One of the things I would like to do more of this year is share stories in which businesses and organizations make positive impacts on the communities they serve.

Recently the JCPenney Communities Foundation awarded a $1,200 grant to Ocean’s Harbor House to help fund their Shelter and Transitional Living programs which assist homeless youth in Ocean and Monmouth counties.

The presentation was made by Helaine Franco, store manager of the JCPenney located in the Ocean County Mall and members of the store staff to John Piscal, the executive director of Ocean’s Harbor House.

The agency is celebrating its 30th anniversary of being a safe haven for young people and have served thousands of children between the ages of 10-21 in crisis.  Located in Toms River the agency operates two locations that are open 24/7/365. For more information on them visit

Kudos to JCPenney and their JCPenney Communities Foundation who have designated $4 million in grants and donations to helping underserved youth throughout the country.

A couple of quick hitters this morning:

The Shore Umpires Association is holding training classes for those interested in becoming a softball or baseball umpire and working games for both the Shore Umpires Association and NJSIAA.  Classes begin in February so now is the time to enroll.  You can do so by visiting and simply click on the “Cadet” link.

Older sister got the best of younger sister last night as the nation’s top-ranked women’s college basketball team Notre Dame rallied from an early deficit to crush Virginia Tech 80-51 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Senior Marina Mabrey scored 15 points for the Fighting Irish while freshman Dara had just 5 for the Hokies as the two former Manasquan High School stars played against one another for the first time and parents Roy and Patti were both in attendance.

Older sister Michaela, a former standout at Notre Dame, could not make the game as she’s an assistant coach at LSU.

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