By Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone
Happy August, Monmouth County! It’s hard to believe we are just a few, short weeks away from Labor Day! Soon children will be heading back to school and the cooler weather will be here. However, let’s forget about all of that now and just enjoy the remainder of this great summer season!
The Monmouth County Division of Economic Development has been hard at work this summer connecting with local members of the County’s agriculture industry, sharing with them information about Grown in Monmouth. Last week, we held our first-ever Grown in Monmouth Restaurant Week, which I am proud to say was a tremendous success. We had over 50 restaurants participate, who featured at least one dish that was made with ingredients that have been grown in Monmouth County.
During restaurant week, I had the honor of visiting multiple restaurants throughout the County. I visited Frutta Bowls in Colts Neck, Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park and 100 Ocean in Pier Village in Long Branch. During these visits, I met with the owners and chefs of each establishment and talked with them about the importance of using locally grown ingredients, all while enjoying their featured Restaurant Week dishes!
As the liaison to the County’s Division of Economic Development, I am proud that we have created an event that will promote both our local businesses and our local farmers at no cost to them. I want to thank our outstanding staff for their hard work and dedication, without which, Restaurant Week would not be possible!
On a separate note, I had the honor of attending the Christopher Reeve Foundation’s “A Day at the Beach with Reeve” at the First Avenue Beach in Asbury Park. This event celebrated the progress in beach accessibility for people with paralysis and other disabilities. During the event, they offered people free use of special wheelchairs that not only can roll onto the sand, but can also be wheeled right down into the water and stay afloat with the occupant strapped in, granting them the ability to go into the ocean.
I want to thank the Christopher Reeve Foundation for their exceptional work in improving the quality of life for individuals suffering with paralysis or other disabilities. I also want to thank all of the donors and volunteers who made this event possible.
Additionally, I had the honor of joining Sheriff Shaun Golden and fellow Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation’s “Future Smart Home of a Wounded Veteran” groundbreaking in honor of Afghanistan War Veteran Scott Nokes. Cpl. Nokes is a Marine who was seriously injured in Afghanistan.
This organization does outstanding work to honor our military and first responders who have and continue to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I want to thank Kathy Cunningham and the volunteers of Team Shamrock for their commitment to helping those who serve our great nation.
Lastly, I want to remind everyone that the IAATO’s 43rd Annual Italian Festival in Ocean Township will be taking place this week from Wednesday, August 7th through Sunday, August 11th at Joe Palaia Park. This great festival, which offers free admission, celebrates Italian Heritage and Culture. There will be rides, fireworks, games, raffles, Italian delights and so much more! I look forward to seeing you all there!
As always, it’s a privilege to serve as your Freeholder Director.