(TOMS RIVER, NJ) – On April 14, at the Toms River Council Meeting, Mayor Thomas Kelaher proclaimed Elizabeth Paseler, the winner of the $10,000 Engage Toms River Community Mural Project. Sponsored by the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation with the close collaboration of the Toms River Business Improvement District and the Toms River Artist’s Community, The Engage Toms River Community Mural Project was open to all residents in Ocean County. The Ocean County artistic community was tasked to use their talents to create a mural showing the best of Toms River, to be displayed on the wall of Nancy’s Café in Downtown Toms River.
42 remarkable entries were reviewed by the jury, co-chaired by Danny Clinch, Brian Hanlon and Yvonne Yaar, who created a shortlist of the top three murals.
Finalists Elizabeth Paseler, Gregg Hinlicky and Carolyn Travisano’s work was then displayed at The
River Market Restaurant, The Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library, The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College and Community Medical Center. The community was invited to vote for their favorite mural on The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation’s website www.jayandlindagruninfoundation.org.
The community voted over 5000 times with less than 300 votes separating first and third places.
Jeremy Grunin, Executive Director of The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation stated, “The Engage Toms River Community Mural Project is community in every sense of the word. Elizabeth’s design will be turned into a “paint by numbers” canvas allowing every visitor to the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library the opportunity to paint the mural. We are looking forward to a very busy and artistic spring!”
Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher stated, "I am optimistic that the Grunin Foundation's attention and devotion to the arts will result in Toms River becoming a center for the arts in Ocean County."
Councilman Al Manforti stated, “I am looking forward to painting the mural myself at our library and seeing Toms River’s artistic talents unveiled at the Downtown Toms River Harvest Festival.”
Jay Grunin, Founder of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation stated, “Linda and I are very happy with the community’s growing enthusiasm for our Engage Toms River programs. We look forward to building on each success and announcing the next Engage Toms River program at the mural’s unveiling during the Toms River Harvest Festival.”
Visit www.jayandlindagruninfoundation.org for more information.
About The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation
The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation is a private family philanthropic organization based in Toms River, NJ. Its aim is to make Toms River the regional template for quality of life and strong economic health through root-cause focused investment in health care, education and the arts.
To demonstrate our commitment to sustained engagement and participation of all of Toms River’s residents in the arts, it developed the Engage Toms River Program. Engage Toms River (#EngageTomsRiver) will become the hub of the community’s creative ingenuity. The Foundation wants to encourage every citizen in Toms River to awaken his or her creativity, individuality, artistic and technical abilities to embed interaction with the arts and culture in the community. The Foundation will host two to three Engage Toms River programs every year, open to everyone in Toms River AND with a minimum prize of $10,000.
PHOTOS: (TOP) Pictured left to right, Carolyn Travisano, Elizabeth Paseler and Gregg Hinlicky
(BOTTOM) Elizabeth Paseler’s winning entry which will be at Nancy’s Café wall in Downtown Toms River