Get your tickets for the Valentine’s Express and ACS’s Bowls of Hope Soup Cook-Off

Celebrate your love on the Valentine’s Express

Looking for a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

The Seashore Lines has you covered with its Valentine's Express.

You and your special guest can enjoy a comfortable and fun train ride to celebrate the holiday.

The trains will run from the Richland and Tuckahoe train stations on Feb. 11 and 12.

The 75-plus minute round trip will offer just the right amount of time to enjoy a selection of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, desserts and refreshments! Guests may also bring their own beverages.

Live musicians, chocolate and flowers will also add to the fun.

Seating will be available, for ages 21 and older only, in first-class cars, the Braddock Inn, the New York Central 38 or the Vista Valley.

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Coach seating is also available for passengers of all ages at regular coach fares, which does not include Valentine’s Express amenities.

For tickets or information, visit

Atlantic Cape Community College reschedules drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination and booster clinic

Atlantic Cape Community College postponed its drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination and booster clinic due to impending winter weather. The clinic has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Worthington Atlantic City campus at 1535 Bacharach Blvd.

The drive-thru clinic is co-sponsored by Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers and the city of Atlantic City.

Participants who receive a vaccine will also receive free Johnson’s Popcorn for adults or all-day wristband to Steel Pier for children, while supplies last.

Insurance is not required to participate.

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be available.

Steel Pier vouchers can be redeemed at Steel Pier's Guest Services after the complex reopens Easter weekend. Vouchers do not include access to Slingshot, The Wheel, or Helicopter Rides.

Funding is provided by the Federal Government’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

For information, visit

Atlantic County Library/Hammonton celebrates patrons and more

HAMMONTON - The Atlantic County Library System/Hammonton branch is throwing a party from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 2 to celebrate recent renovations.

Along with a new HVAC system and roof, the branch has utilized its down time to update the circulation desk and bathrooms.

There will be craft activities for kids and adults, refreshments, movies, a raffle and giveaways.

The library will also offer the following programs:

  • Sewing craft, suggested for teens and adults, 1:30 p.m. Feb. 5, registration required. Learn about sewing on a machine or by hand. Also learn how to take measurements, choose a pattern and select fabrics. No experience is necessary and all materials and sewing machines will be provided.

  • Preschool storytime, suggested for children ages 18 months to 5 years, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, registration required. Each session includes the latest books and some old favorites to help introduce new vocabulary and reinforce learning. Children and their caregivers will enjoy stories, songs, crafts, games and movement while building language and literacy skills.

The library is at 451 S. Egg Harbor Road.

For reservations and information, call (609) 561-2264 or visit

Tickets are available for Atlantic Christian School's Bowls of Hope Soup Cook-Off Benefit, which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 5.

Get your ticket for Atlantic Christian School’s Bowls of Hope Soup Cook-Off

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Atlantic Christian School will host its Bowls of Hope Soup Cook-Off Benefit from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 5 at the school at 391 Zion Road.

“We’re very excited to be doing the Bowls of Hope as an in-person event again and are looking forward to tasting some delicious, signature soups donated by up to 20 local restaurants and chefs,” said Karen Oblen, chief school administrator.

Atlantic City Rescue Mission Kitchen, Bahay Kubo EHT, Carluccio’s, Enlightened Café, Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar, Maurizio’s Express EHT, Sal’s Café, Sana & Sadia’s Mediterranean Cafe, Sofia Restaurant of Margate, Stir It Up Catering, The Cheese Board and the Windjammer Café are among the participants.

Chef Joseph Massaglia, chef owner of Mama Mia’s Ristorante in Marmora, will be the cook-off judge and will select one restaurant to receive the “Super Soup Chef’s Award.”

Everyone in attendance will also be able to vote for their favorite soup and one restaurant will receive the “Golden Spoon Award” for the people’s choice best soup.

Guests are also invited to bring a non-perishable food item for the Student Council’s Bowls of Hope Food Drive, which will benefit the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Southern Branch.

The students will also put on a talent show during the event.

American Church Group of NJ, B.F. Mazzeo Fruit and Produce, Chick-fil-A on Fire Road, Elder Pest Control, Formica’s Bakery, Fortress Financial, HS Restoration & Cleaning Service, Klingert Family Chiropractic Center, Olympic Physical Therapy, and Texas Roadhouse in Egg Harbor Township are some of the event sponsors.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, $5 for children 6 to 10 years of age and free for children ages 5 and younger. Tickets include soup, beverages, bread and dessert.

Proceeds will benefit the school and the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.

For tickets or information, visit

For information, call (609) 653-1199 or email

When he was a child, Gordan Grguric’s (left) family would travel to the island of Silba in the Adriatic where his father, Petar, an electrical engineer, would spend hours and hours fishing. These trips inspired Gordan’s career and a scholarship at Stockton which honors his father.

Father’s love of fishing inspires new research scholarship for Stockton students

GALLOWAY – When he was a child, Gordan Grguric’s family would travel to the island of Silba in the Adriatic where his father, Petar, an electrical engineer, would spend hours and hours fishing.

“He would talk to the professional fishermen and get hints on techniques and where the best fishing sites were. He would rent or borrow a boat and lay down a line for a four- or five-hour trip,” said Grguric, a Galloway resident and associate professor of marine science at Stockton University. “My career evolved from his interest. That island is such a part of my heritage.”

Grguric is honoring his father, and sharing his love of fishing, through a newly endowed $200,000 Silba Distinguished Scholarship, which will subsidize Stockton students who are doing research in marine science. The scholarship will award two $3,500 grants per year.

“A number of students want to do research in the summer,” Grguric said. “But if they also have to work, it can be difficult. I wanted to give them a stipend so they can take the time to do the research.”

Grguric admits that he is not a fish person.

“I do the chemistry of the ocean, the salinity and oxygen levels,” he said. “But I want to support the marine biologists. I see what Steve Evert is doing at the Marine Field Station and I know funding is an issue.”

Stockton Marine Field Station Director Steve Evert said the endowment is a huge boost for students.

“So many do have to work in the summer to help pay for college,” Evert said. “But in marine science, it is so important to get field experience and do research and a lot of that is done in the summer. Being able to do this will greatly strengthen a student’s opportunities for a job or graduate school. I tell students that there are jobs in this field, but they will go first to those with field experience.”

Evert said he has been looking for grants, but a permanent endowment like the Silba Scholarship means there will be a permanent funding source each year.

“That will also help us attract students to do the research,” Evert said.

Jennifer Kosakowski, Stockton’s interim executive director, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and executive director of Development, Corporate and Foundation Relations, helped set up the scholarship and said the new endowment addresses a very specific need.

“Dr. Grguric’s generosity will benefit generations of Stockton students who are dedicated to the ongoing research of marine life and science,” Kosakowksi said. “Such a scholarship will not only assist students financially but will ensure that the groundbreaking research that Stockton conducts regionally will continue to thrive through the recruitment and retention of talented student research assistants.”

The first awards will be presented in the 2023-24 academic year. Ggruric said he would also like the student to make a presentation on their research.

“In this field, communication skills are also important,” he said.

For information, visit

MHAAC offers support and social connection during the pandemic

In response to the need for support and social connection during winter and this extended phase of the pandemic, the Mental Health Association in Atlantic County has increased the number of wellness, discussion, and activity groups offered online and by call-in.

“We know people need outlets and options because we are facing another isolating and stressful period of time,” said Vicki Phillips, executive director, MHAAC.

In addition to support group meetings designed for those diagnosed with depression and anxiety, the agency offers wellness programming such as meditation, gentle movement and healthy eating. Other groups are activity or recreation-centered, including art, book clubs and music events.

Phillips explained the services are offered by United by Wellness, which is a helpful, easily accessible resource for adults with a choice to call-in or join virtually via the Zoom app.

Groups, workshops and classes are offered seven days a week at various times of the day.

Staff providing services are certified peer specialists, including some who are bilingual and facilitating groups in Spanish.

For residents seeking one-on-one support, a call and text line with trained staff who provide emotional support is offered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through an affiliate office. That number is (866) 202-HELP or text 51684.

“The rates of those experiencing depression and anxiety have increased during the pandemic,” said Phillips. “Helping people become aware of the issue and get connected resources can start with a mental health screening.”

She said free, anonymous screening is available online through the Mental Health Association in Atlantic County. Screening is typically a short, about 10-question assessment for an individual to rate sleep, eating habits, level of energy and other key areas of mental health. Respondents read a statement and answer with a click on one of four categories that measure how often the person experiences the symptom.

The screening is a snapshot of the previous two weeks and can be repeated. Phillips said results are immediate and can be printed out and shared with a primary care doctor or mental health professional. To access a screening online,

Other mental health screening may also be available at the offices of primary care physicians.

Services do not require insurance or a fee because the agency is a non-profit funded by the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

For information, call (609) 652-3800 or email

Nickerson-Rossi Dance performs at Stockton Performing Arts Center

GALLOWAY - The Nickerson-Rossi Dance company, recipient of the 2021 Stockton Dance Company Residency, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Stockton Performing Arts Center.

The bi-coastal contemporary dance company, founded by Michael Nickerson-Rossi, integrates complex choreography with soulful performances by a talented ensemble of dancers.

Nickerson-Rossi teaches choreography and composition at John Hopkins University’s Peabody Conservatory, directs at his Palm Springs Dance Academy and continues to present concert dance works in theaters worldwide.

Tickets are $32 with discounts available for seniors, students and children.

The program is sponsored by Stockton’s Presidential Initiative Funds and the Division of Academic Affairs.

The center is on the campus of Stockton University at 101 Vera King Farris Drive.

For tickets or information, call (609) 652-9000 or visit Tickets also are available at the box office from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 90 minutes before showtime.

Spirit Airlines plans to add nonstop service to Boston from Atlantic City International Airport

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Spirit Airlines will continue to expand service at its Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) base with nonstop flights to Boston beginning on May 26.

The nonstop flights will initially operate three days per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend.

This Boston service announcement marks the fourth addition to Spirit’s ACY route map in the last six months joining Cancun, San Juan and Miami, which began operating in October 2021. Spirit Airlines now offers nonstop flights between ACY and 11 markets.

“We continue to add more popular destinations from Atlantic City, and summer is a great time to add non-stop service to Boston,” said John Kirby, vice president of network planning. “In addition, New England area travelers will be able to enjoy the quick hop to explore the Jersey Shore and all the options that Atlantic City has to offer.”

“Boston is one of our top unserved destinations for locals and is our top unserved market for visitors to Atlantic City and the South Jersey region,” said Tim Kroll, airport director, ACY. “We share Spirit Airlines’ enthusiasm in adding nonstop service to and from Boston.”

Spirit Airlines continues to offer nonstop flights between ACY and Atlanta (seasonal), Myrtle Beach; and Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach in Florida.

For information, visit

Who’s Next, The Who tribute band, will perform at 9 p.m. Feb. 4 during Flashback Fridays at The Wave at Golden Nugget in Atlantic City.

Flashback Fridays planned at The Wave

The Wave at Golden Nugget will feature Flashback Fridays hosted by Michael James.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. Bands will take the stage at 9 p.m.

The schedule includes:

  • Who’s Next, the Who tribute band, Feb. 4.

  • Lounge Fly, Stone Temple Pilot tribute band, Feb. 11.

  • Trilogy Tribute, Jagger, Morrison and Joplin tribute bands, Feb. 18.

  • Hello I Must Be Going, a Phil Collins tribute band, Feb. 25.

Admission is free.

Golden Nugget is at 600 Huron Ave., in Atlantic City.

For information, call (609) 441-2000 or visit

American Red Cross announces area blood drives

The American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region has issued an appeal for blood donors. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand and prevent a blood shortage.

The following blood drives are scheduled in Atlantic County:

  • 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 2, Jewish Community Center, 501 N. Jerome Ave., Margate City.

  • 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 3, Asbury United Methodist Church, 290 Asbury Ave., Egg Harbor Township.

  • 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 3, Harvey D. Johnson American Legion Post 295, 232 W. Mill Road, Northfield.

  • 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 8, Hamilton Mall, 4403 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing.

  • 3 to 8 p.m. Feb. 9, Atlantic Christian School, 391 Zion Road, Egg Harbor Township.

  • 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 9, Absecon Presbyterian Church, 208 New Jersey Ave., Absecon.

  • 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 10, Trinity Justice Lodge #79, 563 Zion Road, Egg Harbor Township.

  • 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 11, St. Anthony’s of Padua, 285 Route 206, Hammonton.

  • 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 14, Harvey D. Johnson American Legion Post 295, 232 W. Mill Road, Northfield.

  • 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 15, VFW Post 2189, 500 Bethel Road, Somers Point.

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 18, Smithville Community Center, 25 N. Quail Hill Blvd., Galloway.

  • 1 to 6 p.m. Feb. 18, American Legion Post No. 28, 560 Jersey Ave., Absecon.

To make an appointment, call (800) GIVE-LIFE or visit

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This article originally appeared on Vineland Daily Journal: Tickets available for Valentine’s Express and ACS’s Soup Cook-Off