door. Tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis and are pending availability. Advance reservations are not available.

“A Tuna Christmas” runs at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at 405 Lafayette Street in Cape May. Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors (62 and older), and $15 students. The show runs for two hours with intermission. See capemaystage.org or call 609-884-1341.

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 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 $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 for $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 citizens to acquire and deliver toys to children this holiday season.

Superstorm 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.

Temple opens doors to displaced worshipers

Beth Judah Temple in Wildwood has voted to open its doors to the displaced worshipers from West Wildwood Bible Church.

The synagogue is willing to offer the island’s displaced parishioners a sanctuary for their services until the church’s flood-damaged building can be repaired. Call 609-522-7541 for more information. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

New youth group forms

A new regional youth group is forming for South Jersey, offering fun and fellowship with other youths from all Christian denominations. Devotions will be led by a different pastor each week and food will be provided. Regular weekly meetings will begin Jan. 6.

For more information, call Cricket Denton Brennan at 609-624-9019 or email seavilleumc@gmail.com.

New dates for flu shots

The Cape May County Department of Health has scheduled a date for residents to get a free flu vaccine in December.

Flu shots will be given from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 12 at the Department of Health, 6 Moore Road, Cape May Court House. While supplies last, the FluMist nasal spray vaccine will be offered in addition to the injectable vaccine at these clinics. The high-dose vaccine for seniors and the pneumonia vaccine will be offered at the Dec. 12 clinic held at the Department of Health. Seniors who want the high-dose vaccine need to bring their Medicare and supplemental insurance cards to the clinic.

To keep up to date on all of the county’s flu clinics, see cmchealth.net or call the flu hotline at 609-463-6581.

Christmas house tour set

The 24th annual Historic Dennisville Christmas House Tour will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 15 throughout historic Dennisville.

The tour features historic buildings, homes and two churches. The tour is a fundraiser for the Dennisville Historic Home Owners Association Inc. Tickets are $10 sold at the Dennisville Post Office, 24 Hall Ave., the night of the tour only beginning at 4:30 p.m. Greeters will distribute programs and get tourgoers started.

A soup-and-sandwich supper is offered starting at 4 p.m. at the South Dennis Trinity United Methodist Church. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 children younger than 12. Refreshments and comfort stations at the Dennisville United Methodist Church Social Hall. For more information, see dhhoa.dennistwp.org or contact Jack Connolly at 609-861-1338 or Dennisvillechristmashousetour@verizon.net.

Gift wrapping offered

If you wish to save time and energy this upcoming holiday season, volunteers of Cold Spring Presbyterian Church will wrap your gifts for you. Bring them to Price Hall at Academy and Seashore Roads, Cold Spring, from 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19. Donations are greatly appreciated. For information, call 609-884-4065 or 609-889-1624.

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 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.

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.

Worship service for those with disabilities

The community is invited to a new, inclusive worship service adapted to meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. St. John Lutheran Church, 1001 Central Avenue, in Ocean City, will be the first church in New Jersey to host monthly Rejoicing Spirits worship services.

Rejoicing Spirits encourages people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become part of a welcoming faith community, and is adapted to their needs. The Rejoicing Spirits worship service will take place at 2 p.m. the second Sunday of each month. For more information, contact the church office at 609-399-0798 or office@stjohnlutheranoc.org.

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.

Pajamas wanted

The Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey is hosting a PJ Roundup.

They are asking for donations of new pajamas/gowns to be distributed to the needy during the upcoming Holiday Season. Drop off your donations from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Wildwood Housing Authority, 3700 New Jersey Ave., Wildwood. Pajamas for all age and gender groups are needed. No used clothing will be accepted.

For information, call Ruth at 267-207-5681.

Medical Reserve Corps volunteers needed

Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton invites the residents of Cape May County to join the 144 members of the Cape May County Medical Reserve Corps.

Medical Reserve Corps units are made up of locally based volunteers who assist their communities during emergencies, such as an influenza epidemic, a chemical spill or an act of terrorism. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, mental health professionals, dentists, veterinarians and epidemiologists. Community members such as interpreters, chaplains, office workers and legal advisers can fill vital support positions.

To become part of this community project, call MRC coordinator Joan Rowland at 609-463-1225 or see cmchealth.net and click “Join the MRC.”

College to offer non-credit training

Starting in January 2013, Atlantic Cape Community College’s Academy of Culinary Arts will offer its five-month non-credit Culinary Arts Training Program at the Cape May County Campus, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, in Cape May Court House.

The career preparation program offers participants hands-on courses to either learn new skills or enhance existing ones. The training program begins Jan. 7. Restaurateurs can sponsor a promising employee with a scholarship for ACA’s Culinary Arts Training Program.

For more information about scholarships and training, call Judy DeSalvo at 609-343-5624 or email desalvo@atlantic.edu.

Arts league hosts monthly shows

The Ocean City Fine Arts League presents monthly show and sales throughout the year. The “Meet the Artist” reception takes place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the second Friday of each month at the Art on Asbury Gallery, 608 Asbury Ave., Ocean City.

The show schedule is as follows: December, Petite, reception Dec. 14; January, Judges Show, reception Jan. 11. For more information, call 609-814-0308.

College offers career training courses

Learn about the world of computers with Atlantic Cape Community College’s career training courses this fall.

Atlantic Cape will offer a variety of computers and technology workshops, from basics to advanced. Some classes include: Introduction to Macs, Keyboarding, Social Media for Business, Microsoft Office 2010 Series, Google Docs Series, How to Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 Suite and Adobe Photoshop CS5 Suite.

Computers and Technology courses will be offered at the Mays Landing Campus, 5100 Black Horse Pike; and the Cape May County Campus, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House.

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

Dennis Twp. offers services for special-needs students

Dennis Township parents who suspect their child may have a disability can get free help from their school district’s Child Study Team. The Dennis Township school district is organizing a Child Find campaign to assist in the identification of unserved/underserved youth with a delay or disability from birth through age 21.

Information also can be obtained about early intervention services and special education programs throughout New Jersey. Screening, professional guidance and an educational program, if needed, are all available free through the Child Study Team. Call 609-861-2821, ext. 234 for more information.

Low cost shingles vaccine available

The county is still offering the shingles vaccine at low cost for residents who don’t have health insurance or who have health insurance that doesn’t pay for the vaccine. There is no charge for the shingles vaccine itself. Uninsured and underinsured residents only pay a $15 administration fee.

A single dose of zoster (shingles) vaccine is recommended for adults 60 years of age and older, whether or not the patient reported a prior episode of shingles. Shingles is a localized, generally painful rash that occurs most frequently among older adults and immunocompromised people. It is caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus.

For those who have health insurance but are unable to obtain the shingles vaccine at their doctor’s office, the Department of Health can administer the vaccine to them for $175. Residents must pay for the vaccine out of pocket and submit the cost for reimbursement to their insurance carrier (i.e. Medicare Part D). Residents are encouraged to contact their insurer in advance to determine whether the vaccine is covered.

The shingles vaccination program is by appointment only and the patient needs a prescription from their physician to receive the vaccine. To schedule an appointment for the shingles vaccine, call 609-465-1200.

County high school has student openings

Cape May County High School, which serves students with disabilities from Cape May and surrounding counties, announces openings in its Community Based Instruction Program.

This program is designed for 18- to 21-year-old students who have not yet graduated from high school, but have completed the academic requirements for graduation and have some level of independence. Students are placed in one of three community partner worksites, and are mentored by a worksite employee with the support of a special education teacher and aide. The goal is to give students authentic experiences to prepare them for employment after graduation from high school. For more information, contact Mrs. Haas, principal, at 609-465-2720, ext 8800.

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, see bjeatlantic.org/content/youth-education.

Angelus chorus seeks members

The Angelus Chorus is looking for new members. It is a choral group that sings throughout Cape May County during April, May, and December. The chorus rehearses at the Middle Township High School during the school year and perform concerts in the spring and winter seasons.

For more information, call Carolyn at 609-898-0324.

Volunteers sought for tax program

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program is seeking people to be part of the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program. More than 950 Cape May County residents with incomes less than $50,000 received free help filing their 2011 tax returns by volunteers through VITA. To continue this service, more volunteers are being recruited for training.

If you can use a computer and are available at least one day per week February through April 2013, you are encouraged to join. Training will be provided on federal tax law by Jackie Piper of the IRS and retired CPA and VITA volunteer Ed McCaughey, and New Jersey tax law will be taught by a state Tax Office employee in January. All materials will be furnished by the IRS, but you are welcome to use your own laptop.

Call RSVP Director Lee Shupert at 609-886-3400.

College offers training programs

Atlantic Cape Community College delivers corporate training programs and targeted consulting to businesses or organizations to help employees meet the demands of an increasingly challenging and competitive market.

All professional development courses and computer workshops can be customized to a business or organization’s specifications. Some customized training courses include: computer skills, communication, supervisory/management development and human resource applications. For information regarding on-site services or to request a free consultation, call Jean McAlister at 609-343-5688 or email mcaliste@atlantic.edu.

In addition, Atlantic Cape’s Basic-Skills Workforce Training Program offers free basic skills training to employees of Atlantic and Cape May County businesses through a literacy grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Employees can receive basic skills training in English as a second language, written and verbal communication, computer applications, mathematics and measurement and customer service. Customized classes for groups of 10 or more can be arranged. The classes are free to all private-sector and nonprofit employers in the state; however, employees taking the classes must be paid at their regular hourly rate while in training. Business owners are eligible only if they pay taxes into the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Atlantic Cape will offer several basic skills training sessions at the Institute for Service Excellence at the Hamilton Mall, 4403 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing and at the Cape May County Campus, 341 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House. A full schedule of classes is available at atlantic.edu/njbia. For more information, or to register employees for training, call Trudy Mills at 609-343-4814 or see atlantic.edu/njbia.

Head Start seeks 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 up to age 3 and pregnant women are eligible for the Head Start program, which has centers throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties. For more information, call 609-861-2804.

Scholarship available

In collaboration with the Nature Center of Cape May Sanctuary Director Gretchen Whitman, longtime members and volunteers Barbara and Warren Nuessle have established the Randy Nuessle Memorial Scholarship Fund as a work-study program, where recipients are provided with a $3,000 award each year through four years of college.

Administered by the Nature Center of Cape May, the fund seeks to promote a deeper understanding and awareness of natural sciences while encouraging responsible stewardship of natural resources. A selected student is obligated to serve as an intern during the summer or school year for a total of 240 hours. Nature Center staff serve as intern supervisors and work with the student and their school to obtain college credit under the school’s cooperative education programs. Eligibility is limited to graduating seniors from designated high schools in Cape May County. A committee of members representing local high schools, Atlantic Cape Community College, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the Nature Center of Cape May and the community of Cape May, ensures that selected students have demonstrated academic excellence while giving special consideration to those with financial need.

Interested students should request a scholarship application through their school guidance department, or by contacting Gretchen Whitman at 609-898-8848 or gretchen.whitman@njaudubon.org.

Book clubs offered

The Cape May County Library offers a variety of book clubs through the week. Book clubs take place at the following libraries:

Great Books Book Club for adults, 10 a.m. to noon every other Thursday, Main Library, 30 Mechanic St. Cape May Court House, call 609-463-6350; 1st Thursday Book Club for adults, 7 to 8:30 p.m. first Thursday of each month, Main Library; Current Fiction Book Club for adults, 2 to 4 p.m second Monday of each month, Wildwood Crest Library; Great Classic Fiction Book Club for adults, 4 to 5:45 p.m. third Thursday of each month, Main Library; Teen Book Club for ages 13 through 18, 3 p.m. first Tuesday, Sea Isle Library; Tween BiblioMANIACS Club for fifth to seventh graders, 6 to 7 p.m. third Thursday, Main Library; Book Friends Book Club for third and fourth graders, 6 to 7 p.m. second to last Tuesday of each month, Main Library; Reading Rumpus Book Club for first and second graders, 6 to 7 p.m last Monday of each month, Main Library.

For more information, call 609-463-6350.

Fresh Air Home seeks aid

The Children’s Fresh Air Home, a faith-based program in North Wildwood, has hosted more than 20,000 children in its 115-year history.

The support of their alumni is vital to the Century Campaign, which addresses major capital improvements the home requires. With this campaign, the Fresh Air Home is committed to expanding and improving the structure, to continue to serve children for another century. Donations to the Century Campaign will go toward effort to raise the $1 million dollars needed to complete renovations. For more information, call 609-522-2716, see FreshAirHome.org or search the group on FaceBook.

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.

Volunteers also are needed to make the calls. Volunteers manage calls in 2½-hour shifts — 8:30 to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. This service is provided daily from phone centers in Margate and Cape May Court House. To volunteer, call Ann P. Magee at 609-823-1850 (Atlantic County) or 609-463-4564 (Cape May County).

Volunteers wanted for Medical Reserve Corps

The Cape May County Department of Health is looking for volunteers, both health care professionals and those in non-health care fields, to continue the growth of the Cape May County Medical Reserve Corps. MRC volunteers will receive free training in emergency response, disaster preparedness, health education and community recovery.

During non-emergency times, MRC volunteers have opportunities to participate in flu vaccination clinics, health promotion activities and emergency preparedness drills. Anyone interested in becoming a part of this community project can call 609-465-1225 or see cmchealth.net and click “Join the MRC.”

Counseling offered in Wildwood

Through Cape Assist, a local prevention program, counseling services for substance abuse are offered at Cape Assist’s main office, 3819 New Jersey Ave., Wildwood.

The program will take a personalized approach to client care, understanding that clients come needing help in changing addictive behaviors. Cape Assist’s method to care is client-centered in the belief that true change comes from the internal motivation of the individual. Appointments can be made by calling 609-522-5960. While some services are free, there is a small fee for some services with a sliding scale rate for those with low income, and some grant funding is available. For more information, email info@capeassist.org.