Sean Growney 
President 2018 - 2019 

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Greetings from Asbury Park Rotary

Welcome to our Club! Where Service and Fellowship Flourish!

Asbury Park

We meet Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
The Renaissance
1110 Valley Rd & Hwy 35 S
(Just North of Wegman's)
Ocean, NJ  07712-3977
United States of America

(732) 292-1955
(732) 292-1992
District Site
Asbury Park Rotary Facebook
Venue Map
Member Spotlight


Today's Spotlight shines on a pillar of ROCAP,  Brenda Skinner.  She is instrumental in so many activities that our club takes part in, that it would be hard to maintain our level of effectiveness without her.  Brenda  joined Rotary in 2008 and served as president 2016-17 and continues to serve as co-chair of the Polar Plunge and on the scholarship committee that she chaired for many years. She is a second generation ROCAP President, following her father, Jim Jeffries who was our leader in 1996.  Probably not many father-daughter pairs like that in Rotary!  She is in charge of our website updates and the weekly newsletter since her technology skills are outstanding.  She handles the complicated process of on-line registration for some of our events.
Brenda is a State Farm Insurance Agent in Ocean, following in her father's path, where she learned  from him as he was a 47-year veteran of the business.  In 2007, she started her own agency in the same office where her father was located.
Brenda is married to Dan and they have one son, Daniel, who lives in California with his wife, Erica. Brenda and Dan live in Oakhurst. They have recently added to their family by adopting a dog. Brenda is a graduate of OTHS and Brookdale.
Brenda and Dan are avid boaters, spending much of their free time on their boat.  Dan is currently the Commodore of the Shark River Beach and Yacht Club.  He is also the past Chief of the Oakhurst Fire Department.
Brenda is an avid runner and has completed a half-marathons and many 5K races.  She is a member of the Jersey  Shore Tri Gals and Sandy Hookers Triathlon Clubs, and competes in sprint triathlons.
“When I joined Rotary I never would have imagined the lifelong friendships I would make.  This group has fun while serving our local community as well as projects around the world.  I am proud to be a Rotarian”
Stories of Asbury Park Rotary in Action
Terry Bloomfield, Holistic Registered Nurse, who has a clinical practice, The Healing Way of Ocean, presented the benefits of CBD oil. For more than 30 years she has been working with clients who are referred to her when their traditional treatments are not working. Some of her older clients brought CBD to her attention, and she began to research the viability of this product. It is advisable to work with a licensed health professional so that the administration of the oil is monitored. Beware: there are many over-the-counter products that claim to have CBD in them, that have not been tested. Make sure to research your product. She has found amazing for her clients from mental health issues to relief from cancer. After explaining aspects of our body and how CBD provides support for it, she introduced Karen Apy who shared her story of how a diagnosis and treatment of a terminal cancer condition led to many complications and additional medications to treat the side-effects of other medications. She was finally wheelchair bound unable to even brush her teeth. Feeling depressed and discouraged, she saw an ad for CTFO, a product containing CBD. She had nothing to lose, so ordered the oil and a lotion. After only one application of the lotion to her feet and hands, she was able to get out of the wheelchair AND brush her teeth. She stood before us; a living example of how an organic product can enhance and rebuild a body. For additional information, you can call Terry at 732.778.0112 – or hey, contact our very own Dina at!
We welcomed the return of Redeem-Her as Stephanie Douranakis reminded us of the nonprofit program whose mission is to provide support to women committed to staying free from addiction. Located in Toms River this house of eight residents offers hope and help to women reentering the community from rehabilitation facilities, jails and prisons. With housing, clothing, food, employment and most importantly, support from women who have shared similar experiences, these women can achieve success in their lives. Stephanie then introduced Olga who is a current resident of the house. Though Olga came from a large, supportive family, there was alcohol abuse history there as well. She departed for college having graduated high school with honors and with a scholarship to play basketball. But during her second year spring break, she discovered she did not have her love for alcohol under control and her life began to spiral. Even with going to detox, she found her first step afterward was to a liquor store. After failed attempts of recovery and with a new resolve, she located a business card for Redeem-Her and gave them a call. After being interviewed she was accepted into their program and made the unfamiliar journey from the inner city of Trenton to the country-side of Toms River. She was given a sponsor and now two and half years later she has reclaimed her life and her self-esteem. She is still taking recovery one day at a time, but says with the safe haven that Redeem-Her has given her, she can continue to succeed. We applaud both her efforts and her commitment to succeed as well as a program that has offered her, and others like her, hope.
  The Polar Plunge Committee would like to thank all those who volunteered, sponsored and PLUNGED!  We should have the final tally in a few days.  For anyone who would still like to donate you can either make a check payable to The Rotary Foundation of Asbury Park or donate online at  We would especially like to thank photographer Christine Smith who allowed us to use all the photos she took.  Most of the photos in the album are hers!  We will be adding more photos as they come in.  Thank you to Holiday Express as well, we are proud to support your amazing organization as well as Rotary Eye Rescue.

Our speaker this past week was Kara Johantgen from the Nothern Monmouth Division of Child Protection and Permanancy Office. This entity deals with children who are placed in foster care or who are adopted. These children, especially siblings and teens, need nurturing families who will help them heal and grow as they were probably subjected to abuse and/or neglect.

One of the main goals of this agency is to keep families unified. When a child is removed from a family home, they work with the biological parents to keep that child's stay in foster care as brief as possible. Since Monmouth County has no facilities for group care, a child is placed with a foster family the same day as the removal and sometimes the placement can be long term or lead to adoption and some stays can be as brief as one night.

At the end of 2018, there were 220 children in Monmouth County in foster care, down from 300 the previous year. A goal of placement is to keep children in their home community and school system. To become a foster parent, one must have a 27-hour training course, a home inspection and attend an information session. There is always a need for foster families. A foster parent must be at least 18 years of age, single, married, in a domestic partnership or a civil union. You can have your own children or be parenting for the first time.

Kara can be reached at

Bill Atkins is the former owner of a limo company. During his business journey’s ups and downs, he learned many things about marketing and advertising that he shared with our Rotary. He learned that advertising yourself as “we are the cheapest” doesn’t get you the customers that you need to sustain a business. For example: Apple is not the cheapest computer products, but customers who buy into Apple products are devoted Apple users. Bill learned that presenting your product as unique and different from similar products is how you capture the attention of the user. Kohl’s doesn’t give their customers coupons, they give them Kohl’s cash. Is there a difference? Maybe not, but the word “cash” captures the attention of the customer and brings them into the store quicker than a coupon would. Bill has taken what he’s learned and now that he’s “retired” is sharing this knowledge with businesses free-of-charge. You can reach him at or 732.496.8400. Sidebar: Bill is active in Toastmasters, an international non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. Bill would be happy to share more about this organization as well.
Ken Burton
Feb 20, 2019
National Write Your Congressman
Feb 27, 2019
Robert Weiner - SCORE
Mar 06, 2019
Service Core Of (not necessarily) Retired Executives
Mar 13, 2019
Kevin Akey - Rutgers Masters Gardeners
Mar 20, 2019
Spring Has Sprung-Wake Up Your Garden
Mary Beth Bull
Mar 27, 2019
Big Brother Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties
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