Spring Lake June 2024

Page 1

Spring Lake

Serving Sea Girt






June 2024
Green Gables Croquet Club


As a realtor and local resident I offer all my clients a high level of expertise, knowledge and confidentiality for both buyers and sellers. My years on Wall Street allow me to negotiate confidently on your behalf and my expertise in design, renovation and custom home building will assist in your acquisition of the perfect seaside home for your family.

MRH Marie Reed REALTOR ASSOCIATE 309 Morris Avenue Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (o) 732.449.4646 (c) 415.310.2330 mariereedhomes@gmail.com mariereedhomes.com From my Family to Yours
Dreaming of a Beachside Home? Let me help you find the perfect house for your family in time for summer!
Memories are made in Spring Lake, NJ FEATURED IN INDUSTRY MAGAZINE
CHARLIE’S OF BAY HEAD 72 Bridge Avenue Bay Head, NJ 08742 732.295.1110 charliesofbayhead.com CHARLIE’S OF LINCROFT 700 Newman Springs Rd Lincroft, NJ 07738 732.812.4500 charliesoflincroft.com
padulabuilders.com (732) 449 9080 NEW CONSTRUCTION RENOVATION DESIGN BUILD
4 | SPRING LAKE Contents JUNE 2024 FEATURES 16 Teaching Is a Work of HeArt Art teachers at three local elementary schools share their thoughts on the importance of encouraging creativity in students. 22 ‘The Game Draws You In’ The Green Gables Croquet Club in Sea Girt offers members games, lessons and social events. 26 Jack’s Journey to Sea Girt How one lucky dog born in Egypt found a home, love and a community of fans. 30 Bring on the Flowers! The Spring Lake Garden Tour is your chance to admire the creativity of our local gardening enthusiasts. IN EVERY ISSUE 6 Publisher’s Note 8 Book Nook SUMMER READING FOR STUDENTS 12 Home Front PLANT IN JUNE FOR FALL BOUQUETS 36 Living Spaces LUXURY MEETS COMFORT 40 Photo Op PANCAKES FOR A CAUSE ON THE COVER Green Gables Croquet Club President Ann Leddy pictured with new member John Rible. PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHELLE WOLFE 26 12 16 22 30 36

Where You Want To Go Who

You Need To Know

Whether you’re dreaming of owning a seaside villa on the coast of Italy, Looking to diversify your investment portfolio or need to relocate out of state, it’s important to choose a Realtor® who is locally rooted & globally connected.

With nearly a decade of experience networking and culminating relationships with RE/MAX professionals and affiliates within The Institute Of Luxury Marketing network, I have developed an extensive group of referral agents all over the planet. Call me today for access to my “Rolodex”. Let’s get you where you need to GO!

Realtor®-Broker-Associate Office: 732-867-8617

1218 3rd Ave, Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Cell: 908-814-1690 heatherarchercoastalnjhomes.com

Publisher’s Note

We made it to June, the true start of summer! This busy month is chock full of celebrations. From performance recitals and end-of-year parties for students to Father’s Day gatherings and the full-time opening of the beaches, this month will fly by! Take a moment to slow down and enjoy your family, friends and favorite local spots before the hustle of summer is in full swing.

This month, we share the delightfully retro Green Gables Croquet Club. Like many of our readers, I have fond memories of looking over the hedges and peeking at the croquet games going on along Ocean Avenue. The feeling of walking on the short-cut lawn with bare feet was a true signal of summer for me. The location of the court may have changed over time, but the classic vibe of the game still prevails at the group’s new spot in the Army Camp.

The magnificent homes that line the streets of Spring Lake are about as iconic as the town itself. In a new department, Living Spaces, we aim to highlight beautiful homes in our area to showcase what makes living here so special and highlight the local talent that brings the spaces to life. To submit a home for consideration, please email editorial@ springlakemagazine.com.

Thank you so much for continuing to provide feedback and ideas. We appreciate it so much. Here’s wishing you a wonderful June filled with BBQs, beach time and bike rides!

Fondly, Brynn

Spring Lake MAGAZINE

Editor & Publisher

Brynn Coleman

Group Publisher

Jodi Bruker

Art Director

Sue Park

Copy Editor

Nancy Fass


Kate Czyzewski

Vincent Dicks

Danielle Kutcher

Kevin McManus

Maria O’Donnell

Lead Photographer and

Editorial Coordinator

Michelle Wolfe


Vinnie Dicks



Carroll V. Dowden

President and CEO

Mark Dowden

VP, Group Publisher, Regional

Thomas Flannery

VP, Content Strategy

Maria Regan

Creative Director

Kijoo Kim

Advertising Services Director

Jacquelynn Fischer

Operations Director

Catherine Rosario

Production Designer

Chris Ferrante

Print Production Manager

Fern Meshulam

Advertising Production Associate

Griff Dowden

Spring Lake magazine is published by Wainscot Media. Serving residents of Spring Lake and Sea Girt, the magazine is distributed monthly via U.S. mail. Articles and advertisements contained herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. Copyright 2024 by Wainscot Media LLC. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent.

From Frustration to Confidence: Mastering the Contractor Maze

Homeownership comes with its share of joys and challenges, and one of the biggest issues can be finding reliable contractors. If you’ve ever been disappointed by a contractor who failed to meet expectations, you’re not alone.

There is good news! Not every contractor is unreliable. In this article, we’ll cover why some are undependable and how to find stand-up trades-people that empower the customer to be successful.

Identifying the Pitfalls

Before we share our definition of empowerment, let’s examine the common traps laid by unreliable contractors. The allure of low-cost bids often leads to a compromised experience and poor quality. From unanswered calls, missed deadlines, and change orders, these experiences can leave homeowners with mounting stress and unexpected costs. This frustration peaks when promised project timelines stretch into months, leaving homes vulnerable to damage. Over 65% of the roofs we repair or replace are less than 10-years-old—the product of poor workpersonship by other companies.

Understanding Customer Empowerment

Customer empowerment isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a guiding principle that reputable contractors adhere to diligently. It’s about arming homeowners with the knowledge and support they need to make informed decisions about their homes. For example, at B&B Siding and Roofing, from the initial consultation to project completion, customers are guided through every step of the process, ensuring clarity and confidence.

What to Look For

So, how can homeowners identify

contractors who prioritize customer empowerment? Look for responsiveness in the early stages of your relationship, consultative approaches, and transparent communication. Reputable contractors have dedicated teams ready to address your concerns promptly, guide you through unfamiliar territory, and keep you informed at every stage of the project.

The Power of Information

Empowered customers are informed customers. Professional websites packed with educational resources signal a contractor’s commitment to transparency and customer support. Similarly, scrutinizing online reviews provides invaluable insights into a contractor’s reputation and reliability. Pay attention to the quantity and quality of reviews, as well as how the contractor responds to negative feedback.

Empowerment in Action

Customer empowerment isn’t just a nicety— it’s a necessity, especially when navigating the complex world of home contractors. By arming yourself with knowledge and partnering with reputable contractors, you can turn your home improvement dreams into reality with peace of mind.

At B&B Siding and Roofing, customer empowerment isn’t just a philosophy; it’s in our DNA. From clear estimates to proactive communication, we ensure that every customer feels supported throughout their exterior home improvement journey.

Patrycja Maras Owner B&B Siding and Roofing

Patrycja’s core focus is to elevate the home exterior industry to a style-guided experience where our advisors work with you to co-imagine your dream exterior. She inspires our design team to discover and incorporate the latest style trends while honoring timeless remodeling approaches. She is the voice of the customer, drawing on our core values of transparency, integrity, and lasting quality.

Over the last 30 years, we have transformed over 6,000 homes with siding, roofing, windows, and doors and have earned hundreds of 5-star reviews. We offer $0 down financing and industry-leading lifetime material and labor warranties.

Proudly serving Spring Lake, Sea Girt and the greater Jersey Shore area. 8 Leitrim Lane, Hazlet, NJ 07730 | 732.756.9909 | www.bbsiding.com

“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.” Roald Dahl Thunder Road Books has a passion for encouraging our youngest readers to find books they love so they become teens and adults who always have a book in their hands! These new releases are the perfect way to kick off summer reading with your family.


Summer Reading for Students

Electronics-free entertainment to engage kids while they’re not in school.




This is the PERFECT family read-aloud. Inspired by Straub’s mom, Susan, who is “Gaga” to her kids, this book tells the story of what happens when grandma comes to babysit. Mistakes, sillies and all sorts of fun!


Caldecott Winner Blackwell is back with a quintessential summer read. In “Ahoy” the child captain and his parent first mate set sail on a maritime adventure—all from their living room!

Perfect to get those imaginations going.


Kids have feelings. Sometimes those feelings are big. What does one do when those thoughts are too big? This book is a fantastic tool to help open the conversation about feelings and worries, triumphs and tribulations. It encourages young readers to share what they are going through and not keep their feelings bottled up.



Talk about an original story!

For the parents who were fans of “Harriet the Spy,” your kids will fall for Magnolia Wu—a spitfire character. Her parents own a laundromat in New York City

and she coins herself the “sock detective.” She is determined to reunite all the lonely socks with their rightful owners!


By Patricia MacLachlan

MacLachlan is an all-time favorite. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a baseball book for young readers that reads like a “classic.” Through her father’s love for the game, the main character finds her place on the mound. She spends time working on pitching while navigating growing up.


By Ernest Cline

Inspired by Cline’s town of Austin, Texas, “Bridge to Bat City’’ tells the story of the largest colony. Bats live under a bridge there and the main character does her best to try to protect them. For fans of Carl Hiassen, Ernest Cline teaches readers the importance of connecting and protecting nature’s creatures.




For fans of “The Inheritance Games,” Lewis’ debut gives readers a feeling of adventure and suspense. In the story, the world’s best thieves come

together for the ultimate competition. This book has been optioned for film in a huge bidding war. One of the best YA debuts of the year!



A timely story of a young girl’s journey through the Syrian War. Salama, the main character, is a pharmacy student. When war breaks out, she begins volunteering at a hospital. Determined to survive and protect her family, she manifests her fear into an imaginary entity to make it through this tumultuous time. It’s raw and emotional, but a must-read.


By Zoe Hana Mikuta

I dare you to say that title without saying it in the Queen’s voice from “Alice in Wonderland.” The fantasy genre is one of the fastest growing at the moment. This retelling is so beautifully done. The two main characters are witches, exiled to Wonderland. It’s dark, twisty and spins the original tale on its head!

is the general manager of Thunder Road Books. As a former teacher, she is happy to offer her book recommendations to kids of all ages!

Kate Czyzewski
JUNE 2024 | 9

"Your Realtor at the Shore"

Donna Fahy-Waters, a top Producing broker/sales associate for more than 20 years provides experience and excellence with energy and enthusiasm while embracing the new venues of technology. She brings her Wall St. background of finance and marketing to all of her clients. She has sold waterfront properties in every town from Monmouth Beach to Seaside Heights while understanding the nuances of every glorious location.

Her business acumen, commitment to clients and intuitive sense of every market are instrumental in her success. Donna welcomes the opportunity to share her knowledge and possibilities with buyers and sellers.

Call Donna, Your Shore Realtor today and Expect the Best.

Donna Fahy-Waters, Broker Sales Associate, Luxury Property Specialist

SPRING LAKE Coldwell Banker Realty 1122 3rd Ave, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 Mobile (908) 601-0645 | Office (732) 449-2777 donnafw@cbmoves.com

June Plantings for Autumn Bouquets

Top tips for growing flowers from Crane Kanthajan of Cranery Gardens.

May is a busy month and sometimes a little unpredictable when it comes to weather. Once June hits, you may be worried that you are too late to start your cut flower garden, but fear not! We talked to Crane Kanthajan of Cranery Gardens to help us find flowers you can plant in early June for flowers through early fall.

Dahlia, cosmos and marigold are easy flowers to grow for fall bouquets. When putting together your bouquets, don’t forget about perennials and trees that may already be in your landscape, including fountain grass, sedum autumn joy and panicle hydrangea.

Here are Crane’s top four tips for growing flowers:

1. When you treat the plants well enough with good soil, sunshine and sufficient water, they will be strong enough to fight pests and disease by themselves. No need to use pesticides.

2. Don’t be afraid to cut the flowers when they bloom. Remember that we grow them to make a bouquet. You can locate cut-flower plants in your vegetable garden or in the back of your garden so you don’t feel guilty taking them for bouquets.

3. Use leaves, grasses and foliage in your bouquets. They add depth and whimsy and can really determine the personality of a bouquet. A turning purple hydrangea leaf shouts fall while holly says Christmas.

4. Grow flowers that are meaningful to you—those that remind you of your loved one or a happy childhood memory. The joy of seeing those meaningful flowers in your garden will be worth the effort.

Crane started gardening after moving to a home in

2019 previously occupied by an avid gardener. Through trial and error, he started to love the process of growing plants and flowers. When he began growing dahlias and creating bouquets for family and friends, a new passion was born! Now he can be found on Facebook and Instagram, where he posts short videos about how he creates his homegrown bouquets. On YouTube, he shares more in-depth tips and gardening ideas. Visit www.cranerygardens.com to learn more about his bouquet workshops, flower stand and garden consultations.

JUNE 2024 | 13
Design | Build | Maintain

A Spring Lake Reno

A journey of home renova�on from the 1910s to today.

"Preserving the charm while making it functional is a delicate balance. We blended timeless elegance with contemporary convenience."

The homeowners of this extensive renovation in Spring Lake, wanted to transform their 1916 Federal style house into one that would become a multi-generational family vacation home.

As a summertime retreat for themselves, their children (& future grandkids), they wanted to create multiple opportunites for the whole family to gather & create lasting memories. A part of achieving this was connecting inside & outside spaces for easy get-togethers.

Connecting these spaces and activities not only involved adding a stately front porch (with 2 sets of double door access to its interior spaces), but also included a new pool and large rear patio, directly accessible from the new open-concept family kitchen & dining space.

The new front porch features a welcoming, beautiful barrel vault entrance. With wicker chairs and tables, it is an enjoyable place to sip lemonade together and watch the world go by.

To fulfill the goal of a family hub, the inside included an extensively renovated family kitchen and a larger half-story (attic) to create

additional bedroom & bathroom spaces.

As you can see, McHugh Architecture focuses on listening to homeowners throughout the process. Their client-focused customized process is designed to understand the clients' needs and desires, in order to create spaces for a lifetime of memories.

What do you envision for your family? Let's chat about it! - Brendan 732.722.7737


Teaching Is a Work of HeArt

Art teachers at three local elementary schools share their thoughts on the importance of encouraging creativity in students.

For the students at Sea Girt, Mountz and Spring Lake Heights elementary schools, art classes take on a whole new level of creativity and innovation, thanks to the encouraging teachers at the helm. Matthew Tonzola, Maureen MacIntosh and Kyle Forbes have varying backgrounds and teaching styles, but they all create a learning environment where kids feel safe in their artistic exploration. These teachers have so many fresh ideas, from stop animation and boardgame creation to papier-mâché and sculpture.

They also love using acrylics, watercolors and pastels. The students learn about classic artists, such as Van Gogh and Matisse, and more contemporary artists like Amanda Evanston, Kehinde Wiley and Josh Agle (aka Shag).

Students develop the confidence to try new ideas and use their imaginations, both in the art room and in their homeroom. Through art integration into the regular classroom, these teachers can form a cross-curricular connection with other subject areas.



What makes you a great art teacher?

I work in a community that celebrates and supports the arts programs—something I will never take for granted. Each year, I strive to create new and exciting projects that many students can connect with and relate to to keep inspiring them. I think it’s important to exude the excitement you want your students to feel. And I try to do this by creating displays, hosting an art show and collaborating with neighboring school districts.

How do you feel about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)?

As educators, we are always looking for new ways to reach the minds of our students and pique their interests. Integrating a STEAM program highlights the many ways we can help different types of learners using visual and art-centered strategies.

What is your favorite project or artist to teach your students?

My 4th-grade students just completed a cardboard relief sculpture inspired by the local New Jersey artist “Porkchop.” In this lesson, students were able to meet Porkchop himself and even attend one of his gallery shows at the DiMattio Gallery at Monmouth University!

JUNE 2024 | 17


How long have you been an Art Teacher?

I have been teaching Art for nearly 20 years now. I started back in September of 2005 right here in Spring Lake Heights, and I can’t imagine a better school to be a part of. Heights has it all, with a dedicated faculty and staff that always strives to be on the cutting edge of the future in education. I have also found the entire community extremely supportive of the arts from day one.

Why is it important that kids are exposed to art in school?

In class, we work the creative and imaginative side of the brain, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also need to organize and look at things analytically. Here we find a way to create harmony with both sides, and I find that when we apply creativity and imagination to any problem, amazing things happen.

What medium do you love to use with your students?

Papier-mâché. I love the variety of projects you can make with it. We use cardboard and other recyclables to sculpt tape it all together and use the papier-mâché to bring it to life. One large project we did many years ago was a vintage life-size Pac-Man machine that decorates my classroom to this day!

What makes you a great art teacher?

To make me a better teacher, I think back to when I was in school and all the little things my favorite teachers would do that helped me through the day and made me enjoy being there. I work hard to create that environment for all my students. I know for students the days can be long and hard, but the art room can provide some much-needed downtime in a stress-free environment. We have objectives and goals like every other class, but the answers are not so concrete, and everyone can find a place to succeed here. When I help in any way to open those doors for students, I feel I’ve done a great job.


Matthew Tonzola,

Why is it important that kids are exposed to art in school?

I believe art is the creative force for other areas of study. An understanding and appreciation of art can lead to more critical thinking in science and math because you are more in tune to using the creative part of your brain. I always tell students we wouldn’t have an iPhone if the engineers and scientists who make them also did not love things like Star Trek and had the imagination to create these things. To let students have an outlet to explore what they are thinking or what to try without an already predetermined right answer is a great learning environment.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my wife and two dogs and two cats; reading; and playing board games and role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. Developing that hobby has been a great continuation of my artistic and creative skills.

What is your favorite project or artist to teach to your students?

I really like doing graphic design work with the middle school grades because I know I have much to offer because I was in the field. I also like it because it is the old-fashioned way of learning and creating by hand. I really enjoy the 3rd-grade board game creative projects. Students start from the beginning thinking of a game, creating rules and then designing the board and pieces. I also really get a kick out of the stop animation that is an 8th-grade project.

How do you feel about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)?

I am very happy that they added the “A” to this. Because I feel that it is the creative end of the engineering of a project that in today’s world will help sell the product. Creativity helps break down barriers and get people to try new ideas. People by design are visual creatures and teaching should be about preparing students for the modern world outside the classroom—to create a functioning member of society but also someone who can think and act and develop new ideas and creations on their own.

JUNE 2024 | 19


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‘The Game Draws You In’

The Green Gables Croquet Club in Sea Girt offers members games, lessons and social events.

If you visit the Sea Girt National Guard Camp, you’ll notice that between the old farmhouse (Quarters One) and the parade ground, there are perfectly manicured lawns. And if you are lucky enough to visit during the summer, you may get to see six-wicket croquet being played by participants, dressed all in white. The Green Gables Croquet Club has been providing world-class players and beginners alike with one of the finest facilities in the nation. After 66 seasons, the private club’s 70-plus members carry on the storied tradition, which began in Spring Lake.

In 1957, Mary Sue McCulloch Linden introduced her friends to the game of croquet at her Green Gables mansion at 1401 Ocean Ave. She provided her perfectly level and manicured lawn and the specialized, heavier equipment needed for true six-wicket croquet. Although the game was not generally played in the U.S. at the tournament level until the 1970s, it was popular at private estates in Hollywood, Palm Beach and Newport, in addition to Spring Lake.

The once divorced, thrice widowed McCulloch Linden had inherited millions from her grandfather’s fortune as a young girl and lived a privileged life. She went pheasant hunting with Clark Gable and Carol Lombard in South Dakota, dined with Prince Charles, and was presented to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace in Monaco. She hosted Winston Churchill at her Florida residence.

JUNE 2024 | 23

McCulloch Linden’s brother, Robert McCulloch, chose to use his inheritance to buy the London Bridge, eventually moving it to Arizona. She and her last husband, Carvel Knight, donated one million dollars to the Miami Heart Institute, and Suzie sat on the board of the Jersey Shore Medical Center.

The wide lawn at Green Gables provided the needed space to become The Green Gables Croquet Club. The whites that the players wear, the politeness during play and refreshments together after long games were at her insistence. The club was one of five founding members of the U.S. Croquet Association (USCA).

McCulloch Linden was inducted into the U.S. Croquet Hall of Fame and maintained decorum at the club long after she stopped playing. Members remember her sitting and surveying the action. The traditions she established carried on long after she passed away in 1996.

The club moved the courts to the Sea

Girt National Guard Camp after the estate was sold. The club thrives with the cool ocean breezes, three connected regulation greenswards, picnic tables and the pavilions which match the roofline of the nearby Quarters One. On almost any summer day you can find members practicing, learning or playing a version of the game: 6 Wicket Croquet (American), Golf Croquet or Association (International) Croquet.

The sport of croquet spread over the past 300 years with the reach of the British Empire. Wimbledon was founded as a croquet club and still maintains an active croquet membership. In New Zealand, many towns have public croquet facilities. The Egyptians tend to play a particularly aggressive style of golf croquet before enthusiastic crowds. In the U.S. there more than 400 chartered clubs registered with the USCA.

To learn more about the Green Gables Croquet Club, we spoke with its current president, Ann Leddy.

Jim Daniels (left) and Dennis Leddy (next page) are two of the volunteer groundskeepers at the Green Gables Croquet Club in Sea Girt. They cut and roll the lawn three times per week. Vintage photos of Suzie Linden’s Green Gables property in Spring Lake are courtesy of the former groundskeeper, Stephen Barlow (pictured below).

Who Maintains the Beautiful Lawn?

While we do hire select outside service providers to maintain championship playing surfaces, our volunteer groundskeepers are dedicated members who pride themselves on taking a handson approach to the maintenance of our three regulation size (105’ x 85”) courts. A specialty mower cuts and then rolls the grass every other day. Lawn maintenance is year-round, including proper watering during the warmer weather, and protection from the geese in the winter months. The work of these volunteers really helps us keep our membership costs down.

What are the members like?

We have 75 members, a handful of whom are non-resident members who live outside a 35-mile radius. Some come from as far as New York and Delaware, but our core is local. We are a member-owned and managed club with a great spirit of volunteerism. Our wonderful members come from all walks of life and currently range in age from 40 to 90. Members enjoy the spirited competition and sportsmanship that croquet affords while playing outdoors in a beautiful setting.

We are fortunate to have nationally and globally ranked members in our club who take considerable time to offer weekly scheduled lessons to our players. Membership at Green Gables Croquet Club is a great value. Our members are offered near unlimited access to the courts, weekly scheduled lessons, monthly social dinners at the Spring Lake Golf Club during the season, and a Black-tie Gala in September. The USCA has awarded our Club the 2023 Croquet Club of the Year, an honor that our club has received twice before.

Is the game hard to play?

Croquet is a sport that can be enjoyed by men and women of all ages on an equal basis. Players of any skill level can generate the pendulum movement of the mallet required to strike the ball, but the strategy involved is the real challenge of the sport. Players must think several moves ahead, much like the game of chess. Once the ball is struck by the mallet, it has to travel through the wicket with just 1/16th of an inch clearance on each side of the ball, which may be even tighter during

tournament play. There are also many angles to consider. As in the game of billiards, players may choose an angle with which to hit another ball, adjusting their strikes for each hit. Every wicket scored counts for one point. Once the ball travels through all six wickets, the travel of play is reversed.

How to you gain new members?

Each year the USCA celebrates National Croquet Day in June, and we invite anyone to come out and try the sport. We have extra mallets to use. The army base personnel require us to provide them with the names of our guests, so please email greengablescroquet@gmail.com prior to your visit. More information regarding membership is available at our club website: www.ggccnj.com.

Green Gables Croquet Club is very

unique. Other opportunities to play croquet in the area are limited to a few country clubs, with years-long waitlists and much more expensive membership dues. Many of our members play both here in the summer months and at other clubs during the winter.

How competitive is play?

We have all levels of players and competition. In croquet, there is an established handicap system that, similar to golf, allows players to travel to other clubs, match up and compete fairly. There may be singles or doubles play during games, but there is also time to socialize, and many great friendships develop. Some of the best enthusiasm comes from players at the beginner level as they learn to make shots. The game draws you in.

JUNE 2024 | 25
Dennis Leddy on the croquet courts at the Sea Girt National Guard Training Camp.

Jack’s Journey to Sea Girt

How one lucky dog born in Egypt found a home, love and a community of fans.

Some of us are fortunate to have been born in the Sea Girt/Spring Lake area. Others are grateful to have arrived later in life. Some of us have come from other New Jersey communities and others have come from great distances. One of us might even be a four-footed, threeand-a-half-legged dog. Regardless, we are indeed fortunate. Let me tell you a story about a dog named Jack and our amazing community.

Jack is from Egypt. Yes, Egypt, not New Egypt, as we initially thought. Jack arrived stateside via the efforts of a good Samaritan who saw YouTube videos of him being mistreated in Egypt and had him flown to New York. After five foster homes and many days and nights in crates, Jack found himself living at

the beach in Sea Girt.

Despite missing half a leg, Jack can run like a deer. He likes biscuits and treats (always). On hot days, he likes an oasis of sprinkler water, laying on his porch and taking walks—on the beach, around Allaire Park and along Wreck Pond.

A Brave Leap

Surprisingly, he also likes swimming in Wreck Pond. Last year, after thinking about it for at least eight years, he decided to take a flying leap and jump off the ledge into a relatively deep part of the pond. Luckily his owner/sidekick still had him on a long leash and Jack was able to swim three blocks until his sidekick could jump in and lift him out. His sidekick travelled those three blocks along the

edge of the pond walking what seemed to be an imaginary dog to the delight and amusement of many passersby. Jack ended up ok, but his sidekick ended up in the emergency room. Of course, the next day all anyone asked about was how Jack was. What does Jack dislike? He hasn’t specifically spoken about it, but it appears to be icy ground, dogs hanging out of car windows and decorative dogs on rooftop weathervanes.

Most days Jack walks along Wreck Pond. Because Jack has 3½ legs and originally hails from Egypt, he’s a bit distinctive in both looks and personality. He’s frequently stopped by inquisitive joggers, walkers, bicyclists and morning travelers whose route takes them along our same path each day.

JUNE 2024 | 27

About three years ago a car stopped and waved us over. Turns out it was a young family headed towards St. Catherine’s school. It was there that we first met Charlotte and Everett and their mother and father who explained that they look for Jack every day and like clockwork know which part of the pond we will be depending upon the time. Since then, regardless of the weather, they have rolled down their windows and wished us a good morning.

Soon after, other families spontaneously joined in. Daily, Jack is greeted by honked horns signaling hello, smiling faces, waves and shouts of good morning from the students, parents, teachers, staff and bus drivers who are all part of St. Catherine’s.

Cars stop and give Jack Christmas presents of biscuits, toys, leashes and collars. People throughout town write Jack notes praising his bravery and inspiration. He is resilient.

Eventually after trying to repay individual students with pictures of Jack, thank you notes and gift certificates for chicken nuggets, an arrangement was agreed upon with the PTA for a full-day ice cream truck at St. Catherine’s. Classes came out two by two throughout the day to have an ice cream treat and to meet Jack. Several students had come up with their own made-up names for Jack. Tri for Tripod being one of them. Others described which car was theirs or shared whether they had a dog riding with them to school.

The students asked tons of questions. Did he lose his leg in a car accident? No,

he was just born that way. Can I pet him? No, he is very friendly if he knows you but if not remember he’s not a therapy dog. There was even a heated discussion between a couple of students over who knew Jack longer. Of course, many of them were just thankful for skipped classes and ice cream. All in all, it was a wonderful day.

A Humble Hound

The following day, there were probably 40 cars informally lined up to give Jack a special good morning greeting. Jack gave his usual T-Rex bark in return. I’m happy to report the attention has not gone to Jack’s head.

By looks and place of birth, Jack’s ancestors may have sat next to Cleopatra. By DNA, they may have fought alongside Genghis Khan. What’s 100 percent certain is that Jack has found himself a home in Sea Girt.

If you are a friend of Jack’s and it hasn’t already been personally said, many thanks for being so welcoming to Jack. It’s impossible to imagine what an incredible turn his life has taken and how many miles he has traveled on his 3 ½ legs.

The students and neighbors never fail to bring a smile to my face, optimism for the future and a continued appreciation of the special nature of this Sea Girt/ Spring Lake community. It’s an amazing way to start each day.

Kevin McManus is a Sea Girt resident and Jack’s sidekick.

A Division of Builders General 732.923.3474 joseph.laspino@buildersgeneral.com Untitled-5 1 2/9/24 11:12 AM

Bring on the Flowers!

The Spring Lake Garden Tour is your chance to admire the creativity of our local gardening enthusiasts.

The Garden Club of Spring Lake supports the betterment of the environment and celebrates our community. With a passion for gardening, Spring Lake residents Mary Ellen Chazen, Ellen Lynch and Nancy Connellan gathered in 2003 to create a garden club and tour featuring the gardens of Spring Lake. The Seaside Garden Tour has grown from a private group walkabout featuring several homes to a sprawling town event put on by one of the largest garden clubs in the state of New Jersey. The tour has become so popular that people come in buses from out of state to attend.

The Garden Club of Spring Lake now has more than 90 members. Welcoming members from nearby towns as well, it is inclusive to all. The club meets from fall through late spring on the first Wednesday of each month. Club members take turns providing refreshments and have an opportunity to mingle and create lasting friendships before a presenter speaks to the

group. Presenters include master gardeners and experts on environmental topics like conservation and wildlife.

Giving Back

The garden tour is the crown jewel of the club’s fundraising efforts. It celebrates beautiful local gardens while raising funds to support scholarships for graduating seniors who plan to pursue careers in fields such as horticulture, landscape design and environmental sciences.

The club designs, plants and maintains gardens around Spring Lake, including beautifying public spaces such as the train station, the boardwalk and the Spring Lake welcome sign, which is decorated with pink flowers for breast cancer awareness. Additional funds raised through membership fees and meetings are used for many charitable causes, including gifts for children at Christmas and donating to the local foodbank, Fulfill.

Committee members Alix Foran and Joan Reil spend time each year driving around town knocking on doors for the chance to see the backyard gardens and add homes to the tour. They say the backyard is the personality while the front yard is the show! One of the homes this year on the tour belongs to California Master Gardener Susan Frazier. Her home reflects this landscape designer’s passion for plants, revealing a lush and beautiful display of what one can do with a green thumb and a passion for gardening.

The tour also features an artist at each garden who paints their impression of the beauty that garden evokes. Each piece of art created en plein air is then sold downtown after the tour at Frederick’s Gallery, which displays the paintings that are for sale at a reception on the Sunday after the tour. Businesses along Third Avenue get involved as well. Many shops and restaurants give a discount to tour attendees.

JUNE 2024 | 31
From left: Garden Club of Spring Lake committee members Mary Ellen Chaen, Alix Foran and Joan Reil in front of the beloved dolphin topiaries downtown.

A Hot Ticket

This year’s tour is on June 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are available at Clayton Limousine, J. McLaughlan, Coral Cove, Kate & Co. and Frederick Galleries. There are 550 tickets available, and they sell out quickly!

During the summer, the club keeps track of the beautiful gardens and gives out awards to a handful of residents who have created exceptional front yards. One year the award was given to DPW’s own Don Braun. Don plants beautiful red flowering bulbs at the end of Third Avenue and stores them in the municipal greenhouse, replanting them yearly. He has been at it for many years as the bulbs are now thirty years old!

There is much to love about this beautiful town, both along the sea and beyond the beach. Committee member Joan Reil says it best, “There are plenty of beach towns, but we are a town that just happens to have a beach.”

Maria O’Donnell is a passionate gardener and community member who lives in Spring Lake with her husband and two kids.

This garden, shown above and below, was part of the 2022 tour. It features a train that snakes through the whole yard. The garden with its train feature was a passion project of Barbara Nelson and her late husband, Richard. Each year, the homes on the tour change. Nelson plans to share her garden again for the 2026 tour.
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MICHELLE WOLFE PHOTOGRAPHY Family |  Lifestyle |  Celebrations |  Branding |  Headshots www.michellewolfephotography.com | michelle@michellewolfephotography.com | 917.558.3923 Untitled-2 1 5/6/24 12:15 PM
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Luxury Meets Comfort

With more than 25 years of experience as a real estate investor, Spring Lake resident Marie Reed’s journey has led to discoveries and investments in single-family homes across various coastal locales, each reflecting a luxury coastal aesthetic tailored to its environment.

Her admiration for 15 Madison Ave. had been long-standing. “Its grandeur, with a magnificent front porch and numerous ocean-view balconies, immediately spoke to me,” says Reed. Recognizing the inherent quality of its construction, she embarked on a renovation journey to further

enhance its beauty.

An oversized lot and proximity to the beach, parks and downtown Spring Lake make this location truly unbeatable. Designed by architect Chris Rice, the home stands as a testament to the finest talents in our area. As a lifelong resident and design enthusiast, Reed aimed to create a space that seamlessly blends coastal luxury with comfort.

The renovation journey began in December 2019 with the addition of a luxurious pool area completed in May 2020. “My focus was to transform the space into a comfortable and distinctly

beach-inspired residence, ideal for entertaining and meeting the needs of a bustling family,” says Reed.

For Reed, transitioning from a career on Wall Street to pursue her passion for real estate was a natural progression. Her role at The Gallery Residential Brokerage in Spring Lake has allowed Reed to blend financial expertise with her passion for seaside living.

Spring Lake magazine would love to share your home—or if you’re a professional, a client’s home—with readers. Interested in participating? For more details, email editorial@ springlakemagazine.com.

JUNE 2024 | 37

The Nauti Butler

From fruition to completion, we seamlessly execute the planning process from the creative, personalized menu to the servers, bartenders, rentals and everything in between. Instagram thenautibutler.com 732-284-7660 thenautibutlers@gmail.com Whether your event is at home or a venue, we bring our full-service setup to you and do all the running around so you don’t have to. NautiButler_1-3sq_SL_0624_GDv2.indd 1 5/13/24 11:09 PM

Pancakes for a Cause

Ray’s Cafe in Sea Girt hosted a pancake dinner for Spring Lake Theatre & Dance Academy’s Competition Team. The May 3 event raised money for the group’s upcoming dance competitions. A heartfelt thank-you to everyone who purchased tickets! Above, Ray’s owner Ray Litzinger is pictured with senior and junior company members.

a great image for Photo Op? Submit your high-resolution shot to brynn.coleman@wainscotmedia.com. 40 | SPRING LAKE

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