Hump Day Report: Gifts That Give Back

December 17th, 2014

Rants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

Even if you have finished a large portion of your holiday gift shopping, perhaps you are still looking for some quick last minute gifts. If so, may I suggest gifts that give back to the community? For example, the wonderful Marine Mammal Stranding Center at 3625 Brigantine Blvd., Brigantine depends on its gift shop, with t-shirts, sweatshirts and more as the primary way it raises money to keep helping marine mammals in need. The gift shop is open 10am-2pm Saturday and 11am-2pm Sunday. You can also order from their website .

teeBcatsAs someone who has rescued stray cats, including my current companion Jordi, I’m a big fan of the feral cat rescue organization Alley Cat Allies. The group helps feral cats all over the country with their trap-neuter-return policy to keep the cat colonies healthy and under control, including the Boardwalk Cats Project right here in Atlantic City. Go can visit their website  to purchase gifts that help the felines including cat calendars, clothing and more. You can even purchase gifts that feature the Boardwalk Cats, like a mug and a T-shirt (pictured).

BIHSTEEL_rgGilda’s Club (http://gildasclubsouthjersey.org/), an organization that helps families facing cancer, has a way to help their organization when you shop. By signing up for Igive.com and designating Gilda’s Club as your charity of choice, you can shop on the I Give website, which features many of your favorite on-line stores and know that a portion of the money is going to Gilda’s Club.

At the Seeing Eye website  you can order the 2015 Seeing Eye Puppy Calendar, as well as mugs, T-shirts, plush puppies with a Seeing Eye bandana, eco-friendly tot bags and more.

The Wounded Warrior Project and website helps soldiers who served their country and paid the price. The website features a wide assortment of “Believe in Heroes” gear including a holiday ornament, game day folding chair, mug, auto sunshade, grill master apron and more.

Edwards Twins Pay It Forward with Free Holiday Show @ Claridge

December 17th, 2014

IMG_6548ATLANTIC CITY — The Edwards brothers — a duo of identical twins who put on a show filled with celebrity impressions, music and comedy — performed a free holiday show at the Claridge Hotel theater on Monday, Dec. 15, “as a gift to all our friends, family and neighbors.”

The brothers have been headliners at the Claridge Celebrity Theater through most of 2014, and will be doing many more shows there in 2015.IMG_6640

They have been entertaining audiences for more than 20 years with impressions of stars such as Sonny and Cher, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Bette Midler, Neil Diamond, Barbara Streisand, Tina Turner and Elvis Presley.

Photos: Christine Steiner

Tickets on Sale for ShopRite LPGA Classic

December 15th, 2014
Defending 2014 champion Stacy Lewis. (Photo by Tom Briglia)

Defending 2014 champion Stacy Lewis. (Photo by Tom Briglia)

Tickets for the 2015 ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer officially go on sale today (Monday, Dec. 15), and for the sixth consecutive year, 100 percent of all proceeds generated from ticket sales will go directly to regional charities, tournament organizers announced.

As in previous years, each ticket buyer will select from a group of pre-determined charity partners to receive a donation equal to the price of the transaction. This year’s list of more than 20 charities includes AtlantiCare Foundation, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Foundation, and Community FoodBank of New Jersey – Southern Branch.

“Benefiting our community in as many ways as possible has been an extremely important part of being ‘A Shore Tradition’ for nearly 30 years,” said Tim Erensen, Executive Director of the ShopRite LPGA Classic. “Thanks to the tremendous support of ShopRite, our fans and all of our corporate partners, we are able to continue that tradition again in 2015.”

There are three ticket options. Children 17-years-old and younger will be admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Any Day Grounds Pass. Price: $15. Provides access to the tournament any one day: Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Weekly Grounds Pass. Price: $30. Provides access to the tournament for the entire week.

Weekly Clubhouse Pass. Price: $60. Provides access to Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in addition to tournament grounds for the entire week.

ShopRite, through its association with the LPGA, has donated more than $28 million to charities since 1992. The 2015 ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer takes place May 25-31. For a complete list of charity partners, tickets and tournament information visit the Website or call the tournament office at (609) 798-0222.

Stacy Lewis is the defending 2014 champion.

It’s official: Stockton buys Showboat

December 12th, 2014

It’s official: The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey today purchased the former  Showboat casino for $18 million.

“The Stockton-Island Campus will help provide area residents with access to a distinctive Stockton education, helping them compete in our global society,” President Herman Saatkamp said in a statement issued this afternoon. As Stockton develops a full-service residential campus awarding undergraduate and graduate degrees and other professional training, the opportunities for city residents to find good jobs will rise.”

The Boardwalk property will likely continue to operate as a hotel, the college announced, noting that it expects some classes to get underway for the 2015 summer session and full academic programs to begin there in the fall.

Stockton’s announcement today also noted:

  • “Stockton purchased the 1.73 million-square-foot property from Caesars Entertainment with funds from the college’s Investment Fund.No state-appropriated funds were used in the purchase and no new debt was issued.”
  • “Tuition will not rise as a result of the purchase.”
  • “The college currently has 8,570 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled… The Stockton-Island Campus is expected to grow within five-10 years to a student body of about 4,000, with corresponding faculty and staff to support this growth.”
  • “The former gaming floor will be used for academic, administrative and community purposes. This would include approximately 20 mixed-use classrooms, 10 lecture facilities, music, dance and choral instruction rooms, an experimental theatre and dance studio.”
  • “The plans include community access to conference spaces, meeting rooms and workforce development areas.
  • “The Island Campus will allow the college to establish a new Stockton Center, a central location for existing centers such as the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute for Gaming Hospitality and Tourism, the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, the Stockton Center for Community Schools, the Child Welfare Education Institute for Community Development of Southern Jersey and the Stockton Center for Community Engagement, which includes Atlantic City-based programs such as Campus Kitchens and the Champions of Youth.”
  • “The hotel, retail and food service sections of the Stockton-Island Campus would be subject to state and local taxes. Stockton will negotiate a payment in lieu of taxes to the City of Atlantic City for those portions of the property used for college operations, as it does in Galloway Township with the historic Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club.”
  • “The hotel operation may be operated by Dolce Hotels and Resorts which operates Stockton Seaview and another 22 properties throughout North America and Europe.”
  • “Stockton intends to work with city, state, and county officials and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authorityto develop a University Park neighborhood around the campus that will encourage entrepreneurship and support businesses. Renovations and new construction at the site will provide short-term jobs, while the spending power of the college community is expected to enhance the surrounding area’s potential for long-term commercial and residential growth.”
  • “Among those [academic programs] being looked into to be housed all or in part in this Atlantic City location, are Stockton’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program and the School of Arts and Humanities’ dance, music and theatre programs that would be able to take advantage of the site’s many high-quality performance venues. In addition, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, Stockton’s orchestra-in-residence, could be moved from Stockton’s Dante Hall Theater to the more-prominent Boardwalk location.”

Read Stockton’s full proposal for the Island Campus here.

‘Divas’ Return to Claridge for One Night Only — on New Year’s Eve

December 12th, 2014

ATLANTIC CITY — It’s about time to start considering your New Year’s Eve plans, and for a slew of options all under one roof, you might consider the Claridge Hotel.

Among the half-dozen-or-so options is the triumphant return — for one night only, Dec. 31 — of one of the most popular revue shows in the resort town’s history, Divas Do AC. The Divas Reunion Show is in the third-floor Celebrity Theater and starts 9pm. Tickets are $40 per person. VIP booths are available.1979276_1518499898398825_2752419233657648819_o

Additionally, the Gatsby Rockin’ NYE Dinner Dance Party is $150 per person ($125 per person if booked with a hotel room) and takes place in the new sixth-floor ballroom. There will be a four-hour open bar, lavish buffet with carving stations, a dessert extravaganza, a live band and DJ with continuous entertainment, noise makers, hats and party favors, and confetti cannons with midnight champagne toast.

The Pro Bar LGBT Nightclub Reunion Party is from 9pm-4am in the third-floor Ocean View Room. Tickets are $20 per person. There will be dancing and a performance by the popular Pepper Mashay, a DJ, dancers, a cash bar and party favors. Bottle service and VIP seating is available. Patrons can book both the Divas Reunion Show and the Pro Bar Party together for $50 per person.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eddie Bruce to do Free Show on Dec. 21st at Seashore Gardens Living Center

December 12th, 2014

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — One of the region’s popular bandleaders, Eddie Bruce, will be giving a free performance on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 2:30pm at the Seashore Gardens Living Center, 22 West Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway Township. The community is invited for “standing room only” seating.

Eddie Bruce

Eddie Bruce

Bruce is also the headliner for Seashore Gardens Living Center’s annual Black and White Ball fundraiser. He is donating his time for the December performance as his holiday gift to the residents.

Bruce performs across the country from Philadelphia to New York and Los Angeles. His shows include songs written by legendary composers and lyricists such as Sammy Cahn and Johnny Mercer. His repertoire includes music made popular by Tony Bennett, Anthony Newley, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and others.

Born in Philadelphia, Bruce began his professional career as a child performing on television talent shows, in local theater, and events throughout the city. He remembers fondly his many appearances on the Al Albert’s Showcase, on the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia. He also sang on the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour at the Ed Sullivan Studio in New York.

Bruce was a radio talk-show host for many years on WWDB-FM and is the original host of Dancin’ on Air, a popular TV show in the ‘80s.

A man with a strong commitment to supporting the community, Bruce was proud to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Variety – The Children’s Charity  for his extraordinary work with children who have disabilities. For four years he produced, hosted and performed in The Kids with Heart Talent Show, making the kids the real stars of the event.

Tilton Fitness to Host Toy Drive

December 11th, 2014

toydriveTilton Fitness & Wellness is hosting a Toy Drive to benefit the children of the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City.

The drive, which will take place December 15 – 20 at the health club’s three Atlantic County locations in Northfield, Galloway and Mays Landing, will be accepting unwrapped toys for children up to the age of 12.  Gift certificates are also being accepted for teenagers ages 13-17.

“We are more than just a gym,” says Tilton Fitness & Wellness president and current Boys and Girls Club chairman, Sam Young.  “Our mission is to Change People’s Lives and sometimes that goes beyond fitness. We strive to be actively involved in our communities and we are honored to have the opportunity to help our local kids this holiday season.”

Tilton Fitness & Wellness is extending an open invitation to club members and non-members alike to participate in the drive.

“Anyone who donates a toy at Tilton Fitness & Wellness will receive a complimentary small group training session as a token of our appreciation,” says Young

For more information, or to donate, call 609.FITNESS or visit www.TiltonFitness.com.

32nd Annual Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala Scheduled

December 11th, 2014

cmsATLANTIC CITY — The Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala is returning for the 32nd year on Thursday, March 26, 2015, at Bally’s Grand Ballroom. The event will feature an “Under the Sea” theme and a decadent feast.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian will be honored at the Gala, as will Brigantine chef Nicole Gaffney who attended the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape, and recently vied for the title of the next Food Network Star.

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The annual event celebrates food by highlighting hors d’oeuvres prepared by students in the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape, and showcases the specialties of 40 of the region’s best restaurants during a progressive dining experience.

 The “Dessert Extravaganza” will feature countless delectable desserts arranged around the elegant musical stylings of Lenny Mitchell. Each year nearly 1,000 food enthusiasts attend the Gala, which also features several genres of live music, including Don’t Call Me Francis and The FM Band.

cms2The event has raised $3 million for scholarships since 1984. All Gala proceeds benefit student scholarships at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College and Atlantic Cape Foundation operations.

In addition, the winning Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala 50/50 raffle tickets will be drawn at the March 26 event. Prizes include up to $9,000 first prize, $4,500 second prize and $1,500 third prize. Proceeds benefit student scholarships at Atlantic Cape.

Only 300 raffle tickets will be sold at $100 each. Winning dollar amounts are based on all 300 tickets being sold. Winners need not be present to win. cms3

Tickets to the Gala are $225 a person. For Gala tickets and/or 50/50 raffle tickets, contact Torrina Bennett-Michael by phone at (609) 463-4672, by e-mail at acccfdn@atlantic.edu or by clicking here.

Photos: Lew Steiner

Palm Restaurant Presents ‘A Dickens of a Murder’ on Sunday, Dec. 14

December 11th, 2014
'A Dickens of A Murder.'

‘A Dickens of A Murder’

Presenting a dinner theater event with holiday flair, the Palm Restaurant offers the classic Dickens tale with a comedy twist in A Dickens of a Murder on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 6pm.  The event features a three course meal featuring Palm signature creations plus the show for $85 per person.

Ebenezer Scrooge is known for his miserly, uncompassionate ways, but he’s a changed man!  He’s been practically giving away his money.  Scrooge’s nephew, Fred Sawyer, is throwing a Christmas Party and everyone is delighted for his appearance.

But what’s this?  Sherlock Holmes?  What can he possibly want at a Christmas Party?  You soon find out that he’s investigating dear Scrooge’s murder.  As more guests arrive and the Sawyer’s servant, Mrs. Dilber, attempts to spit-shine your spoon, you are Sherlock Holmes’ aid.

DINNER MENU

First Course (choice of):
• Classic Caesar Salad with Garlic Foccacia Croutons and Parmigiano Reggiano
• Lobster Bisque with Fresh Lobster Meat, Sherry and Crème Fraiche
• Pear and Endive Salad with Reggiano Parmesan, Almonds and Dried Strawberries

Second Course (choice of):
• Roast Prime Rib of Beef with a Port Wine Jus and Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding
• Grilled Swordfish Steak with Butternut Squash and Nova Scotia Lobster Croquet and Ginger Chili Butter
• Chicken Medici Chicken Scallopine with Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano and Marsala Wine over Broccoli Rabe

Dessert (choice of):
• Flourless Chocolate Cake with Amaretto Crème Anglaise
• New York Cheesecake with a Raspberry Sauce

Remaining seats are limited – for tickets please contact Barbara Bermel at 609-344-0483 or email BBermel@thepalm.com.

*Prices do not include beverage, tax or service charge. Valid only at The Palm Atlantic City. Reservations required and must be booked by the Sales Manager. No substitutions. Call 609-344-0483 for more information.

The Palm Restaurant Atlantic City is located in The Quarter at Tropicana, 2801 Pacific Avenue. Dinner hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 5-10pm, Friday-Saturday, 5-11pm, and Sunday, 4-9pm. Lunch is served Fridays from 11:30am to 3pm. Reservations are recommended. For reservation or catering information, call 609-344-7256.

Hump Day Report: Holiday Favorites

December 10th, 2014

Hump Day LogoRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

With the holiday season upon us, there are certain movies that pop up on regular television. We can’t really get into the true spirit of Christmas without watching A Charlie Brown Christmas with crass Lucy only caring about the commercial side of Christmas, and Linus wanting to remember the true meaning of the holiday. And, if by some quirk it isn’t scheduled on TV in 2014, you can always find it from your favorite streaming service.

There are other classic holiday flicks that bring joy to the season. A few of my favorites include both the 1947 and the fine 1994 version of Miracle on 34th Street. The original with Natalie Wood, Maureen O’Hara and Edmund Gwenn as Kris K. is the superior version, but the 1994 version has delightful Richard Attenborough as Kris and sweet Mara Wilson has the little girl who thinks Mr. Claus is just a nice man with a white beard.

For a change of pace there are a couple of holiday war movies, A Midnight Clear (1992), about a group of GIs in a German forest in December 1944 who come to understand the futility of war, and the WWI drama Joyeux Noel (2005), about the men in the trenches agreeing to a cease fire to celebrate Christmas together, based on a true story.

A movie I love to watch at this time of year has been known to get a WTF reaction, but Bell, Book and Candle begins during the Christmas season. Okay so it is about a witch (Kim Novak) using a spell to make a man (Jimmy Stewart) fall in love with her but it is really about finding true love and since I also love Halloween I love that this movie combines the two holidays.

Holiday Inn (1942) is worth watching just to hear the original version of the most popular holiday tune of all time “White Christmas.” A romantic triangle, it stars Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire and Majorie Reynolds. Crosby stars as Jim Hardy, a former professional singer who opens an inn that’s only open on holidays. Now you know where the name for the hotel chain came from, beginning in 1952.

Patrick Stewart in 'A Christmas Carol.'

Patrick Stewart in ‘A Christmas Carol.’

The Polar Express is a delightful animated film that became an instant holiday classic when it was released in 2004, directed by Robert Zemeckis. The train is the star but the conductor, played by Tom Hanks, is also a top reason to watch this gem.

I’m also a fan of several versions of A Christmas Carol, topped by the 1951 British original starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge and thanks to my Star Trek-fandom, the 1999 TV movie starring Patrick Stewart as sourpuss Scrooge. I saw Stewart on Broadway playing all the roles in A Christmas Carol and he was phenomenal.