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STARDUST: “There is no greater thing that one can do than to serve other people.” – Beverly Bova Scarano – Hosted by TaraJean McDonald STARDUST: “There is no greater thing that one can do than to serve other people.” – Beverly Bova Scarano – Hosted by TaraJean McDonald(0)YouTube Preview Image


“There is no greater thing that one can do than to serve other people.” – Beverly Bova Scarano

The Calico Cat Thrift Shop is nestled in the community of Middletown and is a representation of the town’s dedication to providing food and necessities for the less fortunate. This is where we found Stardust. Beverly Bova Scarano is an avid philanthropist and committed activist for the poor and struggling families in New Jersey. Her passion and drive and her exuberant dedication has inspired so many teens and young adults to join the battle against hunger in New Jersey.

Video: Tour the Calico Cat Thrift Shop and Cupboard & Pantry

For Beverly it all started many years ago when she was a young girl of 21, working at her local town hall in New Jersey. She had just learned that her beloved President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. As a young person she was very inspired by the President and his vision. She always remembered his quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” She had always felt that she had to do something with her life; she wanted to find her purpose and make a meaningful impact in the world. So, after the tragic death of her President, she decided join the Peace Corp. After months of training she was sent to the Philippines to work in the school system teaching English as a second language and helping in the community. When she came back to America after 2 years nothing was the same for her.

Beverly Inspires the Youth to join the Movement to Fight Hunger in their local communities.

How can you help get your children involved with the movement to feed the hungry?

Visit Calico Cat to volunteer for community services, sort food and box food. Getting involved with Boys and Girls Scouts as they promote many of the principles focused on helping in the community. Get involved with a Church or Synagogue that has an outreach program. The Bayshore Lunch Program needs volunteers once a month!

Calico Cat Cupboard & Pantry – Community Outreach Group #732-671-2304,



Beverly Bova Scarano, (Philanthropist & Youth Leader)

Janice Liebenow, (Pantry & Cupboard Coordinator)

There are stars all around us in the universe – After stars were formed, the intensity of their energies caused them to explode – their stardust traveled through the universe eventually clumping together to give birth to planets.

The earth is formed from stardust. Our bodies are formed from the earth – so in essence we are all made up of stardust. Every one of us is made up of stardust – the famous and the not so famous; the people who we look up to and admire, and the people who are homeless on the streets. I interview people who shine. Maybe you know them, maybe you don’t. But you are going to learn something about their lives, their passions and what motivates them. And in the end, I hope you realize that we all have the ability to shine, because after all – we are StarDust.

StarDust: “There is no greater thing that one can do than to serve other people.” – Beverly Bova Scarano – Hosted by TaraJean McDonald

TaraJean is a versatile journalist who has produced numerous segments for NJDiscover. She is experienced in Production and Post Production of TV Commercials, Live News Coverage, TV Entertainment Segments and Live Theatrical Events. She runs the gamut from writing to shooting to scripting to editing to post-production. She studied Communications specializing in Advertising at Fordham University, New York City, but her passion for creativity and expression moved her beyond a Bachelor of Arts degree to where she also studied Theatre and Performance at both Fordham and Roundabout Theatre. Her incandescent spirit took her ultimately to the stage and television in Metropolitan New York as an aspiring actress. Along the way, with a few blinks of an eye, TaraJean was married and raising three young daughters. Next, TaraJean harnessed that spirited energy, becoming editor of Our Town, a Monmouth County newspaper and appearing as a TV host for local Channel 77. The next perfect fit for TaraJean was to channel her unlimited energy in central Jersey working with NJ Discover as TV Host, Reporter, Writer and Producer. She consistently brought a special warmth, caring, insight and humanity to her stories and her reputation flourished with on sight reporting about Hurricane Sandy, homelessness and Tent City, pervasive hunger in New Jersey, and Jersey’s iconic music and film scene. She is the epicenter of what’s happening around the county and state. Almost evolutionary, TaraJean went on to co-host NJ Discover LIVE radio and cable TV and still manages time (quintessential juggler) to be Reporter, SpokesModel, Copywriter, Producer, Journalist and now Sr. Editor for Fashion Haunts Magazine.  Blog:

Event: Grey Lady – Red Carpet, Screening and Meet & Greet with Chris Meyer & John Shea…  SUNDAY 4/23/17 3:30PM Event: Grey Lady – Red Carpet, Screening and Meet & Greet with Chris Meyer & John Shea… SUNDAY 4/23/17 3:30PM(0)

New Brunswick, NJ

Grey Lady, a romantic thriller from award winning writer/director, John Shea, stars Eric Dane, natalie Zea, Amy Mdigan, Chris Meyer, John shea, Jimmy cummings and more. The special charity screening will be held at AMC Loews new Bruswick 18 on Sunday April 23rd at 3:30pm. The movie will be followed by a Q&A and Meet & Greet with writer/director John Shea and actors from the film including New Jersey native, Chris Meyer.


Proceeds from this charity event benefit Icing Smiles – a national nonprofit that serves custom cakes to critically ill kids and their families. Icing Smiles understands that the simple things, like a birthday cake, are luxuries to a family battling illness. Their goal is to create a custom cake for the ill child or their sibling, that provides a temporary escape from worry and creates a positive memory during a difficult time.

EVENT: Charity Screening of Grey Lady to  benefit Icing Smiles

WHEN: Sunday April 23, 2017 at 3:30PM

WHERE: AMC Loews New Brunswick, 17 US-1, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Tickets: $35 includes the Q&A and the Meet & Greet


To learn more about Icing Smiles, visit:

Grey Lady Theatrical Trailer:



Blessing of the Animals – Temple Rodeph Torah – VIDEO Marlboro, NJ  –  by TaraJean Blessing of the Animals – Temple Rodeph Torah – VIDEO Marlboro, NJ – by TaraJean(0)

A town wide event at Temple Rodeph Torah of Western Monmouth in Marlboro, New Jersey brought animal lovers together for a special celebration. The Blessing of the Animals celebration began with a gathering of pets and their owners seated before the Rabbi Donald Weber and Cantor Joanna Alexander. The Rabbi spoke of the love and bond between human and animal – “Our connections stretch back to creation and forward to a time when we may find our relationship free of domination and cruelty. We do not know how to measure the joy and spiritual well-being that animals, incapable of speech, provide for us, but we do know that their love is immeasurable and unconditional.”

Each of the blessings were done as individual prayers and songs for “God and Dog”, “Blessings for Cats”, “Blessings for Dogs” and “Blessings for All Animals.” Between songs of prayer and celebration, the Rabbi took special time to pray for the healing of sick animals and remembering animals that have died.

After the ceremony, neighbors, friends and families enjoyed snacks and refreshments beside a fire pit where children toasted marshmallows. The dogs were all wagging their tails and enjoying new friends.

President of the Temple, Larry Rosen, said this was the second year for The Blessing of the Animals and they will continue to celebrate this tradition annually.

-TaraJean McDonald Vitale
NJ Discover

Going Gold for Natalie  — UPCOMING CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS EVENT:  Thursday September 4th at McLoone’s Pier House in Long Branch, NJ Going Gold for Natalie — UPCOMING CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS EVENT: Thursday September 4th at McLoone’s Pier House in Long Branch, NJ(0)

I met Natalie Grace at a recent Poker Run Fundraiser that her parents had arranged called Strength and Honor Fundraiser for Cancer Research for Kids at Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, (formerlySouth Belmar) N.J. Two years ago their beautiful daughter Natalie Grace Gorsegner was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Natalie Grace is expected to be finished with her chemo treatments in November of this year.  


Every, SINGLE day approximately 46 families are told that their child has cancer in the United States alone and 7 of those children die every single day!

I had the honor of meeting this sweet little girl, who was wearing a very special Disney princess dress that day. By her side were her big sister, her mom and her dad. Her mother Andrea is one of the most passionate and motivated women I have ever met. She has transformed what could be a horrendously debilitating experience into a triumphant war against the absence of sufficient research to prevent and fight Childhood Cancer.


In addition, the day I spent at Bar Anticipation during the Strength and Honor Fundraiser gave me the privilege of meeting numerous NJ Motorcycle Bikers who traveled to support a cause they believed in.


It never ceases to inspire me how much goodness there is in this world. I asked Andrea to tell me about the people she has met through her journey these past 2 years. She shared with me some of the stories of how so many people have given a part of themselves, whether it be their time, their money, or simply their kindness.

Andrea and Dan Gorsegner moved to Middletown from Rutherford, N.J. in July of 2013, but they are no strangers to the area.  Dan was born and raised in Middletown, where his parents Louise and John Gorsegner have lived for the past 50 years. Andrea was raised in Haddon Heights N.J., where her parents Linda and Bill Verdone still reside. As newlyweds Andrea and Dan moved to N.Y.C. for a few short years, before heading back to Rutherford, N.J. after Andrea gave birth to their oldest daughter Hannah.  Soon they had another beautiful addition to their family, Natalie Grace. When Natalie was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia

 on August 16, 2012 she was just shy of her 3rd birthday. Andrea immediately left her position as Photography Editor at Women’s Health magazine to care for Natalie, and soon after she and Dan thought it best that they sell their Rutherford home and move back to Middletown where they could be closer to family.


The N.J. community has been everything to Andrea and Dan.  While they were living in Rutherford friends and strangers in the community stepped up to help the couple stay afloat with their bills when, at one point, they had been down an entire paycheck.  Friends helped chauffeur Hannah to and from school, even prepared meals for the Gorsegner family when they needed them.  Even in the Haddon Heights area, friends and neighbors alike found ways to help the Verdone family.

And when they moved to Middletown, Andrea and Dan were welcomed with the same kind of love.  Only now the Gorsegner’s no longer needed fundraising for their own family, they had started their own fundraiser, Will You Send Us A Dollar, in an effort to raise much needed funds for childhood cancer research.  In communities throughout N.J., and eventually throughout the entire country, people sent little Natalie their dollars to support her birthday wish of raising $50K for childhood cancer research.  They received mail from every state, and people from all over held bake sales, yard sales, and car washes all to help this family get closer to their goal.


In the end they ended up raising $110K for The Truth 365 where every penny raised went towards helping to fund six different childhood cancer trials.


This year Andrea, Dan, Hannah and Natalie are at it again as they are trying to raise $150K by Natalie’s 5th birthday (September 28th).







On Thursday September 4th, from 6pm – 10pm please kick off childhood cancer awareness month by joining Andrea + Dan Gorsegner for a beautiful evening at McLoone’s restaurant in Long Branch where their goal is to raise funds and awareness for children battling. The funds raised will go to The Truth 365 (via Will You Send Us a Dollar campaign), where EVERY SINGLE penny will go directly to research with the hope of discovering less toxic means for treating our kids, followed by our ultimate dream for a cure!

Tickets are $100/person in advance and $120 at the door. Included with your investment are an OPEN BAR, hors d’oeuvres, food stations and dessert. Additionally you’ll be enjoying the beautiful ocean view, LIVE music from recently signed singer-songwriter Mikey Wax (featured on the hit show Pretty Little Liars, and named “Artist on the Verge”), raffles/prizes and a valet service will also be provided.


To purchase tickets:

Simply click on the following link (which brings you to the Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer donation page), fill in your payment, and click in the circle where it says “Natalie Grace’s Wish Event.” It does NOT generate a printable ticket for you to bring, but it will automatically add you to our guest list where we’ll check you in at the door!          

Natalie’s FB page:


You can donate to Natalie Grace’s Wish:  P.O. Box 4064, Middletown, NJ 07748

For more information please visit her website:

Visit her Facebook Page at: Infinite Love for Natalie Grace


Written by – TaraJean Vitale, NJ Discover

Drummers…What’s Your MO? By Tara-Jean Vitale Drummers…What’s Your MO? By Tara-Jean Vitale(3)

Drummers…What’s Your MO?

Modus operandi (plural modi operandi) is a Latin phrase, which can be translated as “method of operation”. The term is used to describe someone’s habits. We Americans like to shorten it to “MO”, and Thino Cacciolo, owner and founder of MO DRUMSTICKS LLC.,  has chosen to build his own unique business around it. When first meeting Thino it is apparent his passion for music was the foundation for the creation of the Mo Drumstick. Thino believes “each and every drummer should be given the ability to create the perfect drumstick based on their own unique style of play, grip, age, physical abilities and experience”…a drummer’s MO. According to Thino, the music industry has taken tremendous strides in the development of better instruments both electronically and structurally, but stick design still had a ways to go. That is until MO DRUMSTICKS TM. was introduced just about 6 months ago.

Drummers across the country have re-discovered their ‘DRUMMIN’ MOJO” and are not shy about letting everyone know how special these sticks are. Here are just a few…





Tom Motts has appeared in Modern Drummer, Metal Edge and Billboard magazines. Tom and Serial Obsession has performed on many legendary stages like CBGB, ,B.B.Kings, Lamours,Terminal 5 and Kenny’s Castawys to name a few.

Tom writes… “I was fortunate enough to be among the first drummers to road test this innovative stick, which I found added much control to my playing.

By adding a numbered weight system that allows you to customize the balance of the stick which changes the “sweet spot, fulcrum) it allowed me great comfort especially for my old fashioned stick twirls, thus creating the “MOTTS ROCKS #147”. Drummers, we no longer have to settle… Thino and MO DRUMSTICKS just made it personal!!! Having my Signature Stick makes me feel like a King and I’m loving mine!

Staff Sergeant Robert Hooks of The United States Army is stationed in Afghanistan. Every soldier carries a dream with him from back home to the forefront; Sgt Hooks dream was to play the drums. He found MO Drumsticks on Facebook. He sent a message through the internet asking about ordering custom drumsticks for when he comes back home.  Thino thought “why wait?’ He made Sgt Hook’s personal and unique drumsticks as quickly as possible and shipped them out to where the soldier was stationed in Afghanistan. MO Drumsticks can be found all over the United States, from California to Texas to NJ to Ohio. But the package he shipped to Afghanistan for one of America’s soldiers was one of Thino’s favorite.


Thino with John Castellano and Good & Plenty posing in front of Brown’s in Bay Ridge in the late 70’s. Good & Plenty played many local hot spots in NJ: Robins Reef Yacht Club and Venice Restaurant in Bayonne.  Left to right… Thino Cacciolo, John Castellano, Doreen Rose, Ray Naccari, Phil Castellan0

MO’s Patent Pending one of a kind, Grooved/Weighted Drumsticks combine machined ergonomic groove(s) filed into the stick at the fulcrum, (the sweet spot of the stick) with a weight distribution system that allows a drummer to customize the mass weight of each stick to match their play. Not just add weight to the stick, but distribute that weight across the stick! Thino believes that this custom design will give drummers of all levels of play the opportunity to reach their full potential just by using their own personally designed custom MO DRUMSTICK.










Facebook Page:

Writer TaraJean Vitale
With Thino at American Hotel, Freehold NJ

(Video)Monmouth & Ocean County Food Bank Fundraiser Event with SouthSide Johnny & the Asbury  Jukes.  Jason Nappi (Video)Monmouth & Ocean County Food Bank Fundraiser Event with SouthSide Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. Jason Nappi(0)

‘The Monmouth & Ocean County Food Bank Parter up with The Windmill Restaurant’s for the unofficial start of summer featuring Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. This celebration is to raise awareness and money for the food bank to help support the thousands of families who will go hungry this summer. The goal is to sell 10,000 or more hotdogs and raise over 50 thousand dollars for the food bank.’

Dan Marino Interviewed at the Opening Doors Benefit & Golf Event in Marlboro, NJ 2013  (Video) Host TaraJean Dan Marino Interviewed at the Opening Doors Benefit & Golf Event in Marlboro, NJ 2013 (Video) Host TaraJean(0)

Dan Marino, Hall of Fame Quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, attended the First Annual Charity Golf Event to benefitThe Dan Marino Foundation at the Bella Vista Country Club in Marlboro, NJ.


Corporate Resource Services, Inc., a diversified technology, staffing, recruiting, and consulting services firm, hosted the event that helped raise over $40,000 to support services for people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Over 200 people attended the event at Bella Vista Country Club in Marlboro, NJ.

For more information on Corporate Resource Services, Inc visit their website at

John P. Messina, PRESIDENT, CEO


Michael J. Golde, CFO


The Dan Marino Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization was established in 1992 by Dan and Claire Marino, motivated by their experiences in raising their son, Michael, who is diagnosed with autism. The Foundation’s mission is “empowering individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities through therapies, research, education, and employment in pursuit of a greater quality of life.”

For over 20 years, the Foundation has served individuals with disabilities in South Florida and raised more than $45 million to create unique and impactful initiatives in the community. Among these “first-of-their-kind” initiatives were the Miami Children’s Hospital Dan Marino Center,, the Marino Autism Research Institute, Marino Adapted Aquatics, Summer STEPS Employment Programs, and now, opening in 2014, Marino Campus. For more information, please visit


CRS is a leading recruiting and staffing provider that specializes in placing administrative, clerical, customer service, information technology and light industrial candidates.

For more information on Corporate Resource Services, Inc visit their website at


FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (video) FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (video)(0)

NJDiscover’s FoodBank video shown at the Restore the Shore Concert Series on Thursday at the Strand Theater in Lakewood.
Proceeds from the concert went to the FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties.
For every $1 the FoodBank provides 3 meals.

In the United States:

  • In New Jersey:In 2008, one in seven households (14.6%) in the US were food insecure – over 49 million people. This means they did not have access to enough food to meet their basic needs.1
  • This includes almost 17 million children.
  • In 2005, nearly one in five US children lived in homes earning at or below the Federal poverty level (17.2%).2
  • The US has the highest wage inequality, wealth disparity, poverty rate and child poverty rate of any industrialized nation.3
  • The very high cost of living makes it difficult for low-income people to make ends meet. While the Federal poverty level for a family of four has become $20,650 in 2007, a recent study showed that such a family needs over $40,000 to meet its most basic needs in New Jersey.4
  • Low wages and high cost of living forces one in every five households in New Jersey to struggle to live on an income below the Self-Sufficiency Standard, that is, inadequate to meet basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, health care, child care and transportation to work.5
  • 85% of these households have at least one person working (non-elderly, non-disabled households).4
  • 11.8% of children under 18 (over 1 million children) live below the Federal poverty line.2
  • One out of every three people receiving emergency food are children.6

In Monmouth & Ocean Counties:


Kiwanis Club of Marlboro Kiwanis Club of Marlboro(0)

Yours Truly, Tara-Jean

She stood on the beautiful grounds of the Peppadew Fresh Farm in Morganville, New Jersey, surrounded by her family, friends and her neighbors. The tears in her eyes and emotion in her voice let us know how deeply moved she was by this incredible outpouring of love.  This past year Denise was diagnosed with cancer. Not only did she have the sole responsibility of caring for her twin boys who were only in 1st Grade, but she had begun to fight the battle of her life.  The words of thanks she spoke on this warm summer evening reflected the months of struggle she has already endured. Denise said, “I will never forget this time in my life.”

Carol Mazzola, Marlboro Township Councilwoman and member of the Kiwanis Club of Marlboro gathered together more than 100 neighbors, friends and family to give their support to this local mother during her time of need. Kiwanis covered the cost of hosting the event at the Peppadew Fresh Farms on Boundary Road in Marlboro, New Jersey. Local donations were offered by The Wine Academy, Abbate Bakery contributed their cookies and Peppadew Fresh Farms provided the space.  Other local businesses such as Investors Bank and Bella Vista Country Club donated monies to the fund that was set up by Kiwanis.

The Kiwanis chapter in Marlboro is one of 13,000 Kiwanis organizations established in over 80 countries. They are devoted to identifying and responding to the needs of their communities. In Marlboro more than 30 active and committed members meet once a month to explore ways they can assist with club service projects.

The event was a perfect representation of “Love Thy Neighbor” It gave many people the opportunity to open their hearts. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Frank J. Dugan Elementary was in attendance as well as the boys’ teacher and her family.  When the school and PTA first learned of her diagnosis, the decision was made to organize a baked goods food chain to deliver to Denise’s home to ensure her children would always have a warm cooked meal and Denise would be relieved of the stress of shopping and cooking. Anonymously, mothers from the Dugan PTA cooked and delivered full meals to Denise’s home each day during her initial treatments and surgeries. Play dates were also scheduled with the twins so Denise could feel confident that her children were being entertained and supervised.

Now, months later on this summer evening Denise responded with overwhelming emotion as she expressed her gratitude. “This was a fight I never thought I would have to take,” she said, “and I am grateful from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.” She expressed her pride in her community. She also acknowledged her friend and neighbor, Seth, who is also battling cancer and who has given her enormous inspiration.  The days ahead will still be a struggle for Denise, she has two more procedures scheduled this summer. Yet with the strength of her family, friends and community behind her, she and her children will have the ability to focus their energies on being brave and looking toward the future.

Bill Rancic helps Paint The Town Pink, Red Bank NJ  by TJ Vitale [Video] Bill Rancic helps Paint The Town Pink, Red Bank NJ by TJ Vitale [Video](0)

The town of “Pink” Bank celebrated its annual Paint the Town Pink mission May 2012. In Red Bank, Riverview Medical Center’s team of volunteers began this fun and creative way to deliver the message to all women: “early detection is a woman’s best defense against breast cancer.”  Their goal: “to encourage women in our community, aged 40 and older, to have their annual mammogram; to raise money to provide underserved women in our community; and to make a difference in the lives of women in our community.”

The idea is for the entire town and neighborhood to show their support for the fight against breast cancer by displaying as much PINK as possible!

This year the theme is Men In Pink and the volunteers searched for men who have had breast cancer impact their lives.

In Pink Bank, on Monday night NJ Discover Team attended “An Unplanned Plan: An Evening with Bill Rancic” at the Count Basie Theatre. The reality television star, Bill Rancic, was the first to win The Apprentice and is also married to E! News co-host Guiliana Rancic. For the very first time he talked publicly about his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Bill met Guiliana after she interviewed him for E! News. They immediately hit it off and soon began dating. His love for Guiliana was apparent, and the fact that he adores her was visible in every story he shared about their life. Also apparent was his devastation on the diagnosis and the battle she had to endure.

Bill Rancic spoke to the audience with the intention of inspiring and empowering the “caretakers”. The very people who spend each day standing by the women they love who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

He spoke about life being a journey of experiences…Challenging us not to focus on the final destination, but to enjoy each stop along the way. Like a train stopping at a station, each stop being unique and new…Reminding us that each station needs to be enjoyed, and embraced…Encouraging us to live for the moment.

Bill talked about the caretaker, and how it is necessary to take on many roles: comforter, iron-man, comedian, sounding board, empowerment speaker and medical research investigator. Finding the right role to play that will generate the most strength can change at a moments notice.

Bill and Guiliana are optimistic and focused. They wake each morning and thank God for each new day and are grateful for each new experience and journey they are presented with. Surely it is evident that they are blessed because Guiliana is pregnant with their first child.

“Pink Bank” has inspired many more towns to join forces in the Paint The Town Pink mission: Atlantic Highlands=Atlantic Pinklands, Little Silver=Little Pink, Monmouth Beach=Pink Beach, Shrewsbury=Pinkbury, Fair Haven=Pink Haven, Holmdel=Pinkdel, Rumson=Pinkson.

Maybe next year we will see Marlboro=Pinkboro, Freehold=Pinkhold, Old Bridge=Pink Bridge and Manalapan=Manalapink and more!

Submitted by Tara-Jean Vitale


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