Bond will help build college culinary center

The Burlington County Board of Freeholders recently approved a $10.4 million bond to build Burlington County College a culinary arts center in Mount Holly and to refurbish parts of the Parker Center on the main campus in Pemberton.

"The culinary arts center will be the first of its kind in this area of South Jersey and will allow culinary arts students at the Burlington County Institute of Technology and other high schools to continue their studies in the county," Freeholder Vincent R. Farias said.

Plans call for a vacant former bank building at 21 Mill St. to be converted into culinary labs, kitchen space, and a demonstration area. The center will cost $4 million.

Burlington County site saved for open space

A 400-acre property with more than a mile of frontage on Route 206 in Springfield Township near the future Burlington County Fairgrounds and Arneys Mount will be preserved as farmland and open space for trails and passive recreation.

The Burlington County Freeholders recently approved purchase of the site, owned by BF&W Realty, for $4.8 million. The county expects to receive roughly $2 million in reimbursement from the state Agricultural Development Committee and the anticipated resale of the preserved farmland portion.

Situated on the east side of Route 206, the property also has frontage on Jacksonville-Jobstown Road and Arneys Mount-Columbus Road. The county plans include a trailhead for the Arneys Mount regional trail on Jacksonville-Jobstown Road.

The County Fairgrounds is under design on a portion of a 640-acre former sod farm off the west side of Route 206. Most of the site will remain open space.

Delanco police buy watercraft for rescues

The Delanco Township Police Department recently bought a new Sea-Doo GTI SE watercraft. The acquisition is the result of a loaner program with Surf & Turf Powersports of Lumberton.

Delanco is bounded by the Delaware River and the Rancocas Creek, which total more than seven miles of waterway. The new watercraft will be used to assist the emergency squad and fire department in water rescues and other related emergencies, in addition to accessing areas normally isolated from police.

All officers will be trained to use the new watercraft.

Dinner raises money for Family Service

Family Service's recent progressive dinner in Moorestown raised more than $70,000 for the Charles Yates Center for Children and Families.

The sold-out event drew 260 guests, who dined and learned about the agency and its programs.

The fund-raiser began at the home of Richard and Susan Lutz for hors d'oeuvres. Guests then dispersed to 18 homes, where top area chefs prepared gourmet meals. The evening ended at Café Madison, where all guests gathered for dessert.

The Yates Center combines individual counseling and support, group-based interventions, education and case-management services. There are 20 programs.

Family Service, a United Way Agency, is a private, nonprofit community agency offering a range of programs addressing the behavioral health needs of children, families and individuals in southern and central New Jersey.

Garden club wins decorating award

The Country Garden Club of Mount Laurel recently won first prize for its contribution to decorating the governor's mansion, Drumthwacket, in Princeton.

Garden clubs from throughout the state participated in the annual event, and this was Mount Laurel's first time taking part. The overall theme this year was Christmas in the Highlands. The Mount Laurel Club was assigned the parlor and chose "Auld Lang Syne" as its theme.

Arlene Weinstein chaired the decorating committee, composed of 14 club members. Eileen McSparran and Jean Thomas helped develop and execute the theme.

The committee used native greens, berries, pods, moss, fruit, feathers, and bright tartans to make the room come alive with elegance and warmth.