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Bright Side Recent News

Jewish Family Service Hosts Unique Blue Flamingo Flocking Fundraiser

Margate, NJ (December 01, 2020) – Here’s your opportunity to purchase a distinctive gift for your family, friends and neighbors this holiday season.

From now through January 31, 2021, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) is hosting a Blue Flamingo Flocking fundraiser in which proceeds will support our commitment to helping children, families and seniors in our region.

For $50, you can send 20 vibrantly colored birds to someone on your gift list and for $75, you can remain anonymous so they’ll have no idea who flocked them.

For $150, you can supersize your flock and JFS will send up to 100 blue flamingos to celebrate a special occasion, like a birthday or anniversary.

Add a card and gift for an additional charge.

Want to prevent your yard from ending up in the flamingo landing zone? Purchase Flocking Insurance, courtesy of Scott Brown Insurance Agency, for $100, and your home will be protected from these feathered invaders.

Flamingo migration territories include Downbeach, Somers Point, Linwood, Northfield, Egg Harbor Township, Absecon and Brigantine. Additional fees apply for Mays Landing and Galloway.

Flamingos will nest in the yard for up to 48 hours.

“When it comes to fun and creative ways to raise money to support the agency’s programs and services, the JFS staff truly thinks outside of the box,” said Andrea Steinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties. “This Flocking Fundraiser is a new and unique way to raise essential dollars for our agency while also bringing some uplifting and joy to neighborhoods,” she added.

The JFS Flocking Fundraiser runs from now through January 31, 2021 with a goal of raising $10,000 for services and programs.

Should you wish to volunteer to help deliver flamingos or be part of the Flocking Committee, contact Vanessa Smith at 609.822.1108, x249.

For more information or to arrange for a Flocking, Flocking Removal, Flocking Insurance or a Flocking Sponsorship, visit jfsatlantic.org or contact Kirby Reed at kreed@jfsatlantic.org or 609.822.1108, x144.

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities. With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry. The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life. In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.

For more information or to keep up-to-date with JFS events and programs, visit www.jfsatlantic.org or follow on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Bright Side Recent News

JFS Provides Thanksgiving Meals to Local Families

Throughout October and November, JFS collected monetary donations and non-perishable food to provide a complete holiday meal to many in our area.

(Pictured left to right): Brothers Sam and Luke Goldstein collected more than 40 bags of food from friends, neighbors and local businesses for the Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties Thanksgiving meal drive. The non-perishable food provided a traditional holiday meal to those in need. (Photo provided by Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties).

With contributions from community members as well as businesses, organizations and groups including: Esthetica, Eugene A. Tighe Middle School, Galloway Auto & Tire, Girl Scouts, Jewish Community Center Swim Team, Linwood Fire Department, Margate Playgroups Plus, Platinum Real Estate, Preferred Care, Triad Chiropractic and the William Ross School, who hosted collections to help put a turkey on the table for many this Thanksgiving holiday.

Jason Conway – Galloway Auto & Tire Owner Jason Conway and his dog, Selene, show the bags of non-perishable food collected at his business to donate to Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties for the Turkey Drive. Individuals and families in need enjoyed a complete Thanksgiving holiday dinner. (Photo provided by Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties).

“Every year, JFS strives to assure everyone has a turkey on their table during the holidays. Thankfully, the contributions and support has been overwhelming and JFS was able to feed anyone who turned to us for a holiday meal,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS Chief Executive Officer.

For information about the JFS Food Pantry, please contact Vanessa Smith at: 609.822.1108, ext. 249 or via e-mail at: vsmith@jfsatlantic.org.

Donations are accepted throughout the year on-line at: jfsatlantic.org or you may make a check payable to JFS at: 607 North Jerome Avenue, Margate, NJ 08402.

Samantha, Lia and Maya Goldberg – (Pictured left to right): Throughout the year, cousins Samantha, Lia and Maya Goldberg, collect non-perishable food from family and neighbors to donate to Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties. For their Thanksgiving collection, the girls donated more than 12 bags of food. (Photo provided by Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties).

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities.

With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry. 

The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life.

In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.

For more information or to keep up-to-date with JFS events and programs, visit www.jfsatlantic.org or follow on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Bright Side Education

Shawnee High School Student Recognized with High School Leadership Award

Medford, NJ – Shawnee High School Senior Nicholas Wagner was recognized as a winner of the Widener University High School Leadership Award.

The program, in its ninth year, recognized 160 students for their abilities to stand up for what is right, address a wrong, and make a difference in their communities or schools.

Nicholas was recognized for making a difference by serving as a student ambassador for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, where he works to improve relationships between student athletes, coaches, and officials to enhance high school sports programs.

Shawnee Principal, Matthew Campbell, commented “Nicholas is not only a tremendous student but also an outstanding leader in the school and in the community. This award simply brings to light what we have seen for the last three years. I know Nicholas will be successful as he continues his academic journey”.

About LRHSD

The Lenape Regional High School District’s four high schools – Lenape, Shawnee, Cherokee and Seneca – as well as the Sequoia Alternative Program, educate approximately 6,800 students from eight communities in Burlington County, NJ.

The communities served include Evesham, Medford, Medford Lakes, Mount Laurel, Shamong, Southampton, Tabernacle, and Woodland.

The Lenape Regional District is among the highest-achieving districts in the state, with an average graduation rate of 96% and an average combined SAT score of 1144.

A leader in progressive education, the LRHSD’s mission is to develop physically and emotionally healthy students who excel in an ever-changing world.

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Bright Side Education

Seneca Gives Thanks and Gives Back During Holiday Season

At Seneca High School, students, faculty and staff refer to one another as family.

And this holiday season, the Seneca Family is continuing the tradition of giving thanks and giving back: organizing food drives to ensure community members have a Thanksgiving meal to enjoy, collecting and sending items to military members both home and abroad, giving thanks to Seneca custodians who help to maintain our school, plus reaching out to teachers to thank them for all that they do.

The season of giving is in full swing.

Bags of food donated by Seneca Football (Image provided)

This year, Seneca’s Student Council collected enough food from faculty, staff, and outside organizations (The Women’s Group of Tabernacle and The Woman’s Club of Medford) to provide Thanksgiving meals and gift cards for 38 families in our community.

“In this crazy time where we feel emotionally and physically exhausted trying to balance our home and profession, please be aware there is SO much goodness surrounding us,” exclaimed Seneca School Counselor and Student Council Advisor Erica Maira. “Today, 38 families received a bountiful boxed food supply, donated turkeys, $50 gift cards and yummy baked goods,” Maira explained with joy and gratitude. “We are all spokes in the wheel that made this come to fruition. Our teacher’s planning center donations, combined with a generous food donation from an outside organization, made this all possible.”

Laura Fair, an English teacher who organized stuffing donations for her planning center, explained: “Each teacher is assigned to a planning center, and planning centers were asked to donate a specific item for the Student Council food drive. Our planning center was assigned stuffing, so I offered to pick some up when I was at BJ’s and everyone just chipped in to pay for it. I think the seven of us ended up donating 32 boxes of stuffing. We’re happy to help,” Fair added. “We want all of our Seneca Family to enjoy Thanksgiving.”

Teachers and staff also helped with distributing the food, which was boxed and organized by Student Council members, then distributed by faculty members. For those families who were unable to pick up at Seneca, Vice Principal Sean Cassel drove from house to house, ensuring they still received their Thanksgiving dinner.

“I would like to thank whoever was so kind to bring our Thanksgiving Basket and drop it on our porch,” wrote one parent, who found a box on her steps. “It was very kind and totally unexpected, and I cannot say thank you enough. We have always been treated with such kindness, caring and respect by everyone at Seneca and we truly do feel like part of a family. Thank you all again so much, we appreciate all you do for our son and our family. Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone at Seneca!”

This is what it means to be part of the Seneca Family, explained Maira. “We take turns at the helm. This was my turn to steer. The rewards fuel my essence. I’m grateful for my Seneca Family and friends.”

In addition to the Student Council food drive, the Seneca Football team also worked to ensure community members could enjoy a Thanksgiving meal of their own this season, collecting enough food to feed 35 families.

“I would like to thank our Seneca Football Family, especially April Smith, for helping keep one of our traditions going. We collected enough food (every bag had a Turkey and all the sides) to help feed 35 families in our own community,” noted Seneca teacher and Head Football Coach Bill Fisher. “It makes you feel good that 35 families will have a Thanksgiving Day Dinner because of the work done by our players and parents! I love it. I’m a proud coach,” he added.

The Seneca Wrestling Program also worked to give back this season, collecting over 120 pounds of toiletries, essentials, and comfort items to send to our military.

Boxes of items collected by Seneca Wrestling and ROTC for military members (Photo provided)

“It all stemmed from a Facebook post,” explained Head Coach Greg Bauer. “We’ve had several kids go into the military from our program, and we’ve always taken pride in supporting our military. Last year we did a military appreciation night with the ROTC – we had singlets designed – and created a night to honor those that dedicate themselves to protecting our freedoms. Inspired, we adopted the motto of ‘valor,’ facing fear and adversity, and had that put on our singlets. It was a success and a high point in our season. That word, valor, binds us and our program, and we wanted to build upon it this year. And then COVID-19 happened. We knew we would create an opportunity to give thanks, but we had to find a new way to do it.”

Bauer continued, “Our Assistant Coach, Bob Columbo, saw a Facebook post from one of our alumni who is overseas this year. It was a quick post asking for those at home to consider sending some items, essentials and comforts from home, that military members could use and would appreciate. Bob texted me and we immediately got to work.”

Seneca wrestlers, their parents, and our ROTC began collecting items: hand wipes, gum, beef jerky, Ramen noodles. “The items began to pile up,” Bauer explained. “All of a sudden, my garage was full of stuff! I took it and mailed it all yesterday – six boxes weighing over 120 pounds. I wanted to ensure they arrived between Veteran’s Day and the holidays, for our military members to know that we’re thankful for their service and the freedoms they protect.”

Students found ways to give thanks in school too.

“Our custodians have been working tirelessly to keep our school clean and safe for our students and staff,” explained Erica Maira, so our Student Council found a way to thank them for the crucial role they play. Students created a bulletin board (filled with notes of thanks) in the hallway, sent emails to all of our custodians, and gifted them mums and baked goods. “Our mantra this year is, ‘what can we do?’” Maira added. This was just one more way students and staff found a way to give back to their Seneca family.

Bulletin board thanking Seneca custodians. (Image provided)

Finally, many teachers and guidance counselors received a moment of gratitude as they began the holiday weekend, emails thanking them for all of their hard work and dedication, for finding ways to make class fun, or for just giving students a moment to look forward to during their school day, be it in-person or remote.

“The assignment was for all of my students to reflect on their school year so far, and to really think about how their teacher, guidance counselor, coach or advisor has helped make the best out of our new school year, explained Business Teacher Kristina Foster. “There were different requirements which reflected each class, but I hope that Seneca staff members that the students chose have a smile on their faces going into Thanksgiving break.”

“I cried!” Laughed Special Education Teacher Amanda Wells, who received an email from one of her English III students. “Sometimes just hearing someone say ‘thank you’ makes it all worth it. We’re lucky to be part of the Seneca Family,” she added, “and Covid and spoil that.”

The tradition of giving back and giving thanks continues at Seneca High School, growing stronger in 2020.

About LRHSD

The Lenape Regional High School District’s four high schools – Lenape, Shawnee, Cherokee and Seneca – as well as the Sequoia Alternative Program, educate approximately 6,800 students from eight communities in Burlington County, NJ. The communities served include Evesham, Medford, Medford Lakes, Mount Laurel, Shamong, Southampton, Tabernacle, and

Woodland. The Lenape Regional District is among the highest-achieving districts in the state, with an average graduation rate of 96% and an average combined SAT score of 1144. A leader in progressive education, the LRHSD’s mission is to develop physically and emotionally healthy students who excel in an ever-changing world.

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Bright Side Feature Stories

Cherokee High School Alexa Antonelli Receives Widener University High School Leadership Award

Alexa Antonelli, junior at Cherokee High School, is the recipient of the Widener University/ NBC 10 High School Leadership Award.

The award acknowledges and honors 160 students from high schools throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Selected students are among the best and brightest future leaders who stand up for what is right, address a wrong and make a difference in their communities or schools.

“Alexa is an important leader on her field hockey and swim teams. She provides encouragement and support for her teammates, but most importantly, models outstanding character and work ethic. Alexa is exactly the type of mature, kind, and articulate student that Cherokee is proud to have represent them,” said Cherokee Guidance Counselor, Mr. Matthew McMullen.

Award recipients receive a leadership certificate and are invited to participate in a leadership development experience at Widener University.

Honorees will also receive a scholarship of $20,000 over four years should they choose to enroll at Widener University as a freshman for undergraduate studies.