Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this October 2019

It’s officially fall – and October is one of the best and most beautiful weather months in New Jersey. Get the family ready for an action-packed month filled with fun fall and Halloween activities. Check out these free or inexpensive events happening in a town near you!

October 5:

Holmdel Harvest Fest from 12-9pm at Bayonet Farm. Join the 7th Annual Harvest Fest on Middletown Road, which includes food vendors, crafters, beer/wine in the Red Barn, wagon rides, pony rides, inflatables, a Ferris Wheel, carousel, touch-a-truck, live music and more! Parking is $10 per car. Find out more here.

Matawan Day and Fall Festival from 12-5pm on Main Street. Don’t miss this annual event in which thousands of people make their way down Main Street in Matawan to visit over 120 booths and tables of crafters/artisans, retailers, food vendors, local restaurants,  professionals, and non-profit organizations who are ready to showcase their products and services. Learn more here.

Asbury Park Zombie Walk from 4-8pm at Convention Hall. You won’t want to miss the world’s largest gathering of zombies! There will be music and festivities along the boardwalk and a “blood red” fireworks show along the ocean front. Get the details here.

October 6:

Sunflower Festival at Holland Ridge Farm (Cream Ridge) from 9am-6pm. Wander through towering rows of sunflowers, stroll through the barns, visit the animals, and check out the museum and Holland Shop. Same day adult tickets are $12 each, $10 for seniors, $8 for children 3-12, and kids under 3 are free. Discounted tickets are available for purchase online in advance. See more information here.

Pierfest Annual Fall Festival (Long Branch) from 12-5pm. There will be face painting, inflatables, a photo booth, fun bus, vendors, crafters, live music, and great food & drinks from surrounding restaurants. Rain date will be October 13th. Find out more at http://www.pierfest.com/

October 11: Haunted Theater at Brookdale Community College (Lincroft) from 7-10:30pm. Celebrating 17 years of scares, Brookdale Performing Arts Center’s Haunted Theater is locally regarded as one of the scariest Halloween attractions in Monmouth County. This indoor, self-guided walk through haunted house maze – features pitch black zones and special effects, all contained within the walls of the Performing Arts Center. Find out additional details at http://brookdalehauntedtheater.com/

October 12: Fall Afternoon Tea at 600 Main Bed and Breakfast (Toms River) from 12-4pm. Welcome the fall season with a five course afternoon tea and tours of the Victorian Historic Mathis House. Cost per person is $37 and includes soup, salad, scones, tea sandwiches, desserts, and favorite fall gourmet teas (pumpkin spice, harvest glow, and cinnabon). Register here.

October 12 & 13:

Jersey Shore Cake and Cookie Convention from 10-4pm at Convention Hall (Asbury Park). A place where professionals and hobbyists can shop hard to find supplies, learn new techniques, meet face to face with cake and cookie idols, all while having fun and meeting new sweet friends. Hosted by Shore Cake Supply, this event will be bustling with nationwide supply vendors, live free demonstrations, competitions, hands on classes and so much more! Find out more information here.

Allentown Fall Festival from 10am-5pm. There will be crafters, a civil war re-enactment, classic car show, live entertainment, a petting zoo, contests, kids’ activities, and great food! A shuttle bus will be available leaving from Allentown High School. Learn more here.

October 14: Pumpkin Fest at Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck from 11am-4pm. Come spend your Columbus Day off at a fun-filled family event featuring crafts, games, live music, local food samples, and an antique tractor display. Get more information here.

October 15 & 16: Flavor of Freehold from 5:30-8pm on Main Street in Downtown Freehold. Don’t miss this unique tour of Downtown Freehold’s restaurants, bars, and shops. Walk from place to place with your event passport, and receive signature samples from some of Freehold’s most well-loved establishments. The cost to attend is $20 per person. Learn more and purchase your tickets here.

October 18 & 19: Haunted Allaire from 6-9:30pm at Allaire Village (Wall). Don’t miss the haunted village and hayride tour of Allaire State Park. This year features a new route along with 20 different scary scenes, plus visit the grounds and see scary storytelling, stop into the bakery and check out the haunted food truck. Advanced ticket purchase is required – adults are $15 each, children 12 and under are $10 each. Learn more and reserve your spot today!

October 19: Fall Movie Series at Pier Village (Long Branch) from 6-8:30pm. Don’t miss this showing of the Goonies in the outdoor cinema on Festival Plaza! Bring your favorite beach chair and blanket and relax under the stars. Find out more here.

October 19 & 20: Boo at the Boardwalk (Pt. Pleasant) from 12-4pm. There will be trick or treating, crafts, games, a pumpkin patch, a beach maze, pumpkin carving, rides, and more! Find out the details here or call 732.892.0600

October 20: Thompson Park Day (Lincroft) from 11am-5pm. You won’t want to miss this family-friendly autumn event! There will be a costume contest for dogs, pumpkin painting, wagon rides, entertainment, races, food vendors, ceramics, pottery, archery, canoeing, climbing wall, games, contests and more! Free admission and free parking. Learn more here.

October 25: Mad Science Halloween at the Monmouth Museum (Lincroft) from 6-7pm. This presentation will have you gasping and laughing at the Mad Scientist’s peculiar and chilling science experiments. Through a mixture of science and magic, children will see a paper spider turn into a real spider. Watch as the wicked witch melts right before your eyes! Find out how an eyeball floats in the air, then make bubbling potions and fearsome fog, experience melting witches and even edible spider webs (cotton candy)! All will have an evening of gruesome goodness and fun. Find out more here.

October 26: Halloween PJ Party at Robert J. Novins Planetarium (Ocean County College, Toms River) from 12-1:30pm. Come in your favorite Halloween costume or Halloween PJs for a not-super-spooky good time! Learn about the planets, moon, and stars in October’s night sky. Listen to stories of monsters, heroes, and princesses in the stars. Sing along to Halloween themed laser songs, and make a special Halloween themed craft before the show. Cost is $10 for all ticket levels ages 3 and up. Find out more here.

October 26 & 27: Not So Haunted Wine Fest at 4JG’s Vineyard (Colts Neck) from 12-5pm. The spells are friendly and the brews are delicious! Must be age 21+ in order to drink alcoholic beverages. Learn more about the wine walk weekend here.

October 27: Bullock Farms Fall Fest (Cream Ridge) from 10am-6pm. There will be hay rides, live music, food, pumpkin picking, a corn maze, flower walk, barnyard animals, facepainting, a balloon artist, farm yard lawn games, a straw bale slide mountain, tractor tire jungle, and more!  Kids under 2 are free. Find out more information here.

 

Winter 2019 Newsletter

We hope your 2019 is off to a great start – be sure to take a look at our Winter Quarterly Member Newsletter to see what’s in store for the new year. In a continued effort to go green, we’re publishing our newsletter electronically – it can also be found on our website and social media sites. Paper copies will be available in our branches.

The Winter Newsletter features the following articles:

To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.

Wishing you all the best in 2019!

Small Business Spotlight: Adrienne Asta, Licensed Massage Therapist

I am pleased to present a monthly blog post which features one of our current businesses, how they got started, and how First Financial has helped them grow their business. If this inspires you to want to expand your business goals or see how First Financial can assist you further, feel free to reach out to me. Keep reading to learn more about our featured Business of the Month, Adrienne Asta: Licensed Massage Therapist. — Matt Brazinski, Assistant Vice President of Business Development

Adrienne Asta: Licensed Massage Therapist

With more than 16 years of experience, Adrienne is truly a master of her craft. She can help with stress reduction, pain management, injury management, improved quality of life, relaxation and even improved productivity in the workplace! Discover the numerous benefits of therapeutic massage.

Owner: Adrienne Asta

Years in Business: 16+

Previous Careers: Advertising Manager

What do you love most about the business? Massage Therapy is truly a profession of service. I feel honored to be able to deliver a skill that actually increases the quality of life for every client that gives me the privilege to do so. This profession is about connection and holding people in the highest regard, helping them to be the best version of themselves that they can be. This can only result in a positive trajectory for humanity.

What has your biggest challenge been in business? My biggest challenge is accommodating schedules. Everyone’s time commitments are unique, so being able to match availability is difficult.

What do you like most about banking with First Financial? FFFCU is like the “Cheers” of banking (“…where everybody knows your name, and you’re always glad you came…”). The personalized service is top notch.

What is your key to success? Make decisions for which your future self will thank you!

Contact Adrienne if you are interested in massage therapy:

Visit yourpartnerinhealing.com

Or email adrienne@yourpartnerinhealing.com

Ready to grow your business? Call the Business Development Department at 732.312.1500, email business@firstffcu.com or stop by any branch location. Learn more about our Business Account products and services on our website.

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Our Spring Semi-Annual Member Newsletter has arrived!

In a continued effort to go green, we’re publishing our newsletter electronically – it can also be found on our website and social media sites. Paper copies will also be available in our branches. This Spring First Edition newsletter covers some great new topics and talks about some of the exciting events and promotions going on at First Financial for the beginning of 2018.

The Spring Newsletter features the following articles:

  • Upcoming First Financial seminars and events (April – August 2018)
  • Article – “Should you pay for credit repair services? Probably not.”
  • Message from the CEO
  • Buy out your vehicle lease ad
  • “How does working affect social security retirement benefits?” – IRC Article
  • LIFE Fair Program
  • 2017 year-end food and gift drives help our local community
  • “Member Alert: Tech support scams” – Article
  • Important information, holidays, phone numbers, and branch locations

 To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.

Enjoy and Happy Spring!

First Financial Hosts Student Run LIFE Fair at Jackson High Schools

Press Release

(Pictured above: First Financial staff members and students from the Jackson Academy of Business teach fellow students about the financial realities of life at Jackson Memorial High School).

Freehold, N.J. – First Financial Federal Credit Union held their first student run LIFE™ (Learning Independent Financial Education) financial reality fair events at both Jackson Liberty and Memorial High Schools with the Jackson Academy of Business (JAB) students. While the credit union has hosted financial reality fairs in the past, this fair was actually staffed by high school students, who sat behind each of the financial tables and worked with other students to help plan their financial future. Approximately 160 students at each school participated in this hands-on version of the “game of life,” during which they were required to make on-the-spot financial decisions.

The LIFE™ Fair consists of a full day hands-on experience where students, after identifying their career choice and starting salaries, are provided a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly salary while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, and food. Once the students visit all the booths, they balance their budget and sit down with a financial counselor to review their expenses and get a “financial reality check.” At the student run fairs, First Financial staff members worked at the financial review tables with each of the participating students to provide insight.

In regard to the school’s experience with their first ever student run LIFE™ Fair, Laurie Shupin, Jackson Liberty teacher and the high school’s JAB coordinator stated, “The students felt it was an excellent learning experience and became more knowledgeable of the subject matter as the day progressed.  They are looking forward to more presentations and would love to extend it to the fall and spring semesters.” Laura Fecak, Jackson Memorial teacher and JAB coordinator stated, “The LIFE Fair was a great opportunity for all of our students involved.  It was an eye opening experience for the Financial Literacy students that came through to get a dose of reality, connecting classroom concepts to real life situations.  As well as, for the Jackson Academy of Business students that got to act as the sales representatives in a variety of situations (housing, transportation, technology, furniture, etc.).”

While the LIFE™ Fair was certainly full of temptations, the students had to spend their money wisely while being able to save and budget themselves for the future – while also enjoying everything life has to offer. First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan, concluded, “Our mission for our first student run LIFE™ Fair was to help the students understand the value of money and how to manage their money, so as they grow as an adult they’ll become more financially responsible. The student run fair was able to show the high school students even more about the financial realities of the real world. Our credit union puts a high priority on financial education, after all – that’s how First Financial began in 1936, with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

(Pictured above: Jackson Liberty LIFE Fair).

Additional photos from the event can be seen on First Financial’s Facebook page. To inquire about or set-up a LIFE™ Fair for a Monmouth or Ocean County, NJ school or business – please contact the Business Development Department at  business@firstffcu.com.

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First Financial Foundation Sponsors Career Day Program at South Toms River Elementary School

Press Release

(L to R: AVP of Marketing at First Financial, Principal at South Toms River Elementary, Director of Business Development at First Financial, President & CEO at First Financial, Supervisor at South Toms River Elementary, and Guidance Counselor at South Toms River Elementary).

FREEHOLD, N.J. (March 2017) – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation once again awarded $500 to South Toms River Elementary School to sponsor their annual Career Day Program for students.

The grant money will be going to South Toms River Elementary and the Walnut Street School so the 4th and 5th grade students can attend the Teen Arts Festival at Ocean County College. The students will be spending the day at OCC taking part in the activities presented in the arts, having lunch on campus, and touring the college to see what OCC has to offer for various future career opportunities. After this visit there will be a follow up musical presentation by students at both elementary schools to promote careers in the arts.

First Financial’s Business Development and Marketing departments were also asked to come back to the elementary school to speak during South Toms River Elementary’s on site Career Day and discuss basic financial education with the students.

“We’re thrilled to be fortunate enough to help the students of South Toms River Elementary prepare themselves for a bright future during their Career Day for the second year in a row, and upcoming visit to Ocean County College. Since we began as a teacher’s credit union, we thrive on the importance of education and the success it brings – we’re happy to continue to support this great program,” added Issa Stephan, President and CEO of First Financial.

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About the First Financial Foundation:

Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, click here.