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The Ashley Lauren Foundation Theatre Ensemble of Monmouth County Wins Grunin Foundation Award

originally published: 12/02/2016

The Ashley Lauren Foundation Theatre Ensemble of Monmouth County Wins Grunin Foundation Award

(TOMS RIVER, NJ) -- The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation has named The Ashley Lauren Foundation Theatre Ensemble of Monmouth County as the winner of the Engage Toms River Giving Tuesday Theater Group Challenge Adjudicator’s Choice award. The organization has won $5,000 for their performance which included scenes from Shrek. The performances were judged by two professional adjudicators, Tony Petito and Carlyle Owens. The audience had one-third of the vote and their applause was measured by a decibel reader.

The event started with a reception at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College where guests enjoyed light fare and networking with community leaders and non-profit organizations. After the reception, the theater opened to a sold-out audience that watched five theater groups from Ocean and Monmouth Counties perform ten-minute musical comedy scenes. The groups performing were The Ashley Lauren Foundation Theatre Ensemble, Bellarine Theatre Company, Brick Children’s Community Theatre, Our Gang Players and Toms River High School North Nautical Stars Theatre Company.  In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, ticket sale proceeds were donated to The Ashley Lauren Foundation to help children with cancer.

Jeremy Grunin, Executive Director of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation said, “It was a wonderful night full of fun and philanthropy.  Each group was so talented; it makes it very difficult to choose.  Our professional adjudicators did a great job and we were thankful for a sold-out audience who not only participated in judging, but helped us give back to a great non-profit organization.”

Now it’s time for the people to vote for their favorite group to win the People’s Choice award for an additional $5,000.  Voting is online and will be open until midnight on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.  You can vote once every 24 hours and the winner will be announced on December 8, 2016. To access the videos of the performances and the link to vote, visit


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The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation uses philanthropy to increase citizen activity and economic development opportunities through the arts, healthcare and education. The Foundation is a proactive grant maker heavily active in the communities it has targeted to make an impact in, and is committed to identifying leaders and teams who it feels can bring their organizations to the next level, and beyond. Since 2013, it has invested over $8 million in the community, with an additional $14 million committed. For more information on the projects and impact the Foundation has made, please visit

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