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FREE, Please Take One

Volume 1 • Issue 1 • May 2018


Share Their Stories For Mother’s Day

A Shining “Star” in Mt. Olive Phyllis Shelton

A Staple At Mt. Olive High Shool Jim McDermott

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Welcome to Mt. Olive Life! Thank you for reading this premier issue of “Mt. Olive Life.” Mt. Olive is such a great place to work, live and play. There is so much here for the residents to enjoy that we have decided to dedicate a magazine to Mt. Olive. The people that make up this community are caring people who never hesitate to help others in need. Our goal is to provide you with articles about people, places and things all Mt. Olive. Each month you can pick up a copy of the magazine at local businesses or visit and sign up for a free emailed copy that will be sent directly to your email. “Mt. Olive Life” is the sister publication of “The Mt. Olive News” that you have been receiving in your mailboxes since 2004. In this first issue you will find articles on Mt. Olive mothers, in honor of Mother’s Day, from different walks of life. Our own Phyllis Shelton, who is known as the Peacock lady as she lives in Old Flanders by the Peacock crossing, is also featured in this issue. There is a lot more to Shelton and her colorful past that makes for a great read. Bagels anyone? With four bagels shops in our little community what makes them all so different? Each issue will feature a department in Mt. Olive Twp. to give you a better understanding of what it does and what services it

provides. There are many other articles as well that we hope you will enjoy. We are also asking our readers to send us in photos and information on your life events, parties, birthdays, weddings, engagements or any other milestones. You can send them to editor@ We welcome your feedback as well to the same email. You can also visit our website or on Facebook under “Mt Olive Life.” Please support our advertisers in our publications as they make this magazine and our newspapers available free to all with their advertising support. We want to help the local businesses and your support of them is appreciated. Thank you for choosing “Mt. Olive Life” to read and enjoy. Joe Nicastro & Mary Lalama

To receive your free copy of Mt. Olive Life direct to your email visit and sign up!

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Don’t Let Allergies Get The Best Of You This Season

don’t know about you, but I’m thinking spring cannot come soon enough… especially after the unexpected, late season, blizzards! Spring brings longer days, budding flowers, sunshine and warmer weather. Along with the beautiful flowers, spring also brings pollen and allergens! For some, these allergens can wreak havoc. If you’re someone who suffers from allergies, you might dread the spring season. Seasonal allergies can cause a multitude of nagging symptoms including: runny nose, itchy and/or red irritated eyes, stuffy nose/congestion, sneezing, scratchy throat and itchiness. If you suffer from any of the above, I’m here to tell you that there is a solution! Believe it or not, Acupuncture can help you to enjoy the spring again! So, you might be asking how can Acupuncture help? Acupuncture relieves symptoms of allergies by diminishing the body’s inflammatory response, without the unwanted side effects. It helps to open nasal passages, reduces sinus pressure, calms itching, decreases throat pain, coughing and sneezing. Here’s the catch… it’s always best to begin treatment before the season begins. It

is better to prevent symptoms then try to tackle them when they are in full effect. In addition to Acupuncture treatment, you can help yourself at home with these simple tips: Flush out allergens with a Neti pot, keep windows closed to prevent allergens from entering your home, try an air filter, vacuum and dust often to elimi-

nate pollen in your home, eat local honey daily, take an omega-3 supplement, boost immunity by eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies and eliminate processed foods. For more information on Acupuncture and Allergies call Mount Olive Acupuncture & Wellness 973-527-7978; www.

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• Insomnia • Menopause symptoms • Migraines • Morning Sickness and Hyperemesis • Musculoskeletal pain • Nausea • Orthopedic Conditions • Pain • PMS & Menstrual Irregularities • Reproductive Issues • Sports Injuries • Stress • Tendonitis • Smoking Cessation • Weight management

1 OLD WOLFE ROAD • SUITE 208 • BUDD LAKE • 973-527-7978 • Text 862-258-1154 Kearstin Saya-Tripi, LAc

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Mt. Olive Moms Offer Advice As Holiday Approaches

By Cheryl Conway


ver spring break my daughter baked some of her yummy snicker-doodles, couple dozen at least to share with her five siblings and extra, of course, for my parents living in the next town over. So we jumped in the car, with as many of my kids in tow I could find, to deliver the fresh baked cookies to my mom and dad. On the way, it struck me, and I said to them: “I hope when I’m older and stuck in the house, you bring your kids over with some delicious treats and smiles from time to time.” I recall as a kid my parents would drag me and my three siblings to Brooklyn, N.Y., just about every Sunday to visit my grandmothers. There was no need for a special holiday, dinner or big meal, we just visited to bring groceries, eat deli and just spend time together. While we don’t visit my parents as often as we should, nor my in-laws in Maryland- as our busy lives get in the way- we try to honor them, call them and be in their lives as much as we can. Most parents would agree that one of our biggest responsibilities is to serve as positive role models and teach and guide our kids how to be respectful, caring and loving individuals. With Mother’s Day upon us, Sunday, May 13, many are planning to keep tradition by spending some time with their moms. Celebrations of mothers can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and to the 19th century in the United States, when Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start Mothers’ Day Work Clubs to teach local women proper child care, according to historical sites. When Ann Jarvis died in 1905, her daughter, Anna Jarvis, conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. It has been 100 years since Anna- who was unmarried and childless- organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in 1908 at a Methodist church in Grafton, W.

Va. She made sure the holiday was added to the national calendar when she argued that American holidays were biased toward male achievements; she started a massive letter writing campaign urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood. By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. While some use Mother’s Day to promote political or feminist causes, and hold marches, many moms spend the day with their children and grandchildren. It is a big day for cards, flowers and eating out. Meet some moms of Mt. Olive In Mt. Olive, families come in all shapes and sizes, from large families with nine children, to the average two children. There are single moms, new moms, expecting moms, grandmas and great-grandmas, mothers of twins, mothers as empty nesters, mothers of children with a disability or disease, working moms, stay-at-home moms and even women with no children. But the one thing we all have in common, is we all have a mom somewhere, whether we know her or not, whether she is still on earth or in our hearts. “Mt. Olive Life” wishes everyone a happy healthy Mother’s Day and may the tradition continue for the next 100 years. The pages that follow will shine some light on just some of the moms of Mt. Olive. They each offer some insight on how they manage motherhood and what Mother’s Day means to them. So far in 2018, there have been 48 births to women living in either Budd Lake or Flanders. According to Michele Doucette, secretary of the Mt. Olive Twp. Board of Health, there were 18 births in January, 11 births in February, and 19 births in March by female residents in Mt. Olive.


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Mt. Olive Moms Mother of nine thankful for her blessings

Fraida Shusterman with her son Zalmy.

Shusterman family.

Fraida Shusterman of Flanders for the past 14 years has one of the newest arrivals in town, born March 12. But motherhood is nothing new to this 41-year old mother of nine. Shusterman’s kids range from 18 years old to newborn. With six boys and three girls they are 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 4, 2 and newborn. While many moms would say juggling more than two kids is a challenge, raising nine takes a bit more strategy. Many ask her how she does it? Shusterman’s response: “To prioritize and do what’s most important right now.” With the help of her husband, Rabbi Yaacov Shusterman, the two share in taking care of their kids’ needs. They determine, “Who needs attention right now? Who needs private time right now? Who do we need to take care of right now? It’s impossible to take care of everything at once. I think about what’s important today; who needs me today, right now?” While taking care of her family is significant, Shusterman points out that taking care of herself is just as necessary. “I have to take care of myself first,” says Shusterman. “I need to eat a good breakfast,” with gluten free foods available since she is gluten free. She also makes sure to exercise, lift weights and set aside time for prayer. “I always make time to pray,” says Shusterman. “I pray to have success in this role and be successful in my goals.” It also helps to have “good peer support” such as parents, extended family and friends, research new ideas and approach each day with an “open mind” and “being flexible.” Shusterman realizes, “Life is not going to be perfect. With us, life is hectic. You’re not going to have a perfect looking house.” Married couples need to support each other in their childrearing and share in the responsibilities at home. Being “on the same page, that’s very important,” says Shusterman about her husband. “He is my backbone, he’s my support,” says Shusterman. “There’s nothing I don’t do without consulting him first. He’s an active participant,” if he has to cook, clean, help with homework. Having a large family is not unusual to the Shustermans. She has 12 siblings, her husband has 10. “We do just what our moms and dads have done,” she says, using strategies such as buying in bulk, having a laundry system,

utilizing outside cleaning, assigning chores to the kids according to ability and cooking in advance. She has to weigh what is more important, having kids smiling or having a neat house. “When my kids are happy, that’s having a successful household,” and if that fails, “I know I have the next day to be successful,” she says. “Having a large family is a tremendous blessing,” Shusterman realizes, and she is so thankful “for these wonderful children, these wonderful blessings.” With all that is entailed in caring for a large family, Shusterman says “I enjoy being a mother. A mother’s natural makeup is to be a caregiver, to nurture. I really enjoy nurturing my children and taking care of their needs.” Some of her fondest memories include babies’ first smile; that “flicker of recognition that I’m their mom;” and when her four year old, who likes to give her kisses and hugs, says she smells like “sugar coated strawberries.” As far as celebrating Mother’s Day, Shusterman says “We have so many opportunities to celebrate a mother. Every day God commands us to honor thy parents.” With that, Shusterman says she is always getting surprises from her kids such as flowers, cards, hugs. “When Mother’s Day comes around my kids will make me a card, maybe some flowers,” she says, and even a coupon book from her daughter claiming chores to be done. “My kids will let me nap. They do it all the time. When Hashem (God) is commanding them to do it, it’s in the Ten Commandments; here it’s coming from a higher source, not because mom and dad said so. It’s mother’s day and father’s day all the time. Every day we are supposed to honor thy parents.” Shusterman offers some advice to new moms or moms-to-be: “Your baby is going to cry; it might be tough sometimes but it’s all going to be worth it. When that baby smiles at you, you’re going to melt away. The hard times will pass, you will have a beautiful loving child.” She also shares a thought of what her grandmother passed on to her. “The children you have- it’s your beautiful flower garden.


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Mt. Olive Moms

ily.” My grandma always used to call us her The Shustermans, who like to go hikflower garden. We always felt so loved. ing, get to “experience nature and more “You have different flowers-they all of God’s handiwork,” she says. “It’s cleanbring something different into the family.” er air; there are parks,” that are cleaner, One can be in a bad mood, “and give you free of litter and a lot emptier than urban a grouchy look; but someone else might parks. “It’s so much more relaxed with be smiling. Think about the good things; open space; the kids are raised more rethink about the blessing you will have. It’s laxed.” all part of my flower garden.” As Chabad Hassidim, the Shustermans Part of her goals in being a mother is to “are committed to Chabad’s mission to “lay the foundation for the children,” she look for a place that’s not thriving in Jewsays. A “Jewish mother is the most importish life. We wanted to come here,” says ant person in the house. She’s charged Shusterman who recently returned to her with the mission of preserving Judaism,” by carrying on traditions, prayer, morals, Fraida Shusterman with her daughters Esther part-time job as a fourth grade English teacher at the Rabbinical College in Morpeace. and Mushka at Mushka’s school play. ristown, a job she has had for the past 15 Being a positive role model is also key. “Kids watch everything we do as parents,” says Shusterman. years. With three away at school, six still live at home and the two “They remember everything; values are caught, not taught.” While “We try, no one’s perfect, parents have to be role mod- little ones attend day care at her work. During her spare time, Shusterman helps her husband run els; how we speak, what we speak about. Kids are smart.” a Hebrew school through the Chabad, teaches a Torah class for Raising her family in Mt. Olive has also been a blessing. Shusterman, who grew up in the city, appreciates the quiet, women and organizes holiday programs in the community as well as Shabbat dinners. clean air and nature that surrounds her. “I help my husband in his role as rabbi to energize, enrich, en“Living in Mt. Olive is so full of nature,” with its mountains, hills, forests and lakes. “It brings such an added peace to the fam- lighten other Jewish souls,” she says.

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Mt. Olive Moms New mom looks forward to first Mother’s Day

Alyson Sunyak and her daughter Gretchen Ross.

Almost six months ago, Alyson Sunyak, 30, of Budd Lake became a mom when her daughter Gretchen Ross was born Nov. 16, 2017. For Mother’s Day she is looking forward to carrying on the tradition she has shared with her mom. “Every year we go to this plant farm in Mansfield,” says Sunyak. “We’ve been doing this every year since I was little.” When they visit, they pick out 20 different annuals to plant at her mom’s house. “We all do” the planting, she says. “The guys don’t like to but you can make them do whatever you want for Mother’s Day.” This year, she will bring her new baby to join in the fun. A year ago, this Mother’s Day, Sunyak announced to her parents that she was going to be a mom. “It was a very exciting time,” she recalls. “Last year was very nice; I knew I was going to be a mom so I had a new appreciation of my mom.” Born and raised in Budd Lake, Sunyak just moved back to her parents’ house- Ronald and Doria Klypka- after being away for five years. After getting her bachelor’s in psychology from Montclair, she moved out to California. “I wanted to explore,” she says, “but I missed my mom so I wanted to come back.” That was when she started dating Stephen, also a life-long resident of Mt. Olive, who she had reconnected with at a Morristown club three years ago. They both graduated Mt. Olive High School in 2006 but were not friends. “I knew him,” says Sunyak, but “he was part of the popular crowd.” This August she will be married two years to Stephen. “My husband is definitely a big help,” says Sunyak. “I don’t know what I’d do without him.” She says they are “always splitting everything 50/50,” especially since she returned in March to work

Alyson and Stephen Sunyak.

in a human resources department for an appliance manufacturing company in Parsippany. “We are both cooking and cleaning.” He has also been her emotional support. “The beginning weeks were very hard,” she admits, when it came to learning how to take care of a newborn and not sleeping. Using her instincts, looking things up and “letting nature take its course has been helpful and not stressing out over the little things,” she adds. When asked what she has enjoyed the most so far as a new mom, she replies: “Everything. I like seeing her every day, seeing her grow and learn everything. She likes being outside, I like being outside. It’s just so innocent how she looks at the world; it makes you appreciate life.” Her fondest moment so far with her baby is “she just started to learn how to hug. She’ll just kind of hug me to feel safe when someone approaches me. She’s starting to learn who I am.” Sunyak’s mother-in-law, Debbie Sunyak of Randolph, has been watching her baby since Sunyak returned to work, along with her 5-year old grandson and 3-year old granddaughter. “She’s getting to know her cousins which is really nice,” says Sunyak. Her advice to new moms is to “go with the flow” especially with breast feeding. “Just be patient with everything; everything will happen eventually.” Also, “enjoy every moment. They say it goes by fast, but it really does.” While she is not involved too much locally, Sunyak is part of a Mt. Olive moms group on Facebook which has been helpful. She is happy she came back home to settle her new family. Her parents’ house sits on a lot of acres, with nature and a stream to raise her kids. “I do like the lake,” she says. “I have a boat; I did grow up on the lake.” She also likes Turkey Brook Park and she “knows the schools are very good.”

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Mt. Olive Moms

Single mom succeeds through hard work

Doreen Serpico with her daughters Alzalia, on left, and Madison, in center.

Out of all her jobs, Serpico says “being a mom is my favorite job. Seeing my children experience life and their accomplishments; I love seeing their accomplishments; I love seeing them grow up; I love seeing them grow into young beautiful ladies. Yes, it’s extremely stressful, but it’s the most rewarding.” Raising her two girls as a single mom has been challenging at times, but Doreen Serpico of Budd Lake cherishes her role and is most pleased so far by the outcome. Serpico, 50, and her two teenage girls- Azalia, 18, and Madison, 16- have lived in Mt. Olive for 18 years. The past six years have been in their current home in Budd Lake; and the 12 years prior were in Flanders. The father of her girls, who she never married, lived with them for five years and now resides in Pennsylvania. On her own for the past 14 years, Serpico has been happy raising her kids in Mt. Olive. “I loved the lake when it was open and I met so many people when I first moved here,” says Serpico. “Budd Lake is just so beautiful; I can see the lake from my house. I’m so proud of where I live. I get so surprised when people say they know the lake.” The parks are great too. “I absolutely love Turkey Brook Park,” says Serpico. “I wish I had [young] kids to take to the Splash Pad. The park is gorgeous. The football stadium [at Mt. Olive High School] is awesome.” Serpico explains, “As a mom taking my kids to the park, to the lake, it’s really nice to have a place to go to conversate and meet other moms and other kids. I’m so proud to say ‘I live here.’ I live in a beautiful town.” Just as pleased with the schools, Serpico says, “The schools have wonderful programs,” such as the Rock-N-Roll Academy that Azalia was involved in before graduating, top-notch robotics program and supportive teachers. Having helpful neighbors and resources she could count on in the township and county has been beneficial. “Don’t be too proud to ask for help,” Serpico advises other moms, “so many people out there who are willing to help. If you’re having a hard time, ask for help. My church helped me, my mom helped me. At times I took it on by myself. There are so many people out there, so many resources out there.” When needed, she has counted on the Mt. Olive Food Pantry when she was unemployed , municipal building for Christmas

Doreen Serpico

presents and Arms Around Morris County for presents as well as backpacks filled with school supplies. “It’s been challenging,” says Serpico who has worked full-time for the past five years as a staff assistant for children with special needs at Morris Hills High School in Rockaway during the school year. On top of that, Serpico waitresses part-time every weekend at the Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and as a camp counselor in the summer teaching arts and crafts for the past eight years at Warren Twp. Playground Camp. What’s been great about the six week camp is Serpico’s girls got to attend the camp for free, and get to work there as paid counselors now that they are older. Azalia’s been a counselor there for the past three years, and this summer Madison will be promoted as a counselor-in-training to a paid counselor. Having support from her mom, MaryAnn McKenzie in Long Branch, has been priceless. “My mom has always been my rock,” says Serpico. “She’s always been there for me,” whether financially or for advice. “Having that support system is huge.” For Mother’s Day, Serpico likes to spend the day with her girls or visit her mom. “Our tradition has been to go out to dinner,” she says, or she may “bring up an old tradition that my father and I used to do. We used to go to The Bronx Zoo. I love going to the zoo; I like doing anything outside.” Whatever she decides, she will not repeat last year’s Mother’s Day. “I got yelled at last year because I worked,” she says. “I most definitely am not going to work this year.” While her zealous ways are sometimes frowned upon, Serpico has been the perfect role model for her girls. “Being that I worked two jobs, both my girls help me,” says Serpico. “They both clean. I have help from very two responsible kids. Maddie dusts; Azalia vacuums. They both do their own


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Mt. Olive Moms laundry; Azalia’s been doing that since for 25 years after earning her bachelor’s in she’s seven.” package design from Fashion Institute of To add to her plate, Serpico was diagTechnology. She then went on to get her nosed in 2006 at the age of 38 with fibroeducation certification from Centenary myalgia, which causes pain in the nerve College. endings. “There’s no cure; it’s very painful. As far as good qualities moms should My whole body shut down,” she recalls as possess, patience, open communication she was unable to do laundry, carry groand honesty top her list. ceries when Azalia was 7 and Madison was “I am so blessed that I have kids that 4. have shared with me; that we do have “I was having to cook sitting on a stool open lines of communication. It scares me in the kitchen,” she describes. “I couldn’t what’s out here today.” walk. My kids had to be very independent Serpico continues to set goals for hersince they were little. Having very responself as a mom. sible, mature children at a young age has “I’m hard on my kids,” Serpico admits, helped me and has helped them. Showing as “my father has been hard on me. I try your kids responsibility and a good work not to push them too hard; you want to ethic,” pays off in the end. “My girls both coddle them, but you don’t want to coddle have very good work ethics because they them too much.” see it in me.” She hopes for “an easier balance, to As other advice, Serpico suggests that understand their limits and listen to them moms “Take it day by day and enjoy your more; to let them achieve their goals and time with the kids. Don’t rush it. They their limits. I want them to grow to their grow up way too fast. You can’t take life abilities and not push them too much as too seriously; you really have to smell the Doreen’s daughters, Azalia and Madison. I know they have it in them. Both of them roses because life is too short. Enjoy the time as a mom with your have a little bit of me; both of them have a little bit of their dad.” kids. When they go off to college, there’s no feeling like those heart strings being pulled,” how she felt last year when Azalia left for Monmouth University in West Long Branch. “I have that emptiness,” she admits. “I’m ok in my own skin but I have a hard time being by myself. It’s really scary how fast the time has gone. Enjoy the time; live life to the fullest even when they’re grown. Spend time with them. I love being with my kids. I’ll spend the night playing games with them and even with their friends. I still go to Dorney Park with my kids every summer. We still do things together; I’m a big kid.” In fact, one of her fondest memories was when her mom surprised her and the girls and took them to Disney World for the week. Other enjoyable times have been the car rides, “the singing in the car; us singing Hannah Montana; I know all the words.” Out of all her jobs, Serpico says “being a mom is my favorite job. Seeing my children experience life and their accomplishments; I love seeing their accomplishments; I love seeing them grow up; I love seeing them grow into young beautiful ladies. Yes, it’s extremely stressful, but it’s the most rewarding.” While she learned to ask for help along the way, Serpico finds time to give back, like when she volunteered with the PTA and did face painting at the Mt. Olive Public Library, as well as in Mendham and Montville. “Kids would come in and I would come as a face painter,” for their summer reading kick off program. She called her business: Reen’s Fun Faces. She used to offer her service for free then started charging at schools and camps. Creative by profession, Serpico had worked as an art director

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Mt. Olive Moms When children leave the nest, a mom’s work never ends As a mother of two, Gloria Andrich of Budd Lake for the past 18 years, manages to stay in touch with her grown kids. Pete is now 23 and works full time and Jamie is 20 and in her second year of college. “I take an interest in my kids’ everyday life by engaging in conversation with them,” says Andrich, 51. “Pete works in NYC, at JP Morgan Chase, and his days are long. But, I always ask him about his day, every day; same with Jamie. She is away at college but, we connect every day…even if it’s just for a few minutes.” Although they are pretty much out of the house as young adults, Andrich says “I have definitely modified my role, as mom, over the years, as they have grown. With the kids a little older and more independent I have free time to create a better version of myself. I’ve done this by exercising regularly and by further educating myself

Gloria Andrich, with her son Pete and daughter Jamie.

with regards to my profession. In addition, I have some free time do nice things for others. Just recently, I planned a wedding shower for a friend.” When Andrich’s oldest left for college, she found a way to stay in his life. “When Pete left for college the summer of 2013, I stood in front of my bathroom mirror and cried,” she describes. “Thinking four years is a long time. But, the time flew by. Pete’s school and wrestling schedule allowed him some free time on Wednesdays. So, I would venture into Hoboken and we would have lunch together. We dined at some pretty fun places in Hoboken, over the years, plus it gave me the chance to give him a hug. Then, when it was time for Jamie to go away to college, the experience with Pete, made for an easier send off with Jamie. My best advice is, deal with the college transition in your own way. Everyone has a different way of coping with things, so don’t be afraid to do what makes you feel good. If visiting, calling or face-timing is what you need to do, then do it. Your kids will understand!” As life changes, so does her busy role as a mom, but Andrich enjoys being a mom, past and present, and is happy she raised them with her husband, Jimmy, in Mt. Olive. “It’s a safe town, schools are stellar and it’s been an overall nice experience raising our kids here,” says Andrich, who works as an insurance/financial professional selling Life, Long Term Care & Disability Insurance & Annuities. “I have truly enjoyed all of it,” says Andrich. “Sports fill my mind with a lot of fond and happy memories. Pete’s wrestling days and Jamie’s soccer days are, without a doubt, very memorable.” Even today, “I enjoy hearing about their successes,


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Mt. Olive Moms accomplishments and just things they do every day,” says Andrich. dren,” says Andrich. “It’s not so easy to raise children who turn “It excites me when Jamie face-times me or when she includes me into responsible, respectful adults because that takes time, effort in a conversation with her friends, or when Pete fills me in on his and a lot of hard work. I would suggest, moms, let the kids help work day or commute. Little things like that, just make my day and around the house. Encourage them to get a summer job so they make me smile. feel what it’s like to earn something, this way they learn a sense of She offers advice to other moms: “Don’t just go through the accomplishment. Both Pete and Jamie had jobs at 14. Pete saved motions. Enjoy it, take it all in, love life and pay attention to them. enough money to buy his car at the age of 17, as did Jamie. Have a sit down dinner as often as you can, put down the cell “I keep things in check and real by teaching my kids the value phone and just listen to what the kids have to say. of a dollar,” she adds. “I’ve always been a big a big bargain hunter Also get involved. and a few years back I got into estate sales. Pete sometimes tags “Over the years I’ve gotten inalong as he likes to collect sports “I have truly enjoyed all of it,” says Andrich. volved with soccer clubs/groups memorabilia. But most imporand wrestling clubs,” she says. tantly, he has learned the value “Sports fill my mind with a lot of fond and happy “It’s fun to join in and get involved of money. He sees what it’s like memories. Pete’s wrestling days and Jamie’s soccer days in whatever your kids are doing at to get nice things at a reasonable are, without a doubt, very memorable.” that time in their life. Don’t sit price.” on the sidelines and just watch. It’s so much more rewarding when you’re actively involved. It’s something you will always be glad you did! And, if you have a little time in the evening, to take care of yourself, the Mt. Olive Exercise program/class is where you will find me, just about every night of the week. You will definitely meet a lot of great moms there, so try it out.” Andrich also offers her strategy on raising respectful responsible kids, as well as an organized household. “Our world is rapidly changing – it’s easy to raise spoiled chil-

Andrich is looking forward to spending time with her kids and mom this Mother’s Day. “I usually invite my mom and dad over for a late morning breakfast,” she says. “My kids always surprise me with my favorite flowers or a lovely gift accompanied by a hand written card. Then I spend the remainder of the day relaxing.” While she says one of her favorite Mother’s Days from years past was when she dined at Carmine’s in NYC, she typically hangs around the house while enjoying the beautiful spring weather. “Normally, my mother’s day is pretty low key.”

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Mt. Olive Moms Mother of two manages on her own With two in college, Marilyn Foushee of Budd Lake hopes her kids are home in time to spend Mother’s Day with her. Her 21-year old daughter Brittany attends Boston University as a junior and her son Brandon, 18, is in his first year at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. While relaxing or a massage is always a treat for this 48 year old, Foushee says she will probably venture into the city to visit her mom, Mireya, in Manhattan. “We will most likely cook a home cooked meal” at her mom’s, says Foushee. “She would rather have her family there on Mother’s Day. I know that makes her happy. I’ll make her a special cake, something unique and special for her.” Her kids typically “like to take me out to eat and most likely take me to the mall to buy me clothing.” But “I think this year because my grandmother passed we might spend some time with my mom.” Her maternal grandma of Manhattan died last October at the age of 94; her fraternal grandma is 95, living in the Dominican Republic. Foushee has lived in Budd Lake for the past 20 years; when she divorced her husband 13 years ago after ten years of marriage, he moved down the street three houses down and they had shared custody. When their son graduated high school last year, her ex moved to Georgia. “Dad was always involved in their lives,” says Foushee.

Marilyn Foushee’s kids, Brittany and Brandon.

While she had to manage her own household and her kids, Foushee says she never really considered herself a single mom. “I don’t really think about it as being a single mom,” says Foushee. “It’s about being a mother; it isn’t any different than being married. Your job as a mom never ends. You just do it.” Mothers “always sacrifice yourselves.” Mowing or plowing the driveway was a non-issue as she always had a landscape person and her son helped. It was some of the smaller stuff like interMarilyn Foushee net glitches, grilling or changing a light bulb or an alarm. “Ugh I got to get a ladder?” she’d think to herself. Having shared custody did have a benefit as “you got a break,” she says. “I could sign up for a class,” like the baking one she did 10 years ago at Michaels that led to her own business: Expressions by Marilyn, specializing in gourmet cakes and cupcakes. She had signed her kids up for a craft class there, and became friendly with the instructor who motivated her to sign up for a cake decorating course. “I said ‘You don’t understand, I don’t even cook,’” recalls Foushee. “She said ‘You got to do this.’” So Foushee did, made some friends and signed up for three more classes, once a week for four weeks. “I like the cake baking class,” she realizes. Her cousin made her Facebook page, her sister got her business cards and a magnet on the side of her car and Foushee was on her way as an entrepreneur, in addition to her full time career as a compliance analyst for Chubb Insurance and a mom, of course. Thinking back to Mother’s Days from earlier years, Foushee’s favorite moments was “when the kids would try to make me breakfast in bed. They’d say ‘no, don’t get out of bed.’” She also enjoyed the handcrafted cards and special gifts they would make. One of her most memorable moments was when her son wrote on her card: “You are the third best mom in the world.” As her heart sank, “I was like ‘huh?’” She had just gone through the divorce and was thinking her son chose his dad’s girlfriend over her. She soon learned that the “mind of a second grader’ came into play: “You have your mom and your grandmas, that’s why I’m like the third mom.” Foushee laughs, “We still tease him til this day; he was counting my grandma, then his grandma and then me. I just thought I lost rank.” Having patience, faith and love has guided Foushee in her success as a mom. “It’s the most important job in the world,” she says. “Love comes naturally; it’s unconditional love.” Moms need a lot of patience, especially having a baby


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Mt. Olive Moms who is just learning everything, to a toddler- “they don’t know how to tie their shoes yet.” They also need faith in themselves as mothers. “It comes so fast,” she says. “You are holding them and you hope you are doing it right.” Moms need to have faith “that you are raising them to be responsible citizens of the community and the world at large.” Seeing where they are in their lives now, Foushee is proud. “Watching the fruits of my labor grow into young adults, you sit back and realize you did good,” she says. “At this stage of my life, they’re in college, you can breathe, look back” at all of the activities she brought them to, karate for Brandon, gymnastics for Brittany, story-times at the Mt. Olive Public Library, swimming lessons at Budd Lake Beach, and help with homework. She thinks of where they are now, “it’s kind of scary,” she says, since “they’re in Brittany, Marilyn and Brandon. big cities.” Although she does not know “how they get from point A to point B, she has faith: “They’ll figure it out.” She recognizes her lower food bills, quiet house, has cereal when cooking is out and goes to bed without the “buzzing” when they are home, yet looks forward when they return. “That first month,” after her son left for college, “you could hear a creek in the attic; then you get used to the quietness.” Although they are away, she realizes her goals as a mom continues: “Keep them alive, healthy and feed them: to make sure they are healthy and happy. I want to see them flourish and prosper; to see them successful in life and whatever paths they choose.” Brandon is studying photography and Brittany neuroscience with plans to continue to grad school. Foushee offers advice to other moms. She says, “live in the present,” and “never be afraid to ask for help whether you need some time or don’t understand something. As moms we think we can do it all.” She says it is good to take advice from other moms, but at the same time “take it all in with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, you know what’s best for you.” Set a good example. “You have to be the example,” says Foushee, to teach them honesty, respect of others and “have moral compass” as well as religion. “I was never one of those moms to put a calendar up, but because I always worked, I had to be respectful of time. “Great organization skills transferred from my career to running a successful household. I run my household just like I run my projects, on time and under budget.”

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Mt. Olive Moms Local mom supports March of Dimes

Frangione Family

Lisa Frangione, 40, of Budd Lake for the past 11 years, has two children: Benjamin, 11, and Sam 12. She had tried for a third five years ago, but lost the fetus during her second trimester at 20 weeks when her water broke. “By the time I got to the hospital, there was no heartbeat,” says Frangione. “Everything was fine. There was no sign of anything wrong.” She was even at the doctor’s the day before. Frangione was diagnosed with Fifth disease at the time but that was not determined to have caused the miscarriage. She had found out the sex, a girl, and she named her Sophia. Following her loss, Frangione did try again but two early miscarriages followed. To cope, Frangione’s 8-year old daughter at the time “wanted to do something” as she “thought when people die you have a funeral.” Frangione came up with the idea to form a team and walk for the March of Dimes to support women having full-term births and healthy babies. As team captain and member of the Family Planning Committee for the walk, Frangione has been walking in The Skylands March For Babies in Sussex County for the past four years. In the last one just held April 29, Frangione and her family raised more than $3,000 and at least $2,000 to $3,000 every year. With 10 members on her team, they raise even more dollars. Frangione, who used to collect donations through Facebook, switched to fundraisers two years ago. “We like it better,” says Frangione, “it’s turned into a community thing. It’s an overwhelming response.” She just held her second annual Egg My House this past Easter, a fundraiser in which eggs are stuffed with candy and toys and then hidden on designated properties. People pay $50 for 100 eggs, or $25 for 50 eggs. “This year we had 40 people come to stuff eggs,” says Frangi-

one, on St. Patrick’s Day. Seven families came out the night before to put the eggs out on about 100 homes in mostly Mt. Olive, as well as in Long Valley and Hackettstown. “It’s really fun delivering,” she says. They go out about 8:30 p.m. Saturday night before Easter to hide the eggs on the properties. “We get so many donations; we pay if forward,” she says. This year they stuffed 6,000 eggs and raised $2,500. When she realized she was 1,400 eggs short, the mayor posted on his Facebook page the need for more eggs. Within one hour two strangers went out and came to her house to drop off 1,500 eggs. One lady bought out all the eggs from CVS, and a man bought out Walmart. Candy for the eggs this year was also donated. “Everyday people would just show up at my house with candy,” she says. “Some are friends, some are strangers.” Overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and Mt. Olive, Frangione donates the extra. This year she was able to make Easter baskets for 10 families “who need extra cheer.” She even has extra eggs for next year after an anonymous person dropped off another 1,500 new eggs in cases at her door post one day after the event, and another 1,000 eggs the next day. “The part of giving back is what is amazing,” she says. “So many generous people that were able to give back and help others.” People had asked, on Facebook prior to the event: “Who is the egg lady” When is the egg lady doing her thing?” Groups in town, such as her daughter’s volleyball team, as well as Girl Scouts have offered to help out. It is this community that is “always generous and willing to help out,” that Frangione likes about Mt. Olive. She also applauds the recreation department and all its family events, as well as the “top notch” facilities and parks. One may see her on the soccer field in the afternoon this Mother’s Day at her son’s game, followed by dinner.

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Mt. Olive Moms “In general, I like to be relaxed on Mother’s Day with my mom,” rather than doing anything too extravagant. “The past couple of years, my life’s been dictated by sports,” she laughs. Her favorite Mother’s Day was about seven years ago when she hosted a barbecue for her whole family and husband’s family with grandparents and grandchildren. “It was a really nice Mother’s Day to have,” she says. “It was a lot of work for me” but “it was a really great day.” She credits her success as a mom by “having support,” which used to be her parents when the kids were younger; “now it’s my neighbors.” She says the “advice and support from other moms and support from your husband helps in your success as a mother.” At the same time, “You have to do what works for your family; it doesn’t matter what other people are doing,” stay at home mom or working mom, breast feeding or formula. “Trust your gut and do what’s best for your family. Sleep when baby sleeps; hire a cleaning lady if you can afford it. There’s no right or wrong.” She advises other moms to “lead by example; don’t let teachable moments pass you by; listen to your kids.” She suggests when they come forth with a problem; guide them to make the right choice.

To help manage the household, she does delegate chores. “Mom does not do everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t do it all.” She and her family use the Cozi calendar app on their phones which helps them organize everything from weekly activities, to meal planning and even grocery lists. Her goals moving forward: “I want to raise my kids to be successful, respectful, kind and independent adults. Give them the tools so they can succeed in the world.” She enjoys most “The pride in seeing them successful, seeing them be happy and doing what they love. Growing up I always wanted to be a mom and have kids.” And it’s not always about taking them to the “extravagant” places. “Disney is awesome,” she says, “but going on a hike or roasting marshmallows in the backyard, sitting by the fire, those are some of my favorite moments.” Outside of being a mom, Frangione works as a pediatric physical therapist treating kids privately in her home through age three in her business Motion Matters, LLC. She treats kids born prematurely or have been diagnosed with conditions such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or are blind. She also works full time as a supervisor for an early intervention agency, has served on parent associations at her kids’ schools, is a member of the Mt. Olive Chamber of Commerce and hopes get more involved in township groups. Being involved with what the kids are involved in and local groups is a “good way to network,” with other moms.

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Mt. Olive Moms Carry your mom in your heart, even when she is gone

That is what Mary Lalama of Flanders is doing since losing her mom about six months ago at the age of 84. As a resident of Mt. Olive for the past 14 years, Lalama’s parents had moved to town the same time as she did and lived in a house around the corner from her. “She was always a walk away,” says Lalama. “Her house was behind mine.” When her father died, Lalama invited her mom to move in with her and her family. “My mom moved in with us when my dad’s cancer spread and he was hospitalized, six years ago,” she says. “My mom never wanted to be alone and was afraid to live in the house by herself. I had promised my dad that I would always take care of her if anything happened to him. In the end we were able to care for her and be there with her.” Their time together was well spent. “My mother always had us laughing,” says Lalama. “We have so many funny stories.” As this will be Lalama’s first Mother’s Day without her mom, she is going in with a strong heart. “I will go to the cemetery and bring her flowers and just remember how she loved every holiday and lived every day to its fullest,” says Lalama. “We will celebrate our life.” Her advice for those who lose their moms: “Remember all the good times, and the bond you shared,” says Lalama. “Talk about her every chance you get and know they are still alive in your heart and nothing or no one can change that.” As for spending time with her own kids this Mother’s Day, Lalama says “I love to spend mother’s day with my children at home. This year, like the last few years we will spend it by my daughter’s house.” She has three children: Frank 33, Kearstin 31, Michael, 21; and two step children: Amanda, 27 and Samantha, 25. Although they are grown, she has some favorite moments: “When my children were young and they would make things in school for me, most of which I have saved,” says Lalama. “Some of the things that were made for me from my kids were macaroni necklaces, planters/flowers in milk cartons, and the best were the handmade cards.” Just being a mom and sharing in their lives, like “watching them in school plays, playing sports, marching band,” are so many moments she cherishes. “Singing songs in the car, telling jokes; we take a family vacation (we have a blended family) every year and we have so many great memories, funny stories and a strong bond.” Lalama adds, “I just love everything about being a mom. I was a single mom for many years, working two jobs to support my children and I love who they have become-hardworking, caring, loving adults. It’s a rewarding experience.” For new moms or those who are expecting, Lalama offers her

advice: “I feel being able to communicate with your children is so important. Letting them know that you are always there for them and will love them unconditionally. Be available at any time, as a friend and a parent, Mary Lalama, Joe Nicastro and her mom, and knowing Rose Bernhard. when to be the friend and when to be the parent.” Also important, says Lalama is to “Enjoy the little moments as well as the big ones. Spend time with your children. It may seem like you can’t handle all the stress of motherhood, but you will get through it and you will miss those times. Love your children unconditionally and be there for them. Stay constant; guide them and direct them.” Getting involved in their children’s school association or be a class mom can have its benefits, she says, and even the community such as Mt. Olive with all it has to offer. “We have so much for children in this town from an amazing sports programs, a rec department that always has something going on, and the best schools in N.J., says Lalama who works as graphic artist and co-owner with her husband, Joe Nicastro, of New View Media, LLC. in Mt. Olive. When she’s not working, Lalama volunteers her time on the board of the Mt. Olive Child Care & Learning Center, is a member of the Town Pride Committee in Mt. Olive and also reaches out to the community: “My family and I do an annual Thanksgiving dinner in Mt. Olive for anyone less fortunate and for all those who have no one to spend the holiday with. I also do a Christmas Toy drive. I collect toys from area residents and donate them to families in town in need.” With her youngest heading off to grad school in Texas, Lalama will soon be an empty nester, but her role as a mom will remain. “My goal as a mom has always been to raise my children as respectful, loving, caring adults, guiding them to be successful in their career choices,” says Lalama. “It will be different, kinda sad. Although I am proud he is continuing on his path to be a chiropractor, I will miss him a lot. My role as a mom will change because they are not physically with me, but will not change the love I have for them. I speak to/text my daughter at least once a day, and my older son every other day, and plan to do the same with Michael.”

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Mt. Olive Moms

Great great grandma looks forward to 71st Mother’s Day

Mr. & Mrs. Hildebrant

Born and raised in Mt. Olive, Mary Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Hildebrant of Flanders for the past 98 years, has raised two daughters in town and has enjoyed being surrounded by family all these years. Born inside the Roadside Rest Hotel on Park Ave. in Flanders on Nov. 20, 1919- now a rental property- Hildebrant is the daughter of John Henry McClain and Claira Ester Wack McClain, both of whom were born inside their houses in Flanders in 1883 and 1887 respectively. McClain owned the old Mill on Route 206 and married Claire on Feb.17, 1909. Hildebrant met her husband, Gordon Lewis Hildebrant, in K-8th grammar school, which at that time was located inside the fire house until it moved across the street inside the red brick school on Main Street, which today is Arc Morris. While she went on to high school in Roxbury, as Mt. Olive High School did not yet exist, and then onto Syracuse University in 1942 for a degree in home economics followed by a teaching degree, her future husband had to quit school to support his family. Gordon Hildebrant worked with powder explosives at Hercules with his brother Elmer. An explosion in 1942 killed Elmer who was outside the building, while Gordon was inside. Gordon joined the army, 36th Calvary, to serve with Gen. George Patton during WWII and later became a Mt. Olive police sergeant, just like his father, George. They married on Sept. 7, 1946, at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Flanders, now called the Flanders Methodist Church. Mary Hildebrant worked at a nursery school in East Orange before teaching at the Flanders School. She worked for 23 years as a teacher in the Mt. Olive school system, grades kindergarten through six; she taught third grade at Mt. View Elementary before retiring in 1979. She also volunteered at the Thrift Shop at the Flanders Methodist Church for 75 years, where her parents were founding church members.

Hildebrant has two daughters: Mary Bonner, 71 of Flanders; and Linda Hackenberg, 68, of Flanders. Both women married men from Mt. Olive and taught for 30 years at the Mt. Olive Child Care & Learning Center. Up to three months ago, she lived in her homestead by herself since Gordon passed on November 16, 1979, from a heart attack at the age of 62. She now lives with her daughter Linda after she fell and broke her shoulder. “It’s time for her to rest; it’s time to take care of mom,” says Bonner who married Robert John Bonner 50 years ago after meeting him in grammar school, which was called Flanders School then. To pass the historic Hildebrant homestead to the next generation, Bonner’s daughter Amy Elizabeth Langdo, also a native of Flanders, is purchasing her grandmother’s house and already moved in with her husband and three boys. With so many memories as life-long residents, Hildebrant and her girls have so many stories to share. As the founder of the Flanders Fire House, Gordon Hildebrant served as fire chief several times. “I remember him going there to start the fire trucks,” recalls Bonner as one of her childhood memories. “He would get up in the night-time to make sure the trucks would start in case there was a fire.” Hackenberg adds, “My mother would have to sound the alarm for the fire truck.” At the age of 98, Hildebrant has three grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild with another one expected in October. Hildebrant looks forward to another Mother’s Day with her close-knit family. “Our whole family gets together for all the holidays,” says Bonner. “We’re all close with the kids and everything.”


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Mt. Olive Moms The plan this year is to probably gather at Hildebrant’s homestead. When asked about her favorite Mother’s Day, Hildebrant says “They’ve all been.” “Family holidays are really important to us,” says Hackenberg, who married Robert Hackenberg, also a Flanders native, 25 years ago. Second marriages for both, she has one child and he has two from previous marriages. She owned Mt. Olive School of Dance for nine years. Hildebrant is pleased with the family she has raised. “They had a mother who was a teacher and a father who was a policeman; they didn’t stand a chance.” Hackenberg agrees, “We all learned to be honest.” Bonner says the community helped in their positive upbringing. “The community was very close,” says Bonner, “fire house was a hub, our church was really important. They had dinners all the time. We were a family community; everybody knew everybody. Community was small; we all took care of one another; everybody knew us. That’s the way the community was a long time ago. Our families have always been first.” Turkey dinners were held at the firehouse during the fall, and were organized by Hildebrant and her husband. “They would open the doors and carve turkeys,” says Bonner. They would have bingo, huge Halloween parties, parades and dances, all for the children. Girls were in Girl Scouts, boys were in Boy Scouts. Education played a part too. “Education was so important,” says Hildebrant. “School was fun,” says Hackenberg. “You played, you took naps, you did projects. Everything you did was a big deal. Teachers were friends with mothers and fathers.” Although it has changed, Mt. Olive is where their roots lie and continue to grow. “We still have friends here we grew up with,” says Bonner. “We’ve grown up as one small community that’s now big.” Says Hildebrant, “Mt. Olive has grown, it’s a different town.”

Hildebrant homestead

Mary Hildebrant’s birth place

But, “it’s my home.” She stays involved by attending the Mt. Olive Baptist Church with her daughter Linda as her husband is friends with the minister; larger printed words on the screen also aid in her participation. Hildebrant stays active with the Dirty Dozen. As a founding member since 1980, women meet once monthly to bake, knit blankets and caps for preemies and fill shoeboxes with pencils, mittens, socks and hats for children in need. Hildebrant’s response in her joy of being a mom and grandmother: “What was there not to enjoy? I raised good children and grandchildren. We were involved in everything; we just loved it.” She ran the church choir and Girl Scouts. “It’s good that our children saw our grandparents,” as grandparents always lived with their children to also teach them good values like love and respect. “We loved and respected our parents,” says Hildebrant. “You didn’t want to let your parents down.” Bonner adds: “We respected our grandparents, let me tell you.” Adds Hackenberg: “You listened.” Having family around, “It was important to us,” says Hil-



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Mt. Olive Moms

Mary Hildebrant’s parents John and Claira McClain

debrant. “They never went home to an empty house.” She always had someone to help her. Adds Hackenberg, “We all lived across the street from each other; we are all here,” including her mother-in-law, Emily Hackenberg, who is 96 and also lives in town. Hackenberg points out how her parents were always supportive. “No matter what we did or what we tried, she always backed us up,” says Hackenberg. “There was always encouragement” and support to their friends too. “My kitchen table, most popular place,” says Hildebrant. “Everyone who had a problem came to my kitchen table. We always

had an open house; everyone was invited to the table,” or to their screened-in porch.” Agrees Hackenberg: “All the problems were solved around the table.” The Hildebrants ran their household as a team. “My mom worked; my dad cooked because he liked to,” says Bonner. “We cooked together and they worked together as parents.” The eldest helped. “I had to do the ice cubes,” says Bonner. “I just hated it, I don’t know why.” Adds Hackenberg: “You did such a fine job. I didn’t do anything” as the baby except “run around a lot,” says Bonner. As one of her greatest loves is flowers, Hildebrant hopes to get some flowers for Mother’s Day. “Her flower garden was very important to her,” says Bonner, especially orchids. “That’s all she wanted for her wedding was an orchid from my father,” says Hackenberg. Her wedding veil adorned wax orange blossoms. A tradition it became, each woman in her family chain who married since has taken a wax orange blossom off of Hildebrant’s veil to carry the day of her wedding. “I had it on my bouquet,” says Bonner. “Linda had it on her dress. Each girl that married had a piece of the bouquet. I had a good marriage; they had a good marriage.”

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Memorial Day

Much Much More Than More Oreos Day Memorial Day: The date on the calendar which decides if I can pair my cute new sandals and peasant blouse with my slightly torn up white jeans. Or, as my daughter thought when she was younger, MORE OREOS DAY. NOT. EVEN. CLOSE.

By Melissa Begley

Memorial Day, which will be celebrated on May 28 of this year, is a day to honor all those who died serving in the country’s armed forces. This is not to be confused with Veterans Day which celebrates all U.S. military veterans. Like most holidays, we sometimes need to take a moment to reflect upon the exact significance of the day. That is, what exactly does this day mean to us as a nation? Where would our country be if these brave Americans who came before us had not fought for our nation’s beliefs? And for those we honor on Memorial Day, those who made the ultimate sacrifice, what kind of a world would we live in had they not had believed in our country so strongly? Where did this holiday come from? The tradition of decorating the graves of the dead has been around for over twenty-four centuries. It has been dated back to when the Athenian leader Pericles offered a tribute to the soldiers who died in the Peloponnesian War. Here in the United States of America, soldiers’ graves have been decorated since before The Civil War, but The Civil War was the largest loss of life our country had ever seen and thus established a need for national cemeteries. Three years after the conclusion of the Civil War, Major General John A. Logan established Decoration Day on May 6, 1868. Some believe that this date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any battle in particular. Many historians agree that it would be a time when many flowers would be in bloom throughout the country to dec-

orate graves. On the first Decoration Day, James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there. Various states claim that they had already been celebrating this holiday. Macon and Columbus, Ga; Boalsburg, Pa; and Carbondale, Ill. all had already been observing their own similar holiday for two years. They had already established the tradition of remembering the dead and visiting those graves and beautifying them in some way. Approximately twenty-five cities believe they created the holiday. One of the more touching stories from people who lay claim to the holiday stems from a group of women in Columbus, Miss. These women had gathered to place flowers on the graves of some fallen Confederate soldiers who had died in a battle at Shiloh. Close by were some undecorated graves of fallen Union soldiers. The women were bothered by these naked graves and attended to those graves as well. The north was not thrilled to celebrate a holiday established in the south so soon after The Civil War. To this day, some states in the south still celebrate their own Decoration Days. These are held in late spring and early summer throughout the south. Various extended family members get together to celebrate the fallen with a religious service and a potluck meal. The name changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day officially in 1967. The next year, Congress passed The Uniform Monday Holiday Act which moved four holidays to create


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Memorial Day

three day weekends. Memorial Day moved from its May 30 date to the last Monday in May. After a few years, all fifty states adopted Congress’ change of date. Some were disappointed with this change as it seemed to take away from the solemnity of the holiday. In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y. the official birthplace of Memorial Day. One century earlier, a service on May 5, 1866 honored local veterans in Waterloo. Businesses closed and flags flew at half staff. Again, some disagree that Waterloo should not be deemed the birthplace, but supporters of this title believe that earlier celebrations in other places were not as formal, were not celebrated annually, or were not acknowledged as an entire community celebrating together. It was not until after World War I that the holiday expanded to include all those who had died serving in all American wars. More recently, In December 2000, The U.S. Congress passed into law The National Moment of Remembrance Act P.L. 105-579. This asks that all Americans stop what they are doing at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day for a moment of silence to honor those who have died in service for the good of our nation. Here in Mount Olive, if you’ve been to Turkey Brook Park, you have most likely noticed the ever growing All Veterans Memorial. It is tough to imagine that the home to so many baseball, football, soccer and lacrosse games could have such a peaceful nook

tucked away. While there is much hooting and hollering coming from Mount Playmore, the Splash Pad, or various games and practices, there is a strangely calm and tranquil feeling that emanates from the All Veterans Memorial. The AVM grew from an Eagle Scout project by a Mt. Olive High School graduate Eric Wood and his flag burning vault. His mother, Charlie Uhrmann, took over dedicating years to the project from funding to the concept of all of the elements featured at the AVM. What makes this memorial different from many others of its kind is that it honors those lost in all the wars. It honors all veterans, both living and deceased, and not only those connected to Mount Olive It is a monument to all who served during war and peace time in any capacity. The All Veterans Memorial (AVM) has come to us in five phases and it is a remarkable, beautiful, and peaceful site to gather, pray, meditate, or think. Beginning in 2008 and running all the way up until last year, new additions, each with significant meaning, are added regularly. In Phase I, The Pentagon Platform recreates the five branches of service represented by five sides and decorated with the name, rank, and conflict of those who served. A war memorial that was originally at Budd Lake beach was restored and relocated to be included in the AVM. It names thirty fallen members of the community. Also in this first phase,


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Memorial Day the Global War of Terror Bridge was constructed. It is updated the second week of May each year with new Fallen Hero Pavers. The Presidential Preamble Stage is created with pavers highlighting each president and a quote that sums up his essence. The beautiful gazebo was dedicated to our former Mayor Charles H. Johnson who proudly served as a Sergeant in the Air Force 9th Division during World War II. Johnson earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Force Medal while serving his country. Phase II is when the Path to Enduring Freedom was added. It is chronologically and equally divided to represent each war. It too is updated in May each year. Phase III brought in the North Star Seating and is dedicated to those who lost a loved one during war as well as the New Jersey Gold Star Mothers. Phase IV introduced the War Dog Memorial which is in remembrance of the thousands of dogs lost serving our military troops. The four blue stones are set to represent the four freedoms named in FDR’s 1941 State of the Union address. These are freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. This was the first time these freedoms were named as part of the American tradition. Phase V added the Liberty Wall, the Spiritual Cenotaph, and the Warrior Monument. If you have not visited, this is the time of year to do so. You

can reflect upon the amazing country that we live in, and remind yourself of all the veterans who built it. Whichever side of the aisle you fall on, most would agree that these are some divided times. Especially during this time of uncertainly, it is necessary to truly meditate on the tenacity of soul necessary to serve your country. People choose to serve for a variety of reasons. Some feel a strong sense of patriotism unlike anything many of us can understand. Some feel that they have run out of other options. Some are looking for a sense of belonging, or a desire to be a part of something great, or to see the world, or to make their mark on history. But trying to imagine a scenario that asks me to go somewhere terrifying with the knowledge that I may not ever come home? Perhaps doing so for a cause you may not believe in? I can not fathom it. Memorial Day is a time to thank God for the courage He gives to those who volunteer in various capacities to hold up the freedoms of our country. Because of these veterans, we can sit on our iPads and complain about the weather on Memorial Day. Is it too hot for a barbecue? Is it too cold to sit outside? Are there enough cookies for MORE OREOS Day? Or we can remember why this day came into practice and thank God for the soldiers who gave our lives for our right to complain about flavorless hamburgers and lukewarm beers. Choose the latter.

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Phyllis Shelton A Shining Star in Mt. Olive by Kathleen Artiglier


rom my first phone call with Phyllis Shelton, I knew she would be much more than Elizabeth Taylor’s double. She did not disappoint. After several phone calls and hearing her infectious laugh, I got to meet with her twice for I’d like to say were interviews. She made them so warm and welcoming that the word ‘interview’ doesn’t do it justice. Shelton was the picture of Southern charm, which comes from her roots in Paducah, Ky. At first, I thought I should have my pinky up, but she is the most down to earth person I can remember meeting in a long time. Since she was once a model discovered in college, she has gone on to achieve show business legend, as well as locally. Her beauty has served her well, both inside and out. The first thing I noticed was how beautiful she looked with her porcelain skin and striking green eyes. She still has a radiance in her looks and has the charm of a Southern girl mixed with the sophistication of someone who had a career in Hollywood and New York City, as well as a country girl love of horses and her beloved peacock. You may have noticed the signs by the property for ‘Goose and peacock crossing.’ The peacock is just as colorful as Shelton is with her stylish fashions. I was mesmerized with her stories of being discovered and making it in the modeling world, as a college student. She also attended college with a journalism and education double major. I loved her story of how after doing so well and returning home for the holidays to surprise her dad with a gift. She collected different size boxes and inserted each within each other, with the smallest box containing a check to repay her father for all he had done for her. (I know…get the tissues……) Her father was touched, but also turned and gave her the check back. I think the character they both showed is touching, to say the least. It was then that she minded me of a friend that told her to give your children ‘roots and wings.’ Shelton went on to become Elizabeth Taylor’s movie double. That should tell you how beautiful she was and still is to this day. She bonded with Elizabeth over their love of horses and of course, how stunning looks were extremely similar. That is not a bad gig:

Phyllis Shelton and her daughter.

doubling for the woman thought of as the most beautiful woman in the world at the time and at the height of her career. Taylor went as far as surprising her with keys to her Puerto Vallarta home for her honeymoon to her second husband. She said she was very generous to those she knew. Shelton is also the same way in that respect. She was part of Hollywood when stars were stars and glamour was at its best. There were no reality shows or internet stars….they were all generated through the magic of movies. How lucky the area is that Shelton went on to purchase the mill in Flanders. The Buckley Mill has been her home for more than forty years. She has kept the original structure and charm with small additions. She lives there with her companion of twenty years, Quentin Ketterson. Ketterson, was a successful attorney in Palm Beach, affiliating with Wall Street, and businessman. He is her confidant and I can see the humor between them, as well as the love. In fact, the way they met was a cute – meet story that let him do a quick check on her sense of humor. From there, they have carved out a wonderful life together at the mill. She is a proud mother and grandmother, too. She spoke glowingly of her son and daughter, as well as her grandchildren, one of which is following in her footsteps. She would adoringly show me photos of all. Ketterson gives the credit for the decorating to Shelton. She has it jam packed with memories, eclectic pieces, colorful collections of antique finds, and quirky art. The word to describe her


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Phyllis Shelton style is whimsical. The pops of color are prevalent everywhere, from the peacock to the yellow and white striped awnings outside. I felt like I had wandered into some sort of museum nestled in a fairy tale stone house. The mill is from the 1800s and that original look is what keeps this looking preserved. It’s a lucky thing that Shelton bought the home as a great real estate find in the 1960s. It may not look as beautiful and serene as it is today. It would have been a shame if someone gutted it and rebuilt it. I don’t think you could replicate the architecture and the rustic look today. It’s four floors of delightful things to look at, while Shelton tells you the story behind each one. The mill home is vast and I think it’s the only ‘house crush’ I’ve ever had, because it’s that overwhelming in structure and style she has given it inside and out. The residence has a rich history in the area, located by the old creamery and general store. Behind the home is a tranquil and serene area, which can be seen from the back porch and decks

above to really appreciate the landscape. The pond is calm now and will soon have the fountain pouring into the waters and paddle boats pedaling around. The stream and the sound of it flowing by in back was so soothing that I felt like getting a blanket and a picnic basket and sitting by it. I don’t think the ducks would mind. The patio area is large and has been used for weddings of friends. The photos of the lush landscaping, waters, and fowl strolling around would be picture perfect. I can’t think of a more picturesque setting. Just basking in the splendor of it all is a feeling of a day trip and not realizing that you’re close to other homes or a highway. It takes you to a whole other place. They’ve created it that way. The mill home and surrounding garden and landscape epitomizes Shelton’s tastes and her love of nature, including her undying love of horses and her peacock. The whole area is meticulous and upkept to withhold all the beauty you can take in. If you ever wanted to


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Phyllis Shelton just daydream for a while, this would be the place. At that point, I didn’t know which was more photogenic, Shelton or her property; both are so beautiful. The area surrounding the home are homes that she also maintains. We all talked about how perfect of a spot the mill and immediate area would be for a local village. Once sewers are installed, it would make a lovely setting for a BNB, local pub, café, bakery, and so on. With the scenic views, historic and picturesque

settings, it would be a destination ‘must’ for not only locals to enjoy walking through, but for out of towners looking for a quaint area to eat, walk, and get together. Their whole theory is how great it would be to keep the visible charms and allow the public to enjoy what it has to offer and have the local economy booming with new prospective ventures. It all sounded wonderful to me thinking of how it would be a village to take a Sunday stroll in, grab a bite, shop, and look at scenery in the area. It’s great to hear their ideas for the future, not only for themselves, but sharing it with everyone. They are very generous in thoughts and ideas. Flanders is lucky to have Shelton as a neighbor, friend, and entrepreneur. She is presently involved in many ventures, as well as being a realtor for more than thirty years. She brings a smile and friendly face to whatever she does. Most times, you don’t know who your neighbors are anymore. You may have passed this lovely lady at an event, a food store, an antique store, or any of a thousand places. What you didn’t know was there was a bit of Hollywood right there. There is so much to talk about with her and so much she shares from every part of her life, not just modeling. She has had so much in her life from Kentucky to NYC to Hollywood to Italy to New Jersey. In the shadow and limelight, she is an inspiration. It would take more than just an article to do her justice. I truly enjoyed my time with both her and Ketterson. They were more than welcoming and oh, so fun to talk to. Her laugh is one I will always remember.

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A Slice of Turkish Heaven in Flanders Restaurateur Sam Khamis and Chef Mustafa Gelli serve up the tastes and aromas

By Bonnie Cavanaugh Tucked neatly into a popular strip mall along Rt. 206 lies a truly authentic Turkish dining experience. Istanbul, a three-year-old fine/casual dining restaurant, banquet hall, and caterer, sits quietly about midway between the Buy-Rite liquor store and Goodyear Tires shop here, just across the highway from the Weis supermarket at Sutton Plaza. Inside, however, the noise and flurry of this popular shopping center fades away as diners are brought into a serene Mediterranean atmosphere, complete with hanging Turkish lamps and the aroma of spicy meats on the grill. Restaurateur Sam Khamis, who hails originally from Egypt, created Istanbul’s Turkish & Mediterranean menu with help from Head Chef Mustafa Gelli, an Istanbul native. [Ask Chef Gelli where he is from, and he’ll proudly point out the location of his family home on a large photo mural of the seaside city, which adorns the restaurant’s far wall, above the rear banquets.] Khamis entered the restaurant business in 2007 with a Turkish partner, who has since left. Today he works with Gelli to update Istanbul’s menu every two years, with special menu items sprinkled throughout the year. He opened Istanbul here following the success of its namesake restaurant in North New Brunswick, in Middlesex County—and after visiting Mount Olive Township and falling for the region’s rural atmosphere. Real Turkish ingredients can be hard to come by in the United States, so Khamis also opened Taaza Market Place on Rt. 1 in Monmouth Junction, which imports traditional Turkish foods and ingredients to feed both restaurant menus. Having fresh,

hand-picked whole foods, which are delivered daily, is part of what makes Turkish and Mediterranean foods unique, he says. “This food is healthy,” Khamis notes. “It comes right from the ground.” The cuisine is also in line with modern dining trends. When he opened his first Istanbul in 2009, there were few options for vegetarian dining in the area, Khamis says: “We were the first to offer vegetarian foods in New Brunswick.” All the fresh meat for Istanbul is also delivered daily; Khamis rents a farm in Pennsylvania, to which livestock are brought for auction. Twice a week he visits to personally pick out the cattle and lambs that will become the week’s dinners. It’s a labor of love. After handpicking the animals, they are sent to a processing plant in Newark, which in turn delivers to the restaurants daily. There is no fresh meat stored at the restaurants. He opened his second Istanbul here in Mount Olive Township after visiting the area and falling for the rural atmosphere. The other defining element that sets Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine apart from other regions are the myriad of spices used in its dishes. Istanbul regularly uses more than 100 spices in its menu; far too many to mention. Yet with the rise of popularity of Turkish and Mediterranean tastes since about 2016, many of these flavors are becoming more mainstream here across the United States. As reported in Parade magazine’s year-end food column for 2016, spice giant McCormick declared Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean flavors as “a top trend in their 2017 Flavor Forecast for home cooks.” McCormick’s Gourmet division


A Primer on Turkish Spices

When McCormick, one of the leading providers of spices nationwide, declared the ethnic flavors of Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean cuisines as “a top trend” in their 2017 Flavor Forecast for home cooks, they backed it up with a recipe. The company’s Turkish Baharat Seasoning mix features items from the McCormick Gourmet organic spices line. We’ve included the full recipe here; it’s also available online at: https://www. This version, the company says, includes the typical spices of Baharat seasoning and can be “to season everything from lamb and beef to soup, tomato dishes and chicken with rice.”

TURKISH BAHARAT SEASONING Prep Time: 5 minutes5m Ingredients: 9 Makes: 20 servings

INGREDIENTS • 2 tablespoons McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cumin, Ground • 1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Black Pepper, Coarse Ground • 1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Coriander, Ground • 1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Paprika • 2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Mint • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cardamom, Ground • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cinnamon, Ground Saigon • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Cloves, Ground • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet™ Organic Nutmeg, Ground PREPARATION 1. Mix all ingredients in small bowl until well blended. 2.Store in tightly covered jar in cool, dry place.

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Istanbul even created a home recipe for Turkish Baharat Seasoning, using several of its organic spices, which it notes as “the typical spices of Baharat seasoning: black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, coriander and paprika, plus the addition of mint and cinnamon.” [NOTE: see sidebar for recipe] Istanbul’s menu is a mix of a myriad of such spices combined with fresh whole foods: a plate-pleasing array of hot, spicy dishes countered with cool, refreshing dips and sauces. Guests can start off with Tavuk Corbasi, a traditional chicken soup, or Ezogelin Corbasi, red lentil soup with bulgur wheat, onion, finely chopped tomato paste, flour, olive oil, and dried crushed mint leaves, both at $4. Salad dishes include Coban Salatasi, or Shepherd Salad, featuring fresh tomatoes, Kirby cucumbers, onions, parsley, black olives and dressing, at two price points: s small portion at $6 or larger portion at $10. Two other choices are a traditional Mediterranean Salad, made with Fresh lettuce, shredded carrots, red cabbage, topped with feta cheese cucumbers and tomatoes with olive oil and lemon juice dressing; and a new menu item, Pomegranate Salad, made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, parsley and walnuts, served with pomegranate sauce; both comes in small and large offerings at $7 and $11, respectively. Adding chicken to any salad is $5 extra, and adding feta to a salad is $2 for a small dish and $3 for a larger plate. The appetizers feature a long list of cold plates including Hummus, a traditional chickpea dip with lemon juice and olive oil; Baba Ghanoush, a dish of pureed smoked eggplant with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic, both priced at $6. Imam Bayildi, eggplants stuffed with onions, garlic, raisins and pine nuts, at $7; Cacik, chopped cucumber blended with garlic, mint, dill and yogurt, at $5; and Red Kidney Bean Stew, which is cooked with olive oil, onion, and lemon juice, and sprinkled with parsley, at $6. Hot appetizers include Sigara Boregi, four cheese rolls made with rolled filo dough and feta, at $7; Mucver, zucchini pancakes made with feta cheese, dill, flour, egg, and spices, then deep fried and served with garlic yogurt sauce, at $8; and a recent addition, Pacanga Boregi, three pieces of Turkish filo filled with mushrooms, Turkish kasar cheese, pastrami, green pepper, tomatoes, parsley, and herbs, also at $8. Grilled entrees, served with rice and mixed greens, include Doner, freshly grounded beef and lamb on a turning grill, and Andana Kebab, skewered chopped meat, both at $14; Kuzu Sis, or lamb shish kebab, is made with marinated cubes of grilled lamb, at $18; Hunkar Begendi Lamb features a creamy eggplant puree with mozzarella cheese, at $19; Kuzu Pirzola, a dish of marinated baby lamb chops grilled to serve with rice or vegetables, at $25. The Istanbul Combination platter is the restaurant’s most pop-

ular entrée. It Includes: Kuzu Sis, Adana kebab, Kofte kebab, Chicken kebab and Doner, and is priced at $21 for one person or $29 for two. Poultry dishes include Tavuk Adana, grilled chopped chicken with fresh red bell peppers and hot peppers, at $13; Chicken Hunkar Begendi, similar to the lamb plate, at $15; and the Chicken Combination platter, with servings of Chicken shish, Chicken Adana, and Chicken chops, at $18. Seafood dishes are served with Shepherd Salad and rice, and include a salmon plate at $17; a tilapia dish at $16; and Levrek, a grilled Mediterranean-style Branzino, or sea bass; or Cupra, a grilled Mediterranean Orato, or sea bream (a member of the porgies family), both at $24. Istanbul offers a variety of combination kebabs, priced from $14 for a plate of half Doner and half Chicken Adana, to $24 for a half Chicken Shish/half Lamb Chops platter. A separate Kebob with Yogurt menu section, ranging from $14 to $15 per dish, features a variety of kebabs served atop homemade croutons and topped with garlic and yogurt sauce. The vegetarian options feature Lahana Sarma, or stuffed cabbage, wherein fresh cabbage leaves are stuffed with rice, currants, pine nuts, dill and parsley; Bamya, or baby okra, baked with fresh tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and served with rice; and Ispanak, spinach sautéed with dill, white onions, garlic and olive oil, then topped with homemade tomato and garlic yogurt sauce, all at $13. Turkish coffee is an energizing way to end a traditional Mediterranean meal. Served in a tiny Turkish espresso set—a silver cup, saucer, and lid, laden with blue jewels—this traditional brew is made with unfiltered finely ground beans for a strong finish. For the kids, available sodas include imported Uludag Gazoz, better known as Turkish Sprite, as well as Turkish Fanta, both at $2. Diners order from a nice list of American and ethnic beverages, including Turkish tea, homemade lemonade, a variety of fruit juices (cranberry, cherry, apple, orange, mango, and guava), and a traditional yogurt drink, Ayran. Speaking of children, Istanbul caters to their undeveloped palates with choices of mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, or Chicken Kebab, all served with french fries, at $7 each. The restaurant’s banquet hall/party room serves up to 70 people, and Istanbul has hosted events ranging from baby showers and engagement parties to business meetings and milestone events. It recently hosted a surprise 40th birthday party for a local man. Khamis’s hope for Istanbul’s continued success is to invite Mount Olive Mayor Robert Greenbaum to a long-awaited grand opening event, something he’d done for his original Istanbul eatery in North New Brunswick. That move garnered him “a lot of catering for the mayor,” he says.

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Mt. Olive Clerk’s Office Meet The Women of the Clerk’s Office By Daniel Chardon

The clerk’s office in Mount Olive is the engine that keeps the town running smoothly. The municipal clerk’s provides administrative services for the township, archives and records management, legislative services, election duties and much more. “The township clerk’s office has many functions,” said Michelle Masser, Township Clerk. In addition to the duties secretary to the governing body and chief administrative office of elections, Masser listed chief registrar of voters, administrative officer, records coordinator and manager as well as other duties that may be imposed state statutes and regulations or municipal ordinances or regulations as the core duties of the office. “Our job is to serve the public,” said Masser. “We greet and

help the public with questions in person as well as on the phone and through email.” The clerk’s office is the link that connects the public to the their local government. The office plays a vital part in the day to day operations of the municipal goverments. “The purpose of the city clerk as mandated by New Jersey State law and local ordinance, is to provide complete administrative support to the municipal council, including budget and legislative research, maintenance and access of official city records, and performance of other administrative functions such as certain licensing requirements. The Office of the city clerk also is responsible for the conduct of municipal elections and carries out the ministerial and statutory requirements for primary and general elec-


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Mt. Olive Clerk’s Office

tions,” according to the city of Newark’s official website. The clerk’s office offers free notary services, all that is needed is a valid form of ID. Either a driver’s license or passport is acceptable. The office also handles all OPRA requests. OPRA, which is short for Open Public Records Act, “is a state law enacted to give the public greater access to government records maintained by public agencies in New Jersey,” as stated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities website. Liquor license management is handled through the clerk’s office. Mount Olive has a total of 25 liquor licenses for consumption, distribution and club. Only existing licenses can be purchased at this time, if a person is interested a liquor license they would need to find someone willing to sell their license. Municipal council meetings are a major aspect of the clerk’s office duties. The clerk’s office is responsible for preparing the itinerary and agenda for council meetings and posting to the town’s website. The clerk’s office is responsible for maintaining minutes of the council meetings. Minutes also known as minutes of meeting, refers to the notes taken during a meeting. Masser and her staff help with preparation for township elections. There are 22 voting districts in Mount Olive. Other duties handled by the clerk’s office are the processing and issuing raffle/bingo applications, processing and issuing of limo and taxi applications, give oaths of office, landlord registration, certificates of achievements, foreclosure notices, update township E-Code book, process peddler/solicitor applications and permits, Pay to Play, financial disclosure, prepare agenda for Ethics Board meetings, attending budget hearings, handle developer’s agreements including receiving and releasing of cash/ surety bonds, driveway and landscape bonds, records manager, custodian of records; process, record, file all ordinances and resolutions and advertise when appropriate, legal notices for the township and elections. “Residents can come in and register to vote and obtain a variety of information regarding the Township,” said Masser. “If we don’t have the information, we point them in the right direction.” The clerk’s office has three positions, township clerk, deputy township clerk and assistant to the township clerk. Masser has been at the clerk’s office for twenty three years. Masser was hired in 1995 as assistant to the township clerk, in 2004 she was appointed to deputy clerk. Masser obtained her Registered Municipal Clerk’s Certificate in 2010 and has been township clerk since 2015. “My favorite aspect of working for the clerk’s office is the diversity,” said Masser. “There is such a range of different duties and day to day responsibilities including serving the public, no two days are ever the same and we are always meeting new people.” The deputy township clerk is Susan Gouveia who was appointed to the position October 1, 2015. Gouveia obtained her Registered Municipal Clerks Certificate in 2017. “The deputy township clerk shall serve in such capacity during the absence or disability of the township clerk, and said deputy township clerk shall have all of the powers of the township clerk

and shall perform the functions and duties of the township clerk during said township clerk’s absence or disability,” said Masser. Gouveia echoed sentiments expressed by Masser, her favorite part of her job is the diversity and never knowing what each day will bring her way. Gouveia’s day-to-day duties include filing, records retention, handling OPRA requests, notary services to the public, elections – helps prepare for all elections. The deputy township clerk’s duties are assigned by the township clerk and also include other functions as necessary. The handling of Pay to Play is governed by the clerk’s office. Gouveia stated she sends out forms, does tracking and makes copy of forms for necessary personnel “Contributions by for-profit business entities that have or are seeking New Jersey government contracts, a practice known as pay-to-play, are subject to restrictions,” according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission’s website. Gouveia makes sure the township is in compliance with New Jersey’s Pay to Play laws. In her time at the Mount Olive Clerk Office Gouveia feels she has grown much both personally and professionally and stated the job “has been a wonderful experience.” She cited Masser as being a good friend, mentor and boss who has taught her much and still continues to teach her new things. Gouveia has been a resident of Mount Olive since 2012. She is very happy with Mount Olive’s school system and feels this is a great town to raise her children. Gouveia stated there was an adjustment period within her first year after moving to Mount Olive as she went from a stay at home mother to working full time. “I feel like I belong here though and it was a good choice for me to bring my family here,” stated Gouveia. “I do believe everything happens for a reason and finding a job here in town has just changed my life.” The assistant to the township clerk is Jessica Sosa. Sosa is new to the office having been hired in March of 2018. Sosa’s main function is “is typing the minutes of the township council workshops (summary) and public meetings (verbatim), answering the phones, processing mail, copying, setting up for council meetings, handling OPRA requests, answering questions and directing the public & helps prepare for elections” said Masser. Sosa stated she most looks forward to learning experience in her new job and learning how a town functions. “Each day I learn more and more,” said Sosa While Sosa has been a resident of Mount Olive for five years she has family ties in Mount Olive that go back to 1960s. Sosa state she feels Mount Olive is a great place to raise children. “Mount Olive not only provides a sense of community, but also safety,” said Sosa. Mount Olive has changed for Sosa in her time living here. She has taken more of an interest in community events and since beginning working for the Township she is even more involved in the community. The Clerk’s Office is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located at 204 Flanders Drakestown Road, Budd Lake.

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by Katie Young

When Budd Lake beach officially reopens to bathers this summer, its new visitors may have no idea that a thriving restaurant, which was part of a rich history, once stood where they’ve set up their beach chairs. For a time, the Casino was one of many iconic landmarks dotting the landscape around New Jersey’s largest natural lake. “The word casino means ‘meeting place’ and it was supposed to be a higher class than other bars and dance halls in the area. The guys wore uniforms and there was valet parking,” explained local historian Thea Dunkle. “They’d have exercise classes, host regattas, swim clubs and boating. They’d have baby contests and all kinds of activities going on.” For half a century Budd Lake was a desirable resort destination, drawing vacationers from New York City to Philadelphia looking to escape the city heat. Hotels, country mansions, night clubs and family-friendly attractions such as Forrest House, The Oasis, Budd’s Pavilion, and even a merry-go-round kept many visitors coming back year after year. Today, these places which were so integral to Budd Lake’s formation, are long gone. Destroyed by natural causes such as fire or

the inevitable changes that come with time and urbanization. INDUSTRIAL BEGINNINGS Budd Lake may be most well-known for its fun, but the area was first developed in the early 1800’s by the Budd, Sharp and Wagner families, who established several mills and an ice company on the lake’s east side. Shortly thereafter a community began to emerge. According to the 1868 Atlas of Morris County, a post office and summer hotel were constructed along Sandshore and Goldmine Roads. A RESORT TOWN TAKES SHAPE By the turn of the 20th century Budd Lake was undergoing a major transformation. Tent colonies sprung up to house the influx of summertime visitors. Those early accommodations were far from glamourous, as described by Henry Hosking in a letter written in 1915: “We had ‘deluxe’ tent quarters, three rooms: living and sleeping, kitchen, and in between an open dining area. We had wooden floors underneath, homemade ice boxes and a kerosene stove,” he wrote. “An event was when we took up the floors in the fall—we usually had to chase away the mice who lived under us in the


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MT. OLIVE HISTORY summer.” The original platform tents were soon replaced by cottages and hotels as the area became more popular. According Dunkle, demand for a place to stay near Budd Lake was so high, that yearround locals would rent out rooms in their homes just to take advantage of the flood of people, which caused the population to swell to nearly 6-thousand during summer months. HOTELS OF THE PAST One of the first and most well-known boarding houses on Budd Lake was Forrest House, which was built in 1856 by a son-in-law of the Budd Family. It was the largest hotel in the area, hosting up to 200 guests within its large, white 3-story structure and surrounding annex buildings. The main building had a large front porch lined with rocking chairs. On the shoreline was boat house with docks for patrons to use. The wealthy also made Budd Lake their summertime playground, building large estates along the east shore. One example was Pinecrest Mansion. It was built in 1883 by Judge Mann of Newark, who reportedly spent what would be nearly $715-thousand dollars in today’s money to plant pine trees around the

property to make his wife, a Maine native, happy. SWIMMING BY DAY During its heyday, most visitors were normal families, taking the train to Netcong station and a taxi to lake. “Summers at Budd Lake during World War I and the early 20’s were country summers with plenty of swimming, hayrides, canoe trips across the lake,” wrote sisters Florence Pfalzgraf Kern and Beatrice Pfalzgraf Darlington. For 20 years, the lake was home to an old fashioned wooden merry-go-round, owned by the Sharp family. Pictures show children riding the enclosed carousel, which was meticulously maintained by the Sharps until it was lost to a fire in 1957. During its existence, Budd’s Pavilion was to Budd Lake what Jenkinson’s amusement complex is to Point Pleasant on the Jersey Shore. Swarms of visitors packed its large boathouse, stopped for a treat at the ice cream parlor or cooled off by taking a dip at its swimming wheel. The pavilion was also home to a small bowling alley and despite a lack of electricity, the Budd Family figured out a way to offer movies three times a week. The location changed ownership and names, but


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MT. OLIVE HISTORY remained popular until the late 1950’s, said life-long Budd Lake resident Jim Smith, whose family connection to the area dates back to early 1700’s when his mother’s side was gifted tracks of land by the King of England. “Memorial Day and Labor Day parades used to end there,” he said. “As kids, we would get soda and the adults would get beer.” DANCING BY NIGHT There was also very active nightlife scene, remembered Smith. His uncle would tell him stories of spending days on the lake and evenings in the dance halls listening to music and hoping to meet girls. “In the 20’s and 30’s if you had a big band, you played as part of the circuit on Budd Lake. We had many venues, including the Oasis and the Wigwam.” Where today commuters stop for a morning coffee or Slurpee, young adults once danced to the music of some of the day’s most popular entertainers. Jackie Gleason, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and even rock and roll hall of famers the Everly Brothers all made appearances at the Wigwam, which is now the site of a 7-Eleven. Dunkle recalled a story told to her by a woman from Brooklyn,

who as a teenager would walk miles to spend the day at the lake only to go back home, get dressed up and head out once again to go to the dances. A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS While its glory days may be behind it, Budd Lake continues to be a popular location for sports fisherman, kayakers and sailors. It is also beginning a new chapter in its history. After being officially closed to swimming by Mount Olive Township in 2015, the beach will reopen this June, with some much needed structural improvements. Thanks to an anonymous donation, admission onto the beach will be free for town residents. At its busiest time in recent history, the beach saw up to 400 visitors daily on weekends. While it remains to be seen how many of them will come back, one thing is for certain. Budd Lake’s glistening waters will be ready.

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Mt. Olive Mayor It is my pleasure to welcome our newest addition to the Mount Olive Family, Mt. Olive Life! I hope you enjoy reading the articles about our community, the people that work and live in Mount Olive, our businesses and all the wonderful opportunities Mount Olive offers. In addition, please remember to shop and support our local businesses. As Mayor of Mount Olive, it is with great pride that we now have our very own magazine. The magazine will let me give you a snapshot of our community and why I feel Mount Olive is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Why Mount Olive? Our schools, municipal services, economic and residential development, trails, open space, historical buildings, recreational events and facilities and our jewel of all jewels, Turkey Brook Park. Turkey Brook Park situated on 267 picturesque acres, is known for its pristine fields, a one - of- a- kind splash pad, Dog Park and an award- winning playground, Mt. Playmore. Mount Olive is also home to many local farms, a food pantry, community garden and the South Branch Preserve. Historical Flanders is a cozy place for a spring stroll and antique shopping. For the more outdoorsy, Budd Lake offers some-

thing for all ages. A quick sail to watch the breathtaking sunsets, boating, fishing and of course relaxing on the beach. There is something to satisfy everyone’s culinary taste buds, from Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Brazilian, and Italian and let’s not forget the good old fashion hamburger. There are specialty stores, farm to table butcher shops, a creamery, brewery, and our very own Sister City Company where meats are cured with the fresh Mount Olive air. There are businesses that have been in Mount Olive for more than 50 years that will be featured in upcoming editions along with new entrepreneurs who are happy to call Mount Olive home. The most valuable possessions our community has to offer are the residents and volunteers. The community that cares for one another, the community that is resilient to anything and the community that is strong together. Together we continue to Gain Momentum! With Gratitude, Mayor Robert J. Greenbaum

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Mt. Olive Bagel Shops A Bagel - What’s A Bagel? Megan McGaha

It’s warm, it’s filling, and it’s found on the east coast. There are a lot of things that bagel shops have in common with the product they deliver, but just what goes into making an east coast bagel? The bagel’s origin is practically known as Polish, and here in the United States, is acknowledged as a Jewish bread, but it’s name actually originates from Germany. The history of the bagel is described in “The Bagel: the Surprising History of a Modest Bread” by it’s author Maria Balinska as originating from Germany and coming east to Poland from Germany as part of a migration flow during the 14th century, according to an article published by Ari Weinzweig in the Atlantic, “The Secret History of the Bagel” about the book. At the time, pretzels were becoming popular with people from all German classes, and German immigrants brought the pretzels with them when they were brought to help build the economy. “In Poland, that theory goes, the German breads morphed into a round roll with a hole in the middle that came to be known in Poland as an obwarzanek,” explains Weinzweig. “The same time Germans were making their way to Poland, so too were a good number of Jews. In that era it was quite common in Poland for Jews to be prohibited from baking bread. This stemmed from the commonly held belief that Jews, viewed as enemies of the Church, should be denied any bread at all because of the holy Christian connection between bread, Jesus, and the sacrament.” During the Polish “Nobles’ Democracy,” Poland was known for its tolerance, acceptance, education, and understanding, while conflict and intolerance prevailed elsewhere. “This mindset created the environment where Jews were first allowed the opportunity to bake, and then sell, bread -- of which bagels were an integral part,” said Weinzweig. According to Balinska, “This was a radical step, so radical that (in reaction) in 1267 a group of Polish bishops forbade Christians to buy any foodstuffs from Jews, darkly hinting that they contained poison for the unsuspecting gentile.” Eventually they settled on allowing Jews to work with boiled bread, and thus the bagel was born.

Mt. Olive Bagels

Another theory Balinska explored dates the first bagels to the late 17th century in Austria. According to Weinzweig, the theory goes that “bagels were invented in 1683 by a Viennese baker trying to pay tribute to the King of Poland. Given that the king was famous for his love of horses, the baker decided to shape his dough into a circle that looked like a stirrup -- or beugel in German.” Regardless of the bagel’s true origin, three shop owners from Mount Olive are here to share what parts of the bagel making process are crucial for success. After all, they’ve had more than 5 centuries since the bagel’s debut to perfect the craft. John & Maria-Elena Kalavriziotis have run Mt. Olive Bagels, off Rt. 46 in Budd Lake, for the past 4 years. “Mt. Olive is an ideal location for a bagel shop, not only are we located on a busy highway in town,” said Kalavriziotis, “but we are surrounded by residents who support the local businesses and are enthusiastic over a great bagel.” Eyad and Lopana Muheisen have run the shop next door, Budd Lake Bagel & Deli, for the past 16 years. “Mount Olive is a great location for a bagel shop because it is family based community filled with gatherings. It is also a great shop to stop by and eat when running on the go!” said Muheisen.


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Mt. Olive Bagel Shops Henry Delgado has run Flanders Bagels, off 206 in Flanders, for the past 4 years. “Flanders Bagels has been around for a very long time, and the town was very welcoming when we decided re-open it,” said Delgado. “We have been very well received by the community and we feel very fortunate.” We also reached out to Saby Mohy from Bagels Abroad, but did not get a response. The three shop owners had a lot of ideas about the most important part of bagel-making. According to Delgado, it’s all about “using the best ingredients and kettle boiling the old fashioned way.” Kettle boiling, otherwise known as “the old fashioned way” is defined by an NPR article as boiling chilled dough rings in a solution of water and malt barley for anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, locking the liquid inside and expanding the interior, producing a chewy texture which many people associate with a New York bagel. The Youtube Channel “Reactions,” as cited by NPR, described kettle boiling as “like flash-frying a steak before grilling it to seal in the juices.” Kalavriziotis also said the ingredients and kettle boiling are key to making bagels great. “Variations come down to simple details such as the ingredients used, as well as the type of water,” Kalavriziotis said. “Through popular opinion, the best types of bagels are those

Flanders Bagels

which compare to the “old fashioned way,” which are kettle boiled in order to make a bagel that is crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.” The water used also plays an important factor. The “Reactions” video explains that New York Water actually comes from the Catskills, located nearly 130 miles away, and is some


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Mt. Olive Bagel Shops of the softest water in the country. According to a map on, most of New Jersey’s water is rated as slightly to moderately hard, and Mt. Olive is situated in a slightly hard zone. So while New Jersey’s water isn’t as soft as New York’s, it can still compare. “Pizza and bagel businesses have always said that their secret to a great product was in the water,” said Delgado. “Our bagels are great! Is it a coincidence?” To Kalavriziotis, it’s not. “The water plays a large role in the overall process of creating an excellent bagel. Such a small factor can alter the quality of how a bagel can taste and feel.” Muheisen agreed. “A huge contribute to our products would be the well water since it plays a huge role in making our delicious bagels. A big difference in bagels from New Jersey and New York is the different water used from town to town.” Delgado also noted differences between New Jersey and New York bagels. “A true New Jersey style bagel is a little bit bigger and a little bit softer than a New York style bagel,” said Delgado. Kalavriziotis also noticed differences between the two. “A New Jersey and New York bagel are very similar, yet different through numerous variations,” said Kalavriziotis. “Making bagels comes with great patience and experience, this comes down to time-tested recipes, the mere quality of the ingredients, and hard work behind the hand rolled bagel.” Muheisen also noted that hand-rolling is the key to making a great bagel. “The most important step is hand rolling each one,” said Muheisen. “We have a family based business filled with our love and passion for our fresh and hand rolled bagels.” Delgado explained that the preference for New York versus New Jersey bagels can even differ between New Jersey towns. “In Flanders, New Jersey style is what our customers love,” said Delgado. “Our other stores in Chester and Morris Plains serve up a crunchy on the outside chewy on the inside New York style beauties.” Kalavriziotis also noticed that preferences vary. “When comparing bagels in our location to the rest of the country, it simply depends on one’s personal preference,” said Kalavriziotis. “As far as we are concerned, those in other areas cannot compare to the quality that you find in the Northeast.” A 2014 article by the Jersey Journal points to two New Jersey-born food critics who have their own criteria for determining the quality of a bagel. Joe Francisco and his friend Chris Perez had rated 50 bagel shops before the article was written and planned on rating at least a hundred more. “We look for things like seed density – seeds per inch – crunchiness, doughiness,” Perez said. “Is it hand-rolled or machine-rolled?” “The look and feel of the place is also important,” Francisco said. “Sometimes a bagel shop will look nice and shiny, but those are the ones to watch out for, ‘cause most of time, a good bagel shop should look a little dingy.” But, they said, ultimately shops are evaluated by if they would go back. One great way that these shops get their customers coming

Budd Lake Bagels

back is through their connection to the community. “We are very involved with the community,” said Muheisen. “Donations are given to local schools, clubs and churches, etc.” Kalavriziotis also gives back to the community “in a variety of ways through event donations, school sponsorships, etc.” Delgado also likes to engage with the local community through sponsorships and events. “We enjoy our sponsorship of sports teams, robotics teams, Mt. Olive Police golf outing, amongst others,” said Delgado. All of the shop owners take pride in their community involvement. “We simply pay attention to our business and our customers and strive to offer a fantastic product and great service,” said Delgado. Delgado is making changes to engage with the Flanders community. “In the near future look for us to tap into the talents of our inhouse chef, who has been with is for over 7 years,” said Delgado. “[We are] adding evening hours and family style take out dinners that will even include low calorie and carb conscience options.” Kalavriziotis’ approach to community focused on the environment inside the store and quality of product. “The food we provide to our customers is a quality product, one in which can be offered through a delivery service or through catering, which is available for any occasion,” said Kalavriziotis. “We pride ourselves as not just a bagel shop but as a comfortable, friendly place our customers can come to sit, eat and chat amongst their neighbors and friends within our town.” Consistent with this trend, Muheisen expressed that there is more to running a bagel shop than simply making a great bagel. “It is our pleasure to be open and to serve our customers who we consider as family. It is truly our livelihood!” said Muheisen. “The people in our community is what makes our business so special. We have seen kids enter elementary school come back as college graduates and that’s what make us feel like a family.”

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Coach McDermott

McDermott a Staple at Mount Olive for Nearly Two Decades

That Jim McDermott still relies on his eyes, his instincts and the occasional need to shout at his players makes him a dinosaur in the eyes of some. The Mount Olive High School baseball coach, however, isn’t ready for extinction just yet. McDermott, 57, has been a staple at Mount Olive for nearly two decades and has lived a life intertwined with baseball. Though there are some coaches his age, who employ his style, that are looking to wind down and start thinking about retirement, McDermott is simply thinking about baseball. He’s thinking about how he’ll manage the games during the remainder of the 2018 season. He’s thinking about the fall when he begins his countdown to spring training and he’s more than likely already mapping out the pitching rotation for the 2019 season. “People ask me all the time how long will I be doing this,” the Randolph native said. “I’ll stop doing it when, in November, I don’t start counting down the days until practice begins. I look forward to that every day of the year. The old adage is that if you find something you love to do, it’s never a day of work. “This is fun; I love being here. I’ll die in the dugout or in the third-base coaching box. Bury me with my fungo [bat].” It’s that intense love of baseball that not only inspires McDermott ’s players but has helped make him one of the most successful high school coaches in the state. He’s brought respectability back to the Mount Olive program, winning a pair of NJSIAA Sectional titles. He guided the Marauders to their first Sectional title in more than two decades in 2014 and added another the following year. Mount Olive reached the Sectional semis again last year before bowing out to a talented Ridgewood squad. McDermott employs an old-school approach – he’s not big on the analytics that have taken over the game – relying more on what he sees than what the numbers say. Consider the Maraud-

ers 2014 Sectional title game against Cranford. Chris Grillo, who is now playing at Muhlenberg College (Pa.), threw 10 shutout innings in a game that Mount Olive would go on to win 1-0 when Grillo stole home in the 11th. “I’m not a cyber metrics fan,” McDermott said. “You have to take the eye test. Now, because a pitcher reaches a certain pitch count, they take him out. But some kids, like Grillo in 2014, you don’t have to. He threw 120 pitches in 10 innings and they couldn’t touch him. “I’m not easy to play for. I get on them a little. But they know they have to check their feelings before they get in the locker room. When you are here, you do what’s best for Mount Olive baseball. Shape up or ship out because someone is coming for your spot. I’m not yelling at them personally, but they see the time and effort the coaches put in and they realize if they can do it, I can do it,” said McDermot. McDermott ’s career dates back long before he arrived in Mount Olive in 2002. The Seton Hall grad has crisscrossed North Jersey, coaching at his alma mater along with The County College of Morris, Fairleigh Dickinson-Madison and the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. He began coaching as an assistant at FDU when he was a senior in college and later became the youngest (28) Division III coach in the country when he took over the program in 1989. He’s accomplished all that despite not being the best of players in his youth. McDermott began coaching when he was 18, taking over a Morris County Major League team. He admits, though, that “he stunk” as a player and only tried out for the high school baseball team as a senior. “I was the ninth-string catcher warming up the pitcher in between innings,” McDermott said.


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Coach McDermott Historically some of the game’s best role players become managers and coaches and McDermott is no different. He’s been able to use his love and knowledge of baseball in the dugout rather than the field and the results are impressive. He’s put one player in the pros and 17 others in college ball, including Grillo, Chris Neuhaus (Kings College, Pa.) and Bobby Shannon (Ramapo College, NJ). The trio are all currently excelling on the collegiate level and each points to McDermott as a big reason why. “He was really the type of coach, where wanted to earn his respect because of everything he accomplished in his career up until the time he was coaching our high school team,” Grillo said. “He held us to a certain standard, so much so that we expected something of ourselves because of the way he treated us as students and athletes. He held us to high standards and wanted what was best for us and that was really rewarding. “He had college experience and he got away from that whole daddy ball aspect of baseball. The best players were going to play and it didn’t matter who you were or what you did before high school. People were going to earn their positions and it didn’t matter whether you were a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. “The best players were going to play and he made that very clear from the beginning. It was different from middle school because kids earned a spot rather than playing because of who was coaching of baseball,” said Grillo. McDermott doesn’t discriminate, either. His son Scott was playing on the West Morris High School freshman team when it came up against Mount Olive. The younger McDermott knew his father would likely tell his pitcher to throw one high and tight and that was okay. It’s part of the coach’s style. “I told him don’t dig in,” Jim McDermott said. Scott McDermott is now 26 and lives in Baltimore. His sister Andrea (24) lives in Hartford while his other sister Valerie (19) is a freshman at The University of Scranton. All three remain close to their dad and mom, Dawn. The couple celebrated their 30th anniversary last month and baseball has been a big part of the family life as well. The younger McDermott served as a ball boy at Seton Hall when his dad was working under legendary Pirates coach Mike Sheppard. He attended Bloomsburg College (Pa.) and when the semester ended each May, he’d join his dad’s staff as a coach and scout other teams. The father and son went to scout the opposition again as recently as last month, taking in a Saturday doubleheader when Scott was home on a visit from Maryland. “He does an excellent job [scouting],” Jim McDermott said. Jim McDermott wasn’t always a full-time baseball coach,

though. He began working at a title insurance agency in Morristown as a senior in high school, working there summers and when returning on breaks from college. He would end up spending 20 years there but the job became too much when, while coaching at Seton Hall, McDermott would burn most of his vacation time going away for spring training, road trips, the Big East and NCAA Tournaments. “You’d go to UConn or drive to Pittsburgh or West Virginia,” said McDermott, who has more than 100 career wins at Mount Olive but doesn’t pay close enough attention to know the exact total. “I loved it but I had a wife and three kids. I had a degree in teaching so at that point I got into teaching. I wanted a change of pace. “I never thought that I would be doing this [coaching] this long. It’s something I really like. I enjoy the competition and the mental side of the game.” When McDermott eventually does retire he said he wouldn’t mind getting into professional scouting. Lee Seras, the director of northeast scouting for the Cincinnati Reds who lives in nearby Flanders, coached with McDermott at The County College of Morris and FDU. McDermott has shadowed him on occasion and likes the idea of baseball being part of his retirement. “I learned a lot watching Lee Seras,” said McDermott, who teaches health and physical education in another district. “It’s something I wouldn’t mind getting into. He took me to the [Major League Baseball] draft once and we walk in down on the floor and we ran into [former Yankee pitcher] Andy Pettitte. He pitched at San Jacinto Junior College when we were at Morris and we beat them in the [Junior] College World Series when he was pitching. He remembered.” No doubt McDermott’s players will remember him in years to come. He works to instill values in them that go far beyond baseball. He stresses the importance of giving back to the community and helping others. “I try to get the kids to understand how fortunate they are to play this great game,” McDermott said. “Colin Berg, our freshman scorekeeper, has Acute Linfoblastick Leukemia and has been battling cancer for two-and-a-half years.” McDermott had Berg, then a seventh-grader, throw out the first pitch of the 2016 Mount Olive season and also had Berg jerseys made for his players that they wore during the game. “It’s important,” McDermott said. “This year we are supporting autism awareness. We have blue laces in our spikes and we’re going to have an autism awareness day in May. We will bring out some kids out who are less fortunate than we are and give them a chance to see the great game of baseball.”

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Mt. Olive Kindness Let Kindness Begin with You Too By Melissa Begley

An otherwise dreary room seems immediately brighter, more airy, and electric. Small bodies begin to fill the space at the Warren Haven Nursing home and the residents begin rustling in their seats and turning this way and that to catch a glimpse of the approximately one hundred second graders who have come to perform for them. One woman turns and says, “Aren’t they beautiful?” before the children who wear crisp white T-shirts that read Kindness Begins with Me even begin to open their mouths. When they do, the room is transformed again. Two dedicated music teachers, Steve Spangler and Lisa King, have prepared the students to sing uplifting tunes and have certainly exceeded expectations. The eyes of the residents, as well as those of the teachers and parents who have made the twenty-five minute drive, are sprinkled with tears as they sing songs of love, kindness, and unity. There’s barely a dry eye in the house. The aforementioned scene is just one of many that are created as the second graders at Chester M. Stephens make their first stop on The Kindness Tour. The children do not see the beauty that we see in this moment in particular. They do not see two groups of people at very different points in their lives. They cannot comprehend how much joy is absorbed in this day from a group of surrogate grandchildren. Some children may even feel a little uncomfortable with the elderly folks who want to hug and even kiss them at the end of their songs when the students amble up to them and hand them a large delicate flower made of tissue paper. They just know they are on the first leg of the Kindness Tour, which celebrates its ten year anniversary at Chester M. Stephens Elementary School this year. Ten years ago, Ann Scotland approached her principal at the time, Gayle Dierks, about establishing A Rainbow Connections Committee. Scotland reminisces, “We walked in and said, this may sound a little crazy, but……” and she proposed the idea of bringing goodness from their school out into the Community. The very first year, the Kindness Tour was born. Scotland is a thirty-four year veteran of the teaching business, but she has the energy and excitement of a first year teacher on the day of the Kindness Tour. While being questioned about the details of the tour, she only falters when questioned about its birth. “Don’t say that part. That makes it sound like it’s all about me and I started it all.” She deflects similarly in the Kindness Tour video that the students watch on the kickoff night of Kindness Week. When asked directly if she was the catalyst to this ten year tradition, she dances around the question and deflects again and says, “it came about with a lot of helping hands and hearts.” That’s the heart of The Kindness Tour. The kids and the teachers are not doing it to be recognized. They are doing it because to be kind is the best thing we can do.

Kelly Gardner and Serenity Daley help Will Smitreski show off his Kindness Matters sign that he created at the kickoff night of Kindness Week at CMS.

This is how all the teachers are. Dawn Walsh, Kelly Gardner, Janet Polizois, Serenity Daley and Elaine Slattery are all so humble and thoughtful. To teach second grade seems to be a guaranteed jump to the front of the line upon reaching heaven. The patience and tenderness required are not anything you could glean from an education degree. They all seem called to this profession. They enjoy the day as much as the kids do, and are moved as much as the parents are. That’s amazing considering that some have completed this tour for ten consecutive years. The Kindness Tour is a long day for the second graders at CMS, but a beautiful one. The week kicks off with a night at school where the students and their parents are introduced to what they will do during the Kindness Tour. On this kickoff night, they drop off donations for the food pantry, donate a pair of new socks for the homeless, and bring a stamped envelope to write letters of thanks to the troops. In the past few years, they watch either a LifeVest video which demonstrates how one small act of kindness can have a ripple effect throughout the community, or a photo slideshow/ video presentation of prior tours. The students love watching tours from the past few years and try to spot their older siblings and friends. The evening concludes with students and their parents working on signs to display on their lawns reminding all who pass through that “Kindness Matters,” and “Kindness is The New Cool,” and “Kindness Rocks.” On the day of the Tour, typically a Friday and this year


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Mt. Olive Kindness April 20, second grade parents are invited to join their children on only upbeat words these homeless people receive for a long time. as much or as little of the tour as they like. After a picnic lunch in the classrooms on beach towels, the afCMS Principal Kevin Moore begins the day with a speech. If ternoons have varied throughout the years. While the mornings you’ve seen Moore, kindness may not be the first word that pops have been predictable with the three stops, the afternoons have into your head. At a towering six feet and six inches, intimida- had some variation. tion may be a more accuThis year, some rate first impression. That Mount Olive High School will last about four and a students who are also half seconds. Moore is a EMT’s and volunteer firecharismatic speaker and fighters stopped by to motivator and before he enlighten our students begins his countdown to about the responsibilities kindness which concludes of the job and balancing with the entire school clapthose with the demands ping the second graders out of school. The children into the world, he talks to were enthralled and so his students. He explains excited to ask thoughtful that the world is a chalquestions about everylenging place and will be thing from how scared troublesome to navigate they have been on a at times, but if you choose job, to what made them one thing in this world to want to become an EMT, be, you should choose to to what prepared them be kind. These are words as a student to become and beliefs that are easy to a firefighter. These gencome by in an elementary tlemen were presented school. You would be hard with blankets to keep on pressed to find a classroom their trucks to lend to without words to this effect patients in need so that displayed or faculty memthey could be covered bers who are not saying Emma Parrillo and Kaya Bush are all smiles after their singing performance at the with something made those words to the student Kindness Tour. from love as they are body. But anybody can SAY transported in the vehiwords. It’s another thing to live them, to exemplify them, and to cles. The kids viewed it as their way of providing a warm hug to BE them out in the world. That is what makes Moore different someone during a particularly scary time. and such a great leader to his school. He is not just going through In other years, the afternoon has been comprised of different the motions. He demonstrates all that kindness embodies on a visiting Kindness Givers. Last year, John Stark and his foundation daily basis. stopped by. The prior year, some students from Love Your Melon The morning begins at the Warren Haven Nursing Home in Ox- made the rounds. There have been high school students doing ford. Then the kids go to Trinity Church in Hackettstown. Finally, yoga who taught our second graders how to be kind to their boda few representatives hop off the bus at the Budd Lake post office ies. There have been presentations from Eleventh Hour Rescue. to mail the letters of gratitude to the troops. Relics of Kindness The theme of the afternoon is that Kindness can be found anyTours past adorn the walls of the Post Office and remind custom- where if you know where to look. ers of the value of Kindness. What’s amazing is that ten years in, these teachers are just as At the Trinity Methodist Church in Hackettstown, students visit excited as they must have been the first year. Even though the a few stations. They individually walk the cans their school has stops on the tour are the same, the premise is the same, and only donated to the food pantry and see exactly how generous not the kids change, you can still see teachers growing emotional as only CMS is, but those families from the surrounding areas as well. the kids start to sing about The Rainbow Connection. You still see Students participate in a presentation about how needy families sadness pass over faces when the teachers hear, often for the can get this food and how important it is to be generous to this tenth time, about the difficulties of those on the receiving end of cause. They learn about Midnight Run which goes on a monthly the Midnight Run. Compassion and caring run deep with these pilgrimage to NYC to bring clothing and food to the homeless in teachers. Manhattan. Then they decorate bags with messages of Kindness One complaint about schools today is that kids do not have and Love for the food that will be placed into these bags. These time to be kids. With testing starting at a younger age, and so messages are prepared with care by the kids and could be the much learning packed into the school day, kids do not


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Mt. Olive Kindness light up and smile when have the time to explore life in we handed them the its simplest form and to JUST flowers that we made.” BE. On the day of the Kindness Seventh grader AnthoTour, they get to take a break ny Moscatello shares the from the rigor of their days same sentiments. He enand instead focus solely on joyed, “…talking to all the spreading joy throughout the elderly fellas and singing community. They quickly learn for them.” that no matter what their masIn life, it’s easy to sit tery level is, kindness is at the back and complain. It recore of everything. They learn quires less to speak negthat, “Kindness Begins with atively about teachers, ME!” and they intertwine their coaches, political leaders, wisdom, social skills, and artisneighbors, friends, and tic abilities all while being kids. relatives. It seems to be That is what makes everyone the default conversation they come in contact with so Faith Coronato offers a flower to a resident of the Warren Haven Nursing Home. on the sidelines of kids’ happy on this day. sporting events, at the suStudents of years past have been impacted by the Kindness Tour and can recall fond memo- permarket, at work, or in the living room on the couch. Don’t ries of it. Fifteen year old Fiona Gsell remembers being clapped do it. Facebook and other social media can bog you down with out of the school. “It was then that I knew what it was all about…I memes that remind you, “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting was overwhelmed with the rush of love that was all around that a battle you know nothing about,” and other various quotes of the school. Happiness, kindness, and compassion were flooding the same nature. But the words are true. They are simple but true. school that day, and every year after that I looked forward to that It’s challenging to live it. It truly is, but try. Try every day. And day like no one else.” Caroline Herman, a current sixth grader, remember Moore’s words to his second graders. They are for you recalls a highlight of hers was “seeing the senior citizens’ faces as well: In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

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Mt. Olive Adult Asperger Social Group Adults With Asperger’s Invited To Join Social Group For Monthly Gatherings By Cheryl Conway


t is not always easy to connect with people socially after one graduates from college but by getting involved with a nearby social group, adults with Asperger Syndrome can make new friends and socialize. In its fifth year, The Asperger’s Adult Social Group of N.J., has grown to about 25 members who meet once monthly to participate in a planned activity. Members are seeking even more adults to get involved and join in on the fun. “Our current members

have asked that we continue to grow, so I am spreading the word,” says Debra Burke of Budd Lake, founder of the The Asperger’s Adult Social Group of N.J. “It’s a good core group; hoping to get more members.” Established in October 2013, Burke and her 34 year old daughter, Jaclyn, had discussed how great it would be to have a social support group for adults with Aspergers “since we hadn’t heard of anything like that in our part of N.J.,” says Burke. “Since then connections have grown, new friendships have been


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Mt. Olive Adult Asperger Social Group “Since then connections have grown, new friendships have been made, and it’s truly a wonderful thing” says Debra Burke. made, and it’s truly a wonderful thing.” While “there’s a lot of support for children with Asperger’s, once they get out of college there’s not enough outlets,” she says. Jaclyn, who graduated from Mt. Olive High School and attended County College of Morris in Randolph, was 31 when they began the group. “I just felt there was a need for adults with Asperger’s to have a social outlet,” says Burke. Other adults were asking for such a group as well, she says. The Burkes went to a meeting in Morristown but it turned out to be more of a support group. She and a couple of parents agreed they wanted more of a social group for their kids. Intimidated at first, she admits, to begin such a program, Burke attended a workshop held at Saint Claire’s Hospital in Denville to learn how she could start such a group. “I knew I could do that; I can throw a party,” she says. So she decided to organize an event once a month, varying days of the week held. Members meet once a month at different types of social get togethers such as dinner at an Italian restaurant, Hibachi, bowl-

ing nights, summer barbecue, swimming party, pizza and dessert party. Future events include impov nights, pottery classes, wine and painting and movie nights. “They are good to come alone,” says Burke, “it just works.” Current members consist of men and women, 18 years old though the late 40’s from Morris, Warren, Somerset and Sussex counties as well as New Hope, Pa. Asperger Syndrome is considered a very high functioning autism. Affected children and adults can have difficulty with social interactions and exhibit a restricted range of interests and/or repetitive behaviors. Of the members, Burke says, “it’s an amazing, positive group of people. It’s grown into a community of people; the friendships,” not only for the members but for their families, as well, “having a sense of community to share the friendships. It’s evolved so much.” Events usually last for two hours, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weeknights; 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. For more information, email Burke at aspergers.socialgroup@ or call her at 201-230-4725 to join.

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Mt. Olive Best High School MOHS among the best high schools in the state and nation

Mount Olive High School is among the best public high schools in New Jersey and the top 500 in the nation, according to a ranking by Newsweek magazine. Of more than 650 N.J. public high schools, MOHS was ranked 50th. It ranked 482nd of the nearly 16,000 public high schools in the U.S. Newsweek examined a number of different statistics to formulate its rankings, including academic achievement in mathematics and reading/language arts, SAT/ACT scores, graduation rate, AP enrollment, and ratio of counselors to students. “The high ranking is quite an honor,” said Dr. Larrie Reynolds, superintendent of schools. “It gives testimony to what I see every day: that the students at Mount Olive High School are some of the best prepared and most talented students anywhere. The dedication and hard work of the principal, faculty, staff, and of

course students pay off in big ways. They deserve hearty congratulations.” In 2015, U.S. News and World Report recognized MOHS as a top high school. The high ranking by Newsweek comes on the heels of MOHS standardized test data recently released by the New Jersey Department of Education that shows high levels of student performance. MOHS test scores were significantly higher on 2016 PARCC exams compared to last year and significantly higher than the state averages. For example in 11th grade, the final year in which students are tested, the 2016 MOHS average score was 92% higher than the state average in math; the MOHS average score was 55% higher than the state average in language arts.

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McCort Mt. Olive Chamber’s Business Person of the Year; Schaffer Named Humanitarian of the Year Two individuals who have been key participants in the Greater Mount Olive area in their own way will be recognized by the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce at its Annual Awards Banquet on June 7. Mike McCort, owner of Amish Mike on Route 46, has been selected as the Business Person of the year. Patrice Schaffer was named the Humanitarian of the Year. The two will be honored at the Chamber’s yearly event to be held at Audio Visual Dynamics, Mount Olive, starting at 6 p.m. Originally opened in 1978, Mt. Olive Hardware started out as a small, independent, family owned hardware store that simply built sheds on the side. Since then it has grown in leaps and bounds. It is still that same family owned business and still Mike McCort has basic hardware supplies, but since that time it has grown to become Amish Mike, New Jersey’s leading dealer in sheds, barns, gazebos, pool houses and all other Amish fine handcrafted products. For 40 years and two generations, Amish Mike has been working side by side with the Amish community to provide quality products to its customers.

Under Mike McCort’s leadership, Amish Mike now offers a full range of wood sheds, vinyl sheds, cedar sheds, board and batten sheds and more. It also features a great selection of indoor and outdoor handmade Amish furniture, including chairs, tables, hutches, swings, wishing wells, windmills, gliders, doghouses, chicken coops and much, much more. They are particularly proud to be selling wood products that are 100% handmade in the U.S.A. Amish Mike is not just known in northern NJ. They have built and delivered sheds in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Locally, Amish Mike’s is also one of the area’s biggest contributors to non-profit endeavors, from schools to churches and other worthy groups. Amish Mike’s continues to enjoy amazing success. Much of that has to do with Mike McCort! There is no better choice as the Humanitarian of the Year than Patrice Schaffer. There are three things that are most important to Schaffer: her faith, her family, and helping others. Very active in her


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MT. OLIVE CHAMBER church, Patrice and her husband Michael just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with their three girls. Giving back is almost second nature to Schaffer, who is a Business Development Specialist for navitend, a Managed Information Technology Company. She is constantly willing to help others promote their events and causes by posting on social media or creating press releases and articles to help promote. Other than seeing her many posts regarding the upcoming fundraisers for Vets Summer Fest, Operation Chillout, West Morris Central Theatre’s Musical performances, professional speaking engagements, and many other local fundraisers, Patrice just promoted the Arts Workshop at the Hive in Chester for their scholarship fundraiser. Schaffer is Patrice Schaffer involved with helping a friend adopt horses that have been abused. In addition, sh e is an assistant photographer with the “Fun Photographers” where she volunteers to photograph several events throughout the year.  Her favorite photography events include the Tim Tebow Foundation Night to Shine Nationwide Event for special needs children and Central Theatre’s Musical and Drama performances. In 2012, Schaffer started a FREE business service called “Computer Pit Stop Solutions” which helps people, mainly senior citizens with their day to day computer needs. The main reason she started this service was because she felt that senior citizens

are taken advantage of when it comes to technology and because a family friend was told by a computer store employee that he needed a new computer because his older one was not working properly. The computer just needed some tuning up and worked fine for what he needed it for. She has also offered some education such as basic computer knowledge for seniors and she speaks on technology use and safeguarding your personal information on the internet. Her most recent speaking engagement was with the United Way of Northern NJ’s Women’s Leadership Group. Most people, though, recognize Schaffer for the work she has been doing with the “Vets Summer Fest” (VSF) for the past 4 years. This is an annual event that raises money and awareness for homeless veterans. She is passionate about the “getting the word out” about Operation Chillout which is the organization that supports Homeless Veterans. Each year in August, VSF is held at Vasa Park in Budd Lake. She first started as a volunteer for VSF cooking Sausage and Peppers for the event and has gotten more involved ever since and is clearly an integral part of the VSF “team.” The Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce has members throughout Northwest New Jersey. To learn more about the chamber, or for ticket information, or sponsorship opportunities about this event, go to

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