Hammonton slated to hold first New Year’s Eve Bash

The first-ever Hammonton New Year’s Eve Bash will be held Dec. 31.

Covert Pop, one of the tri-state area’s most popular party bands, will kick off the celebration at 10:30 p.m. with live music throughout the night. Free party hats and noisemakers will be given to the first 300 guests. When the town clock strikes midnight, a giant blueberry will drop from the top of Town Hall and signal the official start of 2018.

MainStreet Hammonton is sponsoring the Hammonton New Year’s Eve Bash on Dec. 31 from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in Downtown Hammonton. The free outdoor event will be held in front of Hammonton Town Hall, located at 100 Central Avenue.

“We’re looking forward to ringing in the New Year in Hammonton,” said Cassie Iacovelli, executive director of MainStreet Hammonton. “None of this would be possible without the generous support from Kevin Rodio of Spellcaster Productions and Kathedral Event Center, who are leading the effort for this year’s giant Blueberry Drop, along with Ricky Alverio of Funky Cow Café.”

The Hammonton New Year’s Eve Bash will be held annually and there are already plans to expand it next year and in the years ahead.

Eagle Theatre is co-producing the event with MainStreet Hammonton.

“Starting a New Year’s Eve tradition in Hammonton has been talked about for years, and the Eagle Theatre is excited to make it happen with MainStreet Hammonton and the help of Spellcaster Productions and Kathedral Event Center,” said Jim Donio, the theatre’s managing director. “Get a bite to eat and a drink in town, then let us take care of the rest.”

Cocktail and dining specials will be offered at restaurants, bars, wineries and breweries throughout the greater Hammonton area. Additional details will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information visit, or call (609) 567-9014 for more information.

Atlantic County Sheriff’s officers honored with life-saving award

Five Atlantic County Sheriff’s Officers were honored on Dec. 14 for their life-saving actions on Oct. 23, according to Acting Sheriff Mike Petuskey.

An individual entered the criminal courthouse on that date and met with Officer William Schellhas, who noticed the person was sweating profusely and was unsteady on his feet. When questioned the individual assured the officer he was fine.

Officer Schellhas relayed his concerns to his co-workers, Officers Bright, Welsh, Cericola and Askins, who took the initiative to continue to monitor the citizen. They realized the persons physical condition was quickly deteriorating and immediately summoned for EMS and provided medical care until their arrival.

As it turned out the individual was suffering a heart attack and was transported to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. Had it not been for the officer’s keen observation skills and quick actions the citizen would not be alive today.

Petuskey praised his officers for their professional and diligent effort stating they could have easily taken the person’s word that he was fine and went on their way.

Their sense of duty resulted in the preservation of life and they should be very proud of their actions, the acting sheriff said.

Airman graduates with honor from basic military training

U.S. Air Force National Guard Airman 1st Class Cosimo M. Ricca graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Ricca earned distinction as an honor graduate.

He is the son of Kellie Ricca of Williamstown and Cosimo Ricca of Hammonton.

The airman is a 2017 graduate of Hammonton High School.

Stockton University offering discounted summer tuition rate

GALLOWAY - A discounted summer tuition rate will be available for undergraduate students from Stockton University if they take at least one class at one of Stockton’s instructional sites in Atlantic City, Seaview, Woodbine, Manahawkin or Hammonton during the summer of 2018.

Stockton will also offer a special 12-month housing rate for students living in the new Atlantic City Campus apartments, scheduled to open in fall 2018.

The Stockton Board of Trustees approved the rates at the Dec. 6 meeting. The Board also approved a resolution to name the Event Room at the new Atlantic City Campus Academic Building after Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer.

Under the summer tuition plan, one four-credit course will cost $1,639.04 for tuition and fees. If students take either two or three courses for 8 to 12 credits they will pay $3,278.08, in effect getting one course free if they take three courses. Each additional course would cost $1,639.04.

The plan is modeled after the flat-rate tuition used during the academic year, when students can take 12 to 20 credits for the same price. The goal is to promote a competitive rate that will encourage college students to take courses during the summer. The summer rate is available to Stockton students and to students attending other colleges.

Housing rates for 2018-19 were also approved, with some sites staying the same and others rising 1 to 3 percent. Housing costs per semester will range from $3,027 to $5,700 depending on location and size.

Housing at the new Atlantic City site will range from $4,600 to $5,400 per semester depending on the size of the unit. Housing will include studio apartments and 2, 4 and 6-person apartments with private bedrooms, and 4-person shared apartments. The Atlantic City units including kitchens, and students will not be required to have a meal plan.

A 12-month housing option is being offered for students who plan to work or take classes through the summer and want to stay in the city. The 12-month rate will range from $5,342 per semester to $6,420 based on apartment size. There is also a family housing option at $9,000 per semester.

The 12-month option will save a student about $600 over the cost of paying for two semesters plus summer housing at the discounted rate of $20 per day. The day rate will still be offered at both the Atlantic City site and the main campus in Galloway Township.

In other business the Board approved the addition of a Masters in Counseling degree, pending state review. The master’s degree is now the recommended degree for entry-level practice for licensed professional counselors.

The Board also approved eight faculty members for sabbaticals in 2018-19, and awarded Fellowships for Distinguished Students grants totaling $4,990 to five students for research projects.

Noyes Foundation donates assets

to Stockton foundation

GALLOWAY - The Mr. and Mrs. Fred Winslow Noyes Foundation has donated its remaining assets to the Stockton University Foundation to support the ongoing work of The Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University.

The Stockton Foundation will establish and administer a new Noyes Foundation Fund, to include transferred assets of about $2.2 million in cash, securities and property, including the former museum building on Lily Lake Road, which is for sale. Proceeds of the property’s sale will become part of the Noyes Fund.

“The sole purpose of this fund is to support the ongoing work of the Noyes Museum,” said Philip Ellmore, chief development officer and executive director of the Stockton Foundation. “On behalf of the Stockton Foundation Board of Directors I am pleased to receive this generous gift.”

The Noyes established the foundation in 1973 to “provide for the preservation of the historical, cultural, social and economic life of Southern New Jersey, including, but not limited to, the establishment of a museum.”

The Noyes Museum opened in 1983 and featured artwork collected by Fred and Ethel Noyes. Fred Noyes was also a trained artist, and his collection of vintage bird decoys are part of the museum’s collection of 19th- to 21st-century fine and folk art.

The building in Galloway Township closed in January 2016, and the Board of the Noyes Museum transferred ownership of the museum and artwork to Stockton in August 2016.

“I’d like to thank all who participated in making the transition to Stockton possible, including Michael Cagno, executive director, and his staff, the Trustees of the Noyes Foundation, the Trustees of the former Noyes Museum and the members of the current Advisory Committee,” said Michael Hyett, chair of the Noyes Foundation Board. “I remain committed to helping the museum advance to the next level, finding a new home, and becoming the exceptional institution envisioned by its Founders, Fred and Ethel Noyes.”

Stockton President Harvey Kesselman thanked the Noyes Foundation members for their confidence in allowing Stockton to continue the Noyes legacy.

“We look forward to continuing and expanding the work of the Noyes family, the Noyes Foundation and the Noyes Museum, which has been an arts and culture icon in South Jersey for so long,” Kesselman said.

Noyes Museum Executive Director Michael Cagno said the agreement will further enable the museum to continue with its mission in providing an environment that makes arts accessible to all. The Noyes Museum currently exhibits works from local, regional and national artists in multiple locations, including the Stockton main campus, Noyes Arts Garage in Atlantic City, the Noyes Gallery at Kramer Hall in Hammonton, the Noyes Gallery at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, Stockton at Manahawkin, the Claridge, AtlantiCare in Atlantic City, and Shore Medical Center in Somers Point.

Casino Career Institute at ACCC offers professional training

ATLANTIC CITY - The Casino Career Institute at Atlantic Cape Community College offers training for people who wish to enter the casino profession at the Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus, 1535 Bacharach Blvd.

CCI is offering a new program, “Table Games – Quick Start” in three different selections: Blackjack, Roulette or Baccarat (choose one); Craps and Carnival Games (two games for one price); and Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker or Pai Gow Tiles (choose one).

Blackjack, Roulette or Baccarat meets for 60 hours from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and costs $499. Craps and Carnival Games meets for 120 hours from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and costs $995. Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker or Pai Gow Tiles meets for 60 hours from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday, and costs $499.

To attend, register and pay online visit, print your receipt, and begin your class the following Tuesday.

Don’t forget

to visit those

with a life-limiting or terminal illness

The holidays are time of year to gather with loved ones. It is typically a joyous time of enjoying traditional holiday festivities. Yet if you are visiting a friend or relative with a life-limiting or terminal illness you may be apprehensive that emotions will overshadow the conversation. You wonder: What can I say?

“People want to be treated like people no matter their age, their illness, or the time of year,” said Jamie Rudy, LSW, MSW,of Social Services with Angelic Palliative & Hospice Care in Northfield. “You treat the terminally ill the same way you would treat any person around the holidays; It's a time of promoting joy, the purpose of life, and spending time with those you love.”

Your visits should include reminisces of past holidays and lead to legacy conversation. Ask about how to make that favorite family recipe; or the story of how they met their spouse. And write it down. These memories can be great consolation for family after their loved one has passed. It can also give comfort for those who may want to share their stories, recipes and words of wisdom.

Take your cues from the patient. If they are despondent, encourage them to share their feelings. It is okay to cry with them. If they seem to want to talk about what’s bothering them, then it is important to listen. “They may want and need to express their grief regarding their condition,” explained Rudy. “This can be beneficial as it may free them to be open to more positive thoughts and become hopeful about the future.”

In most cases, broaching the topic of hospice and palliative care is something that people would rather avoid, particularly around the holidays. The truth is, the additional care and services will provide a more meaningful and pleasant holiday by promoting quality-of-life.

“Most people will tell you they want to live as long as possible, but they want to live comfortably, without pain and at home. People want to enjoy the time they have left with those they love,” explained Rudy. “ Many are inclined to avoid the topic of hospice care because they don’t understand what it is and feel they are giving up by accepting hospice care. But hospice and palliative care can be the best way to reach the goal of maintaining quality of life. It provides medical, physical, emotional, spiritual and social resources to support the patient and the family.”

“There is no reason to postpone care until after the holidays. An extra-set of hands and skills to maintain quality of life at home, frees the family and the patient from unnecessary worry and stress,” said Rudy. “It’s a wonderful safety-net and not only significantly improves quality of life, but may also extend life.”

“There’s an inaccurate perception among the American public that hospice means you’ve given up,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and chief executive officer of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Those of us who have worked in the field have seen firsthand how hospice and palliative care can improve the quality of and indeed prolong the lives of people receiving care.”

NHPCO encourages all families who are diagnosed with a serious illness to ask their healthcare providers about hospice and palliative care services. Hospice and palliative services are fully-covered under Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurances.

Angelic Palliative & Hospice Care serves Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties.

For information, call (609) 822-7979 or visit

Bringing the

Device Free Dinner initiative

to South Jersey

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - The Family Service Association of South Jersey is bringing the growing Device Free Dinner initiative to South Jersey tabletops to help families tune in to each other and turn off their devices.

The campaign, and its Family Dinner Project extension, offer tips for parents to reduce the distractions that devices like smartphones, televisions and video games cause during family dinners.

“Dinnertime is a sacred occasion for families to come together and bond,” said Cindy Herdman Ivins, FSA president and chief executive officer. “Our ultimate goal is to relinquish the hold of technology on our families and make dinner a time for connection again.”

For the many families with two working parents, dinnertime is often the only chance for parent-child bonding. Research shows that technology prevents conversations and interactions amongst families.

According to the non-profit Family Dinner Project:

Nine out of 10 parents think quality dinner conversations help develop connections with their children.

More than half of parents worry that electronic devices are hurting conversation.

Forty-seven percent of parents said they or a family member used a mobile device at dinner in the last week.

Eighty-eight percent of adults say they disapprove of using phones at a family dinner.

Ultimately, the project’s research shows what parents have known for a long time: that sharing a fun family meal is good for the mind, body and soul of all family members. Other supportive studies show a link between regular family meals and positive behaviors in children, such as higher grade-point averages, resilience and self-esteem. Family meals are also attributed to lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression.

With its new initiative, FSA seeks to enlist local families into taking the #DeviceFreeDinner pledge to better their families. Such tips include planning device-free meals in advance, establishing boundaries for family meals and other strategies for getting kids off their devices.

FSA hopes through the movement, that families will come together to share their experiences and insights to help each other realize the benefits of family dinners. Together, they’ll figure out the resources needed – like tips for setting dinnertime goals, overcoming obstacles such as conflicting schedules and engaging everyone in meaningful conversation – to improve the frequency and quality of their mealtime interaction.

For information on FSA’s Device Free Dinner Campaign, visit

Employers can make their workplaces free of drugs

MILLBURN - New Jersey employers have the opportunity to make their workplaces drug-free by signing up for the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s free Drugs Don’t Work in NJ! program.

Employers can play an important role in serving the community, especially in midst of the current heroin/opioid crisis gripping communities throughout the state, by establishing or updating their drug-free workplace policy.

Founded in 1992, Drugs Don’t Work in NJ! was established to help business owners and public-sector employers combat issues associated with employee drug use, such as diminished productivity, higher rates absenteeism and higher healthcare costs. Statistics show that 70 percent of those who misuse drugs are employed, and they found jobs in companies with no drug policy.

Drugs Don’t Work in NJ! provides the following services free of charge:

A Drugs Don’t Work in NJ! Employer Kit to help plan a drug-free workplace program.

Quarterly updates to keep members informed about important legal and legislative developments concerning drug-free workplaces.

An invitation to the annual members seminar that focuses on important legal and legislative developments for maintaining a drug-free workplace.

Upon request, a worksite visit from a Drugs Don’t Work in NJ! field representative, trained to help businesses establish drug-free workplaces.

To sign up or for information, call Bill Lillis at (973) 467-2100, ext. 18, or email

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