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Honoring the community spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

ATLANTIC CITY - Atlantic County will honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at its 30th annual ceremony commemorating his birthday. The ceremony will feature the presentation of the Community Spirit awards to four outstanding residents who exemplify his principles through their involvement in the community and their efforts to improve the lives of their fellow citizens.

This year’s honorees will be recognized at 11 a.m. Jan. 13 at the county office building at 1333 Atlantic Ave. They include Bill and Tammy Schmincke of Egg Harbor Township and Kelsey and Kim Jackson, owners and operators of two Atlantic City restaurants.

“It is my privilege to present our Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Spirit awards to the Schminckes and the Jacksons, four compassionate individuals who are making a difference in our communities by sharing the gifts of their experiences for the betterment of all,” said County Executive Dennis Levinson. “They are tremendous representatives of the generosity of spirit that we uphold in Atlantic County.”

The Schminckes founded the Stop the Heroin organization to help educate the community and raise awareness of the heroin epidemic which contributed to nearly 1,600 drug-related deaths in New Jersey in 2015. The Schmincke’s lost their 26-year old son Steven to a heroin overdose in March 2016. The organization also raises money to help people transition to sober living after rehabilitation. In December the Schminckes opened a sober living home to help addicts overcome their addictions, “Steven’s Place,” in Pleasantville in memory of their son.

Kelsey and Kim Jackson both attended Atlantic Cape Community College prior to becoming entrepreneurs. Kelsey worked in several local restaurants, starting as a dishwasher and busboy before earning an opportunity to cook. Kim has a degree in business and a certificate in baking. They now provide internships to area culinary students at Kelsey and Kim’s Southern Cafe and Kelsey’s restaurant, both highly-acclaimed and featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and the Food Network. They also volunteer their time and talents to help raise money for culinary scholarships as members of the Professional Chefs Association as well as supporting several community organizations including Sister Jean’s Kitchen, Atlantic City Rescue Mission, and Atlantic County Youth Advocate Programs.

The keynote address will be presented by the Honorable Mark Sandson, a lifelong county resident and respected Superior Court Judge who presides over the Atlantic County Drug Court. Judge Sandson is also a 2005 MLK Community Spirit award recipient.

Seniors of Newtonville program to salute Dr. King

BUENA VISTA – The Seniors of Newtonville will sponsor a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. program at noon Jan. 16 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Center, 661 Jackson Road, Newtonville.

For information, call (609) 567-2625.

All Ireland Duet to play for Irish American Cultural Society

ABSECON - The All Ireland Duet, featuring local teenagers Haley Richardson on fiddle and Keegan Loesel on uilleann pipes, will present a program devoted to the traditional music of Ireland for the Jan. 17 meeting of the Irish American Cultural Society.

The meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, New Jersey Avenue at Mill Road.

Admission is free and open to the public.

The society is a regional organization dedicated to the study and preservation of Irish and Celtic culture and history.

For information, call (609) 927-1234.

Learn how to manage stress at Gilda’s Club

LINWOOD - Gilda’s Club South Jersey will host “Managing Stress with Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy Principles” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at 700 New Road.

Vince Stranges PhD will present the tried-and-true strategies from the Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy tradition, including mindfulness meditation, cognitive restructuring, assertive communication, and acceptance-based problem solving. The rationale for each strategy will be discussed in relation to how they can help to reduce stress. There will be an experiential component to the presentation with a brief meditation practice, in addition to discussion and time for questions.

Registration is required.

For reservations or information, call (609) 926-2699 or email adria@gildasclubsouthjersey.org.

‘Take a Day ON’ and volunteer for a Day of Service

GALLOWAY - Stockton University invites volunteers to “Take a Day ON” during Martin Luther King Day of Service on Jan. 16 with community projects in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties. Nearly 1,000 volunteers turned out for the 2016 event and organizers hope to break that record.

Volunteers may choose which activity and location are most convenient for them after first checking in at the corresponding Stockton location. They will need to provide their own transportation to sites. Volunteers can register that day – but pre-registration is preferred.

In Galloway, the day begins with registration, breakfast and project selection at 8 a.m. in the Campus Center, with a choice of projects including:

Learning about sustainable gardening and skills, then participating in a planting project.

Join members of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity to paint positive messages on rocks to be placed around Stockton, aimed at starting discussions on the importance of mental health.

Working with students and faculty and staff from Books Without Borders to assist in transporting boxes from campus storage to shipping containers. The books will be going to schools in Zimbabwe in the spring. Note: Lifting items up to 40 pounds may be required.

Making toys, arts and crafts and hand-written personal messages for Syrian children living under siege or in refugee camps, in cooperation with the Narenj Tree Foundation.

Making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, children’s dolls, door hangers and greeting cards for a variety of agencies, working with the Circle K Club, a student group affiliated with Kiwanis;

Joining a discussion on feminism and the Women’s March on Washington with the Coalition of Women’s Rights and Civic Rights.

A workshop on addiction as a disease, followed by outreach program in Galloway to distribute bags that dissolve prescription drugs for proper disposal. Note: Content may not be appropriate for young children.

Writing letters of support on behalf of victims of illegal detention, torture and other human rights abuses, part of Amnesty International’s annual “Write for Rights” campaign.

Training for hands-only CPR.

Learning how to prepare federal and state income taxes, with the opportunity of being part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in 2017.

Visiting a traveling exhibit of the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey in the Campus Center.

In Hammonton, registration, breakfast and project selection begins at 8 a.m. All activities begin from Kramer Hall, 30 Front St.

Learning CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and receiving other training and certification from the Galloway Township Ambulance at Kramer Hall.

Make Valentine cards for the residents of the local Greenbriar Nursing Center.

Helping Allies in CARING, which advocates for culturally responsive mental health services for diverse populations, to type information into their database. This project will take place at 425 N. Third St.

Assisting staff from Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University, with the organization of museum archives. This project will take place on the third floor of Hammonton Town Hall, 100 E. Central Ave.

In Manahawkin, registration, breakfast and project selection begins at 8 a.m. All activities are at 712 E. Bay Ave.

Collecting “necessity items” such as socks, wipes and toothbrushes to create bags for community members or students.

Assembling nutritional one-bag meals that include a recipe.

Making covers to protect turtle nests and by-catch reduction devices, with Project Terrapin/the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science.

In Woodbine, registration and breakfast will begin at Stockton’s Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage, 610 Washington Ave.

To register or for information, visit Stockton.edu/MLKday.

ACCC calling all high-achieving students

MAYS LANDING - Atlantic Cape Community College invites high-achieving students who seek engaging and creative learning environments to apply to its Honors Program this spring. The program enables students to develop their fullest intellectual potential as they work intensely in small classes with full-time faculty who are accomplished experts in their field.

The Honors curriculum comprises special sections of general education courses that do not require more work or any additional cost. The program emphasizes diverse perspectives, interdisciplinary coursework and greater interaction between students and professors. In Honors courses, students learn to think critically, to write well and to argue thoughtfully.

Another benefit for Honors students is the opportunity to enroll in two national honor societies with chapters at Atlantic Cape: Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa Delta. Once students graduate, their transcripts will feature an Honors course designation which is a resume builder for career, scholarships and transfer. In fact, the Honors Program well prepares students to transfer to competitive four-year colleges and universities.

For the spring semester, which begins Jan. 17, the college will offer Honors courses in Composition II, Public Speaking and Sociology. Students must apply for general admission to the college before applying to the Honors Program. Additionally, applicants must submit high school and/or college transcripts with a 3.5 minimum grade-point average, standardized test scores, a letter of recommendation, an essay and a list of achievements.

For information, email Effie Russell, professor of English and Honors Program coordinator, at russell@atlantic.edu; or Eric Stewart, program officer in the Career & Academic Planning Center, at estewart@atlantic.edu.

Stockton and ACCC sign hospitality studies partnership

GALLOWAY - Stockton University and Atlantic Cape Community College recently signed an agreement for a partnership in Hospitality Studies designed to benefit students of both institutions as well as Atlantic City residents.

Under the agreement, students from Atlantic Cape’s Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus will have access to activities at Stockton’s Atlantic City Gateway Campus, especially those run by the Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies program. Stockton students will have opportunities to take hands-on Culinary Arts classes at WACC.

Faculty from both schools will explore ways to work together to identify and/or develop classes that can be used in both curriculums, with transferable credits. The agreement also calls for both programs to sponsor and participate in hospitality and culinary arts events for the community.

“Dr. Peter Mora has been an outstanding academic leader and a great partner for Stockton in providing South Jersey residents with access to high-quality, affordable higher education,” said President Harvey Kesselman. “We look forward to building on our relationship with new, complementary hospitality and tourism programs in Atlantic City.”

“I was raised in Atlantic City - that’s my hometown, so this is especially important to me,” said Mora. He added that he was pleased to complete the agreement before he retires on Dec. 31.

He and Kesselman each said their professional relationship and friendship goes deep, and they were proud that it is culminating in expanded educational resources for both institutions.

“This provides paths to opportunity for all of our students,” Mora said. “It’s another avenue for Atlantic Cape students to get to a four-year college and is especially important to Atlantic City students.”

Kesselman noted that Atlantic Cape has “spectacular culinary facilities in Atlantic City,” which Dean Janet Wagner of the School of Business said would help add culinary training to the HTMS program.

Otto Hernandez, vice president of Academic Affairs at Atlantic Cape, said the plan is to provide “more flexibility in scheduling” between the two schools, ultimately enabling more students to complete degrees in less time.

“We will do anything we can to make it a more affordable experience for Atlantic City residents,” Kesselman said.

Stockton’s Atlantic City Gateway Project is a public-private partnership with Atlantic City Development Corp. being built at the intersection of Atlantic, Albany and Pacific avenues, with student residences overlooking the beach and Boardwalk.

The campus will include: a housing and student center on the Boardwalk for about 520 students; a parking garage topped by new offices for South Jersey Gas, with 879 parking spaces for use by Stockton, South Jersey Gas and the public; and an academic building that can accommodate up to 1,800 students.

The university plans to open the Atlantic City campus in 2018 with about 1,000 students and grow from there.

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