Howell Optimist Club came through with great effort for families

On behalf of the Asbury Park Community Collab-orative, the children and the families of Asbury Park, I would like to thank a few groups from the bottom of my heart for collaborating to make the past holiday season one to be remembered.

First and foremost, the Shore Optimist Club for leading the gift and food drive that allowed over 60 children to receive more than 150 presents and provided seven families with generous holiday baskets.

Secretary Karin Lazarus and President Joe Kienzlen, the coordinators of this last-minute collection, linked together groups that ultimately proved to be an unexpected yet victorious team. Thank you both for your support!

The involvement of the Howell Optimist Club encourages me for two reasons. Not only did the members play a huge part in this “11th hour” toy collection, they also quickly and wholeheartedly dedicated their support for a fellow Optimist Club, demonstrating true solidarity.

Also included in this undertaking was Lanmark Group, an advertising and marketing agency based out of Eatontown.

The employees of this agency have proven Lanmark to be a stellar example of corporate integrity and honorable business character through their commitment to our community.

The huge contribution of toys and gifts for our city’s children was a surprising blessing.

Thank you, Lanmark Pres-ident Howard Klein and Lanmark employees, for your involvement in our community work.

I must also express thanks to those who came on board to run a food drive at such late notice. Pastor Randy Steinman and the congregation at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Neptune as well as Principal Rich Allen, Cathy Crelin and everyone else over at Neptune High School, please know that we are very grateful to all of you for exhibiting a model of such camaraderie. It is comforting to know that there is a genuine willingness to support your neighbors in Asbury Park.

The commitment of all of these different organizations to the young people and to the families in our area is fantastically refreshing.

Because of such support, here at the Asbury Park Community Collaborative we are inspired to continue doing our best to serve those who need us. Again, we thank you for your commitment to the community and hope that all have a very blessed 2007.

Jacqueline Gardocki


Asbury Park

Community Collaborative

Asbury Park