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OceanFirst Foundation awards $150,000 in grants in 2009 to support Arts and Cultural Programs

March 19, 2009

Contact: Katherine Durante, Executive Director, OceanFirst Foundation
(732) 341-4676
[email protected]

Toms River, New Jersey � OceanFirst Foundation has awarded $150,000 in grants to eighteen local organizations through the 2009 Arts and Cultural Grant program. Grants range from $1,000 to $15,000 and will provide general operating support.

This year's grant recipients are Algonquin Arts, Manasquan; Allaire Village, Farmingdale; Brick Children's Community Theatre, Brick; Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank; Festival of the Atlantic, Brick; Garden State Philharmonic, Brick; Joseph P. Hayes Theatre, Beach Haven; Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, Loveladies; Monmouth County Arts Council, Red Bank; Monmouth Museum and Cultural Center, Lincroft; New Jersey Museum of Boating, Bay Head; Ocean County Artists' Guild, Island Heights; Ocean County Historical Society, Toms River; Ocean County Library Foundation, Toms River; Pine Shores Art Association, Manahawkin; Spring Lake Shakespeare in the Park, Spring Lake; Strand Ventures, Lakewood; and Two River Theater Company, Red Bank.

John R. Garbarino, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of OceanFirst Bank and Chairman, OceanFirst Foundation, comments, "Supporting local arts and cultural organizations is key to the growth and development of our economy, particularly here on the Jersey Shore where tourism is so important to maintaining the health and vitality of communities. Each of the organizations awarded a grant have proven that they are a positive catalyst for bringing people and neighborhoods together while providing enriching arts and cultural opportunities for people of all ages."

Grant recipients were selected based on criteria including: artistic excellence or the ability to enhance cultural richness within the OceanFirst service area; a broad benefit to the community; potential to increase participation in Arts and Cultural programs among underserved populations; collaboration with other community organizations that maximizes opportunities to reach larger and more diverse audiences and patrons; a fiscal and managerial ability to implement programming and a successful track record of presenting programs and activities.

Founded in 1996, OceanFirst Foundation is the first foundation in the nation to be established by a bank as part of an initial public offering. In 2008, OceanFirst Foundation donated approximately $1.8 million to community initiatives. OceanFirst Foundation has contributed nearly $20 million to over 600 local charities in Ocean, Monmouth and Middlesex counties since its inception. Its four priorities include Housing, Health and Wellness, Improving the Quality of Life, and Youth Development and Education. For more information about OceanFirst Foundation and the Arts & Cultural Grant Program, visit or call 732-341-4676.