On the evening of March 13th, Amateur Astronomers, Inc. came to ACI to do a wonderful interactive presentation on the night sky! The participants listened to presenter, Mike Gironda, talk about not only how to find things in the night sky, but expanding on last year’s event by teaching information about aspects within constellations and fun facts about our galaxy. The second presenter, Jim Nordhauser, brought equipment for participants to learn about and interact with. He had different types of telescopes and binoculars as well as a huge telescope that he built himself. Before and after going outside to look at the night sky, participants enjoyed cups of hot cocoa. Thank you to Mike, Jim, and Mary of Amateur Astronomers, Inc. who made the night entertaining and informative!
On February 22nd, ACI and friends attended the George Street Playhouse production of Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical. The evening was a fun night out filled with the songs written and sung by Ms. Simone, “The High Priestess of Soul”. The play is an engaging mix of song and commentary about her life. Laiona Michelle, the writer and actress portraying Nina Simone embodies Ms. Simone’s passion, fierceness, and commanding stage presence. Ms. Michelle and company were amazing to watch for both Nina Simone fans and audience members who didn’t know any of her music. Thank you to the staff of George Street Playhouse for a wonderful night, especially to Lolly and Megan who made sure our visit went smoothly.
On October 26th, all of ACI’s friendly ghosts, ghouls, and goblins gathered to take part in an evening of frightening fun. We kicked off the night with decorating Halloween themed cookies and cupcakes. Thank you to Carolyn, Stephanie, Vivian, and family for your generous donation and your time which allowed this fun activity to happen! After making some spooky creative snacks, we enjoyed the Tim Burton classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Friends of ACI had the pleasure of attending Premiere Stages’ production of Brick City on September 20th. Premiere Stages productions is located at Kean University’s Vaughn Eames Hall. The drama, written by Nicole Pandolfo, was a fantastic story of two high school students Jessie, a cantankerous high school senior with a disability, and Darnell, the star player of the high school basketball team. The play takes place in the study hall classroom of Ms. Vega, a new teacher of this inner city school. Each character is struggling to find their way through their own hardships. Although, each character has their own issues they come together to support one another. This play does not pull any punches and show the reality of each characters lives. I applaud Brick City for not including any ableist themes. Brick City directed by Jessi D. Hill, features actors Rafael Benoit, Jacqueline Correa, Madison Ferris and Chris Grant. Thank you to Heather, Courtney, and the rest of the Premiere Stages crew who made our night run so well. Thank you to all the cast that stayed after the play to answer questions and talk to us!
On the evening of August 29th, ACI and friends went to the TD Bank Ballpark to root on the Somerset patriots to victory over The Road Warriors. Although it was a hot evening, everybody had a good time! There is nothing better than having some ballpark snacks while watching a good game with friends. Even Sparkee and General Admission, the Patriots' mascots, stopped bye to say hello to the ACI group.
On the evening of August 24th, ACI and friends went to What’s the Scoop ice cream parlor in Metuchen, NJ. The ice cream and pizza were topnotch! Numerous homemade flavors to choose from left everyone happy with their choice. It was good to see some old friends that came back to join us and a few new faces that we hope will continue to come and have fun with us. Thank you so much to the staff of What’s the Scoop for making the night great!
On the evening of July 12th, ACI attended a Plays in the Park production of Mamma Mia! It was a fantastic night of great acting and singing the hit songs of ABBA. This musical, as with all the Plays in the Park productions, had fantastic stage design, costumes, and music. Thank you to the Plays in the Park staff for making it a great night. Lastly, thank you Jackie Neill for your years of service and all the help you have given ACI over the years!