Holiday lights garden will shine Dec. 9

Staff Writer

MARLBORO – The organizers of the second annual Marlboro Winter Holiday Lights Garden plan to bring together people from different religious backgrounds in a celebration of the holiday season.

The event will take place outside the Marlboro municipal complex, Wyncrest Road, at 6 p.m. Dec. 9. Refreshments sponsored by Whole Foods will be provided in Town Hall.

Organizers said the 2014 event had a turnout of several hundred people, including representatives from the Center for Jewish Life, Sri Guruvayurappan Temple, Jireh Church, Marlboro Jewish Center, Monmouth Worship Center, Morganville United Methodist Church, Old Brick Reformed Church, Saint Gabriel’s Parish and Temple Rodeph Torah.

Rabbi Yossi Kanelsky from the Center for Jewish Life will light the Hanukkah menorah.

“With everything going on in the world, whether it is the terrorist attacks in France, the ongoing attacks in Israel, or the situation in Syria with ISIS, I think we are all in need of uniting as a people,” Kanelsky said.

“Living in Marlboro with a diverse presence and having the mayor and Township Council present at this event is special. For me to be able to take my own children and witness a public menorah lighting is the greatest statement of religious freedom in our country,” he said.

“Last year was a huge success as our community came together in celebration of our diversity,” Mayor Jonathan Hornik said, “This year, we anticipate that the event will be even bigger as we welcome the Marlboro High School band and chorus to lead us in song, and the Alliance for the Prevention of Drug Abuse candle lighting ceremony to remind us to stay safe and be smart during this holiday season.

“While we enjoy the holiday season, it is important to remember those who are less fortunate and so we will again be collecting new, unwrapped toys in partnership with Stomp the Monster,” the mayor said.

Stomp the Monster provides financial and other support to cancer patients, their families, and caregivers when they need it most – during their fight with the disease. Stomp the Monster promotes a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise, leading by example, and provide funding for potential advances in prevention and treatment, according to its website.

Donations from last year’s toy drive were donated to the Valerie Fund Children’s Center for children with cancer and blood disorders.

“I invite everyone to join me and our community’s leaders for this free, fun, family event,” Hornik said.