Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this May 2018

We can finally enjoy the Spring sun and warming weather! Don’t forget to take advantage of our local parks and enjoy a bike ride, a hike, play basketball or even a have a family picnic this month. It’s a free, fun and a great way to stay active and get some fresh air at the same time. And, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th so don’t forget to appreciate Mom! Check out some more free or inexpensive activities below that you can enjoy this month with your family and friends.

May 5: Spring Fling Arts & Crafts Show in Ocean Grove from 10am-4pm. Free admission to the event, which includes over 200 crafters and artisans, and live music. The event will be held rain or shine. Learn more at http://www.oceangrovenj.com/ or call 732-774-1391.

May 6: County Seat Jazz and Blues Fest in downtown Freehold from 12-6pm. This event takes place on West Main Street between Court Street and Throckmorton Street. Many vendors are participating with a variety of items such as jewelry, t-shirts, clothing, handmade dog biscuits, soaps, honey, unique crafts, and more. Food provided by Big Harlie BBQ and House of Cupcakes. Learn more about the event here, or call 732-333-0094.

May 12: Late Spring Flea Market at Allaire Village (Farmingdale) from 8am-3pm. Enjoy a day of bargains, treasures, artwork and more. Then enjoy a stroll through the Historic Village, General Store, and Village Bakery. $1 admission. To learn more call 732-919-3500 or click here.

Mommy and Me Tea Party at Allaire Village (Farmingdale) takes place between 11am-2pm also on May 12th. Seating times at 11am, noon, 1pm, and 2pm.This event is designed for children up to age 10, but all ages are welcome. Feel free to bring a fuzzy friend and a fun hat! There will also be storytelling. The event fee is $5 per person, and pre-registration is required. Please be sure to park in the main parking lot for Allaire State Park and come to the Row House & Village Museum (aka Visitor Center) for the event check-in. Please arrive 30 minutes in advance of your seating time. Call 732-919-3500 for details or click here to register online.

May 13: Mother’s Day at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk (Pt. Pleasant). Moms receive FREE admission to the Aquarium, Fun House, Mini Golf, Rides and Adventure Lookout all day with a paying child! FREE Chair Massages for Moms across from the aquarium from 1pm-4pm. Enjoy Arts & Crafts, Face painter and Balloonists from 1pm-4pm too. Details at http://www.jenkinsons.com/ or call 732-892-0600.

May 18-20: Annual Seafood Festival in Belmar. The event takes place at Silver Lake Park (5th and Ocean Avenues) from 4-8pm Friday, 11am-8pm Saturday, and 11am-6pm Sunday. Free admission, live music, children’s activities, beer tent & wine garden, seafood & specialty vendors, and more. Go to http://www.visitbelmarnj.com/ or call 732-681-3700 to learn more.

May 19: Ocean Grove Vintage Car Show from 10am-4pm, rain or shine. Over 90 cars will be on display on Main Avenue, as well as live music for everyone to enjoy. $5 donation for car admission or bring a canned good with you. Canned goods and donations will go to the Lunch Break organization. Call 732-774-1391 or go to http://www.oceangrovenj.com/ for more information.

Annual NJ State Chili and Salsa Cook-Off on Main Street in downtown Toms River, 11am-5pm. Come taste the best chili from your local restaurants and chefs and vote for your favorite! If chili isn’t your thing, there will also be food trucks offering up everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to gyros, empanadas and more. Toms River Fire Co. #1 will have a beer & wine garden. Live entertainment, merchandise vendors, and kids rides. Free parking downtown during the event, and free admission. Tasting kits for sampling chili are $7. Go to www.downtowntomsriver.com or call 732-341-8738.

May 26 & 27: Spring Lake Race Day and Sidewalk Sale. Spring Lake’s annual 5 mile run starts at 8am on May 26 and you can register at www.springlake5.org. The race day sidewalk sale starts on Third Avenue at 10am on May 26 and goes until 5pm on May 27. Learn more here or call 732-449-0037.

May 26-28: Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival at Monmouth Park (Oceanport). This year’s annual food truck festival will feature 45 trucks including fresh-made empanadas, to ocean-fresh lobster rolls, to warm and gooey Belgian Waffle sundaes. 5/26 and 5/27 gates will open earlier at 11am, and 11:30am on 5/28. There will be live music each day and on 5/27 and 5/28 face painting, pony rides, a bounce house, and more. Admission is $5, and kids 12 and under are free. Learn more here, or call 732-222-5100.

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!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this July 2017

It’s time for some fun in the sun! Enjoy the beautiful weather and all the sights and sounds this summer season brings. Now is the perfect time to gather your family and friends to check out these free or inexpensive events in a town near you.

July 1: Spring Lake Summer Art Walk (12-4pm) – Third Avenue in downtown Spring Lake. For more information visit http://www.springlake.org/  or call 732.449.0577.

July 2: Independence Day Celebration at Allaire Village (Wall) from 11am-4pm. The members of the Howell Iron Works celebrate the founding of our nation with an Independence Celebration. Experience a day in the life of people during the 1830s. The school master will be holding school lessons for visitors and villagers alike. Participate in a Militia drills and parade.  The Declaration of Independence will be read at 2pm before the General Store.  There will also be speeches, and fanfare.  For more details, click here or call 732.919.3500.

Independence Day Fireworks & Celebration Schedule 2017

July 3:

July 4:  

July 5:

*For more towns and fireworks – click here.

July 7: Atlantic Highlands Fireman’s Fair – Games, rides, food, and fun. Fireworks start at 9:45pm on July 7th at the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor. For more details call 732.872.8711 or visit https://www.aharts.org/

July 8: Summer Flea Market at Allaire Village (Wall) from 8am-3pm. Hunt for hidden treasures amid furniture, books, art work, bottles, knick knacks, and so much more! $5 per car admission.  The Village, General Store, and Bakery will be open as well.  For info, click here or call 732.919.3500.

July 9: Oldies Car Show at Monmouth Park (Oceanport) at 11am. Take a trip down memory lane by walking through over 100 classic cars, plus sing and dance along to live oldies music courtesy of The Cameos. Big Joe Henry will be live broadcasting his NJ 101.5 FM’s Jersey Favorite Hits Show live from 11:30am to 3pm. Get the scoop here or call 732.222.5100.

July 11: Free drive-in movie “Finding Dory” in Seaside Park, 8:30pm at the Marina Lawn & J Street and Central Ave. The PBA will be providing popcorn and shaved ice. For more details go to www.seasideparknj.org or call 732.793.3700.

July 12: NJ Sandcastle Contest in Belmar from 8am-12pm at 18th Avenue Beach. Details at http://www.visitbelmarnj.com/ or call 732.681.3700 ext.214.

July 15 & 16: Food Trucks and Firepits at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Food Trucks, Fire Pits and Fireworks (Saturday evening!) Visit LauritaWinery.com for more details or call 609.758.8000. $8 per person/ kids 12 and under FREE. Discounted tickets online.

July 18: Free Summer Film – “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” at Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, 7pm. Information is available at http://www.countbasietheatre.org/ or call 732.224.8778 ext.132.

July 27: Downtown Freehold Concert Series from 7:30-9:30pm at the Hall of Records on Main Street, featuring Tim McCloone and The Shirleys. Get information at http://www.downtownfreehold.com/  or call 732.333.0094.

July 29: Bradley Beach Pirate Day from 11am to 9pm. A kid’s scavenger hunt starts at 11am at the library, 5-9pm music and market, and 6:30pm is an adult costume contest at Riley Park. Details at http://www.bradleybeachnj.org/ or call 732.869.1020.

July 30: Haskell Invitational at 10am Monmouth Park Racetrack (Oceanport). The top three-year-old racehorses in the country battle in the $1 Million Grade I Haskell Invitational. Be sure to arrive early to receive a commemorative Haskell Hat. Details at http://www.monmouthpark.com/ or call 732.222.5100.

We hope everyone is having an enjoyable summer!

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 on June 2nd at Jackson Memorial High School).

Freehold, N.J. – On May 24th and June 2nd, First Financial Federal Credit Union held the first student run LIFE™ (Learning Independent Financial Education) financial reality fair event at both Jackson Liberty and Memorial High Schools with their 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 81 years ago, 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 732.312.1421, 732.312.1426, or email business@firstffcu.com.

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First Financial Foundation 2017 Call for Scholarship Entries

This year, our non-profit organization — the First Financial Foundation — will be awarding (4) $500 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarships to high school seniors within Monmouth and Ocean Counties attending a 2 or 4 year college or university in the Fall of 2017. Applicants must apply on or before 11:59pm on Friday, June 23, 2017.*

This year, the First Financial Foundation has decided to provide two different topics for students to choose from, to apply for a scholarship in the form of a written essay or a short video. You may choose to apply by submitting either the essay OR the video.

 

Essay Topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

 
Please note: Essays should be no longer than three pages, 11 point font, typed and double spaced.
 
Video Topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

 

Please note: Video clips should be recorded and uploaded to YouTube prior to applying, and no more than 60 seconds in length. 

 

 Qualifications and other important information:
  • Four $500 scholarships will be awarded to four graduating high school seniors from any high school within Monmouth or Ocean Counties who will attend (Fall 2017 Semester) a 2 or 4 year college anywhere within the country. The student must be a graduating high school senior from the class of 2017. The student must be a First Financial member as of 12/31/16 in order to receive the $500 scholarship. The scholarship will be directly deposited into the student’s First Financial account only. No printed checks will be awarded, and deposits will not be made into a relative, parent or guardian’s account.
  • Students accepted to trade or technical schools will not qualify for this scholarship.
  • A valid copy of either a college acceptance letter, student schedule, or registration confirmation must accompany all applications.
  • To apply, please email the essay or the link to your YouTube video to the First Financial Foundation at foundation@firstffcu.com, or you may send a printed copy of your essay or flash drive (these will not be returned to you), and supporting documentation to the First Financial Foundation at PO Box 1172, Toms River NJ 08754.  Please be sure to list your contact information on your entry including your full name, address, phone, email, name & location of high school you graduated from in 2017, membership number and date of membership, where you will be attending college in the Fall 2017 Semester, and any volunteer work you participate in.
Winners will be announced and notified via email by 5pm on June 30, 2017
Deadline for entry submission is 11:59pm on Friday, June 23rd.

 

Good Luck – creativity is encouraged!

 

Please note: Children or relatives of First Financial employees or members of the Board of Directors, or those living within the same household as a First Financial employee are not eligible to apply for the Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.