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Long Branch Rotary Preserves Memory of Karen Hansen

EATONTOWN: The first Karen Hansen Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Monmouth University senior Kristina Owens who will follow her Bachelor of Arts degree this spring with her goal to pursue special education, teaching special needs children.

The Rotary Club of Greater Long Branch celebrated Special Education Week with its fourth annual Arts Show and Sale to honor the memory of a Long Branch special education professional Karen Hansen, who taught in the city's school system for 25 years before her passing in September 2012. It was her wish to be able to help others entering this rewarding field. Her family established the scholarship fund for that purpose.

Kristina is the first recipient of the program. She will join the more than 4200 other New Jersey professionals dedicated to the many special needs children in the state. She has been on the Dean's list at Monmouth three times and has maintained a 3.5 GPA. One of four children of Rob and Joanne Owens, she has been inspired by her younger brother Joe who suffers from autism.

An Honor society member and member of the Cool Kids club she has also taken an active part in helping other who have endured the losses of Hurricane Sandy.

The Art Show and Sale proceeds will help her to achieve the heartfelt wishes of Karen Hansen.

The show in the main ballroom of the Sheraton in Eatontown hosted the artist exhibits, most from the shore area and the state.

Proceeds of the show were from ticket sales, 50-50 raffles, and a silent auctions of gifts donated by individuals and local merchants. A percentage of the sales by the participating artists also went toward the scholarship funding.

A delicious buffet dinner was enjoyed by attendees along with music by Pam McCoy's Familiar Faces accompanied by Phil Rizzo on bass.

Artists were Mare Akana, Carol Bruno, Frank Colaguori, Cathy Corcione, Frank DiGiovanni, Joan Gallagher, Laurie Beth Giacumbo, John Hamm, Dave McGrath, Michael Menendez, Anthony Migliaccio, Michele Mlotkiewicz, Julie Murray, Joey Nowaczyk, Michael Scherfren, Maria Tinus, Ala Yaseen, Joseph Zarra, and Beverly Ziperson.

For information about the Greater Long Branch Rotary contact Roger Hansen at 732-539-8200, or online at hansenra416@gmail.com . The club meets at Rooney's Ocean Grill on Friday from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

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