Honoring MLK

HomeFront is holding a virtual day of service on Monday, January 18. Participants are urged to coordinate a collection drive of urgently needed items; participate in a virtual packing event of hygiene or welcome kits; or read and share “Food For Thought” which describes HomeFront’s work and the pandemic’s impact in our community. Visit www.homefrontnj.org to learn more or call Kelsey at 609-915-1035.

The West Windsor Arts Council is organizing MLK Day service projects to support those in need through partnerships with local service organizations. Visit www.westwindsorarts.org/event/mlk-day-2021 to learn more and sign up for the projects being offered. The projects include:

Rise “Healthy Bedtime” Kit, to benefit the organization that helps families and individuals recover from setbacks. Please place the items in a gift bag. Feel free to include an inspirational note, quote, drawing, or inscription in your book. Each kit should contain an age appropriate bedtime story/book, pajamas, and toothpaste and toothbrush

TASK “Personal Care” Kit, to benefit clients of the soup kitchen in Trenton. Please place the items in a one-gallon plastic storage bag. Feel free to include an inspirational note, quote, or drawing. Each kit should contain: shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, bar of soap, disposable razor, shaving cream, nail clippers, and lip balm.

Jennye Stubblefield Senior Center “PPE” Kit, for clients of the Trenton center that promotes socialization and economic self-support. Please place the items in a one-gallon plastic storage bag. Each kit should contain: personal size hand sanitizer, disposable face mask, and latex gloves.

Donations are also needed for Send Hunger Packing WW-P (SHuP WW-P), a program of the Mercer Street Friends, Mercer County’s food bank.

Please pick up bags with instructions at either the Center for Orthodontic Excellence at 61 Princeton-Hightstown Road, West Windsor, or the porch of the West Windsor Senior Center. Drop off completed SHuP donations on January 18 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Senior Center. Please contact Melissa Hager for more information: mhager27@aol.com.

Students and faculty from Mercer County Community College are collecting needed personal items for families and individuals served by two social service organizations on January 18 from 9 to 11 a.m. at its James Kerney Campus, 102 North Broad Street, Trenton. The college will be accepting donations of gloves, socks, and toiletries, pre-packaged in bags, which will be delivered to the two organizations that afternoon. WomanSpace offers help for women, men and families impacted by domestic and sexual abuse. The Rescue Mission of Trenton provides a shelter and a range of behavioral health, vocational and housing services for homeless men and women.

Call for Singers

Voices Chorale invites singers to hone singing skills and choral knowledge virtually on 10 Monday nights, 7:30 to 9 p.m., starting January 25.

The series of classes by artistic director David A. McConnell and guest educators will include vocal development, sight singing, study of choral literature and composers across the eras, and more. Additionally, they will be hosting two special music events, including a sing-along “coffeeshop” with well-known Irish singer “Uncle” Gerry Dignan and an evening of Renaissance music with Riverview Early Music.

All members of the singing community are welcome to participate. The cost for the program is $115. Attendance for performances will be $15 each, with a discount offered to VCNJ members. Interested singers should visit www.voiceschoralenj.org.

Call for Pianists

The online Princeton Festival 15th annual piano competition is now open to pianists from around the world, with an entry deadline of April 19. Full information and an entry application is available at www.princetonfestival.org/2021-piano-competition-rules/.

To enter the competition, artists must submit a video of themselves performing a designated piece of music. Participants compete for cash prizes and certificates, plus the Richard Tang Yuk award, named for the festival’s founding artistic director, given to the best performer overall.

The professionally adjudicated competition is organized into seven categories: four age categories for solo performers from 6 to 18 years old; Open Class I for soloists and Piano Four-Hands for all competitors up to 25 years old; and Open Class II, new for 2021, for solo professionals and lifelong amateurs 26 or older.

Winners in all categories will be announced after the Finalists’ Concert, which will stream online on June 6.

Contest for Teens

New Jersey Human Services is accepting entries for the 26th Annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights Human Services’ mission to support families.

The contest, run by Human Services’ Division of Family Development, is open to all New Jersey middle and high school-age children. The 2021 contest challenges teens to illustrate — through art or the written word — how they and their loved ones have supported each other through all of the changes that have happened this year.

All entries must be postmarked no later than March 31. Staff from the Division of Family Development and its Office of Child Support Services will judge the contest. Winners will be selected in first, second, and third places in both the middle and high school groups, for each of the two entry categories.

Winning entries will be included in the 2022 Office of Child Support Calendar, as well as potentially being included as part of the office’s marketing materials. A number of honorable mention entries will also be selected for possible inclusion.

Teachers and administrators can register their school by visiting www.NJTeenMedia.org or by contacting Matthew Cossel at 937-207-7627 or matthew.cossel@efkgroup.com. School registration is not required for direct student entry. For complete submission guidelines, visit www.NJTeenMedia.org.

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