$5,000 AWARDED TO GRUNIN CENTER AT OCEAN COUNTY COLLEGE

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College received a grant of $5,000 by OceanFirst Bank of Toms River. The grant monies will be used for student scholarships of the full stage performance of the children’s opera Brundibar.

As part of the County Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy, Eli Villanueva, Los Angeles Opera Director, will take residence at the Jersey Shore this summer for a two-week intensive study and performance of Brundibar, by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krista.  Originally performed by the children of Theresienstadt concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II, the opera tells the story of a brother and sister who join forces with a sparrow, a cat, and a dog to outwit the evil organ grinder, Brundibar.

“Ocean County College, the Grunin Center, and the Count Basie Theatre have joined together to bring this extraordinary production to our theatres. OceanFirst Bank’s generous donation of $5,000 has made it possible for the children to perform not only at the Count Basie on August 19 but also at the Grunin Center on August 20,” said Mark Wilson, Director of Cultural Affairs at Ocean County College. “We are truly grateful for OceanFirst Bank’s support of the arts in both Ocean and Monmouth counties.”

Since its founding in 1902, OceanFirst Bank (www.oceanfirst.com) has built a solid reputation and legacy as a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen.  The Bank’s strong commitment to helping families, organizations, schools, and communities throughout central New Jersey meet their financial needs has spanned several generations reaching new heights in 1996 with the creation of the OceanFirst Foundation.  The OceanFirst Foundation provides grants to organizations that meet community needs within the OceanFirst market area.  Since its inception, the OceanFirst Foundation has contributed more than $30 million to over 750 local charities and schools in Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties.  To learn more about the OceanFirst Foundation, visit www.oceanfirstfdn.org.

The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, located on the campus of Ocean County College, is a performing arts center dedicated to providing art and entertainment to Ocean County. Featuring premiere acts from across the globe, the Grunin Center’s intimate venue allows patrons to experience once-in-a-lifetime performances from venerated artists, hometown musicians, and unique entertainers.  To learn more about the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, visit http://grunincenter.org.

The Count Basie Theatre is New Jersey’s premier center for the cultural arts, dedicated to fostering powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and creative exchange of ideas. The Basie mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings that reflect the diversity of the region.  As a nonprofit organization, the Basie is committed to enriching the community’s quality of life by generating opportunities for participation in the arts, partnering with schools, collaborating with other mission-based organizations and driving regional economic prosperity. To learn more about the County Basie Theatre, visit www.countbasietheatre.org.

For 50 years, Ocean County College has provided area residents with the opportunity to benefit from higher education.  A public two-year community college sponsored by Ocean County, the State of New Jersey, and the students of Ocean County College, the College is located on 275 picturesque acres in the beautiful county seat of Toms River, NJ.  A publicly supported, comprehensive, open admissions institution, Ocean County College is committed to providing high quality, postsecondary associate degree and certificate programs, and other learning opportunities on its Main Campus in Toms River, at the College’s Southern Education Center in Manahawkin, and at off-campus sites located throughout Ocean County.  For more information about Ocean County College, call 732-255-0400 or visit www.ocean.edu.