Auto dealer’s donation helps fund twp. events


EAST BRUNSWICK — A local car dealer is helping to make sure residents get their share of summer entertainment.

McDonagh Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Route 18, has donated more than $10,000 to support the township’s summer performance schedule. Mayor David Stahl said the donation means the township will be able to hold events that otherwise would have been left off the schedule due to the current budget difficulties. Stahl had asked the recreation department to cut back on its budget this year, as all departments have done, and the number of shows would have been slimmer.

The Township Council earlier this month presented the auto dealership with a proclamation of gratitude.

“A couple of months ago, I discussed with staff, like Michael Reisner [of the recreation department], the planning of events we always do over the summer. I told them to reduce the number of events planned,” Stahl said. Reisner then spoke to Bill McDonagh, who owns the dealership, and Stahl also met with him.

“They generously agreed to sponsor some events, and it will help defray the costs of all the events this summer,” Stahl said.

Concerts planned this summer include a June 20 show by the Garden State Symphonic Band. The band is a professional musical ensemble modeled after the very successful Sousa band of the early 20th century. On June 27, the Robert Murdock Band will perform songs from the “British Invasion” of the 1960s; on July 23, the Sonny Kenn Band will perform blues and rock; and on Aug. 13, Tequila Rose will play new and classic country rock.

In addition, the township has its annual Movies in the Park series, which will include “Igor,” rated PG, on July 8, and “The Tale of Despereaux,” rated G, on Aug. 5. The township’sWonderfulWednesdays series is scheduled at the same venue and will include the Mr. Fish Super Scientific Circus Stuff on July 15, Super Simon Sez Show on July 22, and the Craig Babcock Mime Show on July 29. Each runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

All shows and movies will be at the township’s new Cultural Arts Center at Heavenly Farms, Dunhams Corner Road. All are free of charge, and residents are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets, and snacks.

The fact that these events will be held is good news for residents, especially those miffed that the Fourth of July fireworks celebrationwas canceled due to a budget cut. One of many budgetary line items being eliminated this year, the fireworks cut saved $40,000.

“I just could not justify spending that in this year’s budget,” Stahl said.

Stahl noted that the township received a state grant of $2,500 for the kickoff concert on June 20, and the rest of the concert series was covered by McDonagh.