HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy in Brainards, NJ

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What Causes Menopause?

The most common reason for menopause is the natural decline in a female's reproductive hormones. However, menopause can also result from the following situations:

Oophorectomy: This surgery, which removes a woman's ovaries, causes immediate menopause. Symptoms and signs of menopause in this situation can be severe, as the hormonal changes happen abruptly.

Chemotherapy: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can induce menopause quickly, causing symptoms to appear shortly after or even during treatment.

Ovarian Insufficiency: Also called premature ovarian failure, this condition is essentially premature menopause. It happens when a woman's ovaries quit functioning before the age of 40 and can stem from genetic factors and disease. Only 1% of women suffer from premature menopause, but HRT can help protect the heart, brain, and bones.

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Depression

If you're a woman going through menopause and find that you have become increasingly depressed, you're not alone. It's estimated that 15% of women experience depression to some degree while going through menopause. What many women don't know is that depression can start during perimenopause, or the years leading up to menopause.

Depression can be hard to diagnose, especially during perimenopause and menopause. However, if you notice the following signs, it might be time to speak with a physician:

  • Mood Swings
  • Inappropriate Guilt
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Too Much or Too Little Sleep
  • Lack of Interest in Life
  • Overwhelming Feelings

Remember, if you're experiencing depression, you're not weak or broken - you're going through a very regular emotional experience. The good news is that with proper treatment from your doctor, depression isn't a death sentence. And with HRT and anti-aging treatment for women, depression could be the catalyst you need to enjoy a new lease on life.

 HRT For Women Brainards, NJ

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes - they're one of the most well-known symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are intense, sudden feelings of heat across a woman's upper body. Some last second, while others last minutes, making them incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable for most women.

Symptoms of hot flashes include:

  • Sudden, Overwhelming Feeling of Heat
  • Anxiety
  • High Heart Rate
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Typically, hot flashes are caused by a lack of estrogen. Low estrogen levels negatively affect a woman's hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature and appetite. Low estrogen levels cause the hypothalamus to incorrectly assume the body is too hot, dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow. Luckily, most women don't have to settle for the uncomfortable feelings that hot flashes cause. HRT treatments for women often stabilize hormones, lessening the effects of hot flashes and menopause in general.

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Mood Swings

Mood swings are common occurrences for most people - quick shifts from happy to angry and back again, triggered by a specific event. And while many people experience mood swings, they are particularly common for women going through menopause. That's because, during menopause, the female's hormones are often imbalanced. Hormone imbalances and mood swings go hand-in-hand, resulting in frequent mood changes and even symptoms like insomnia.

The rate of production of estrogen, a hormone that fluctuates during menopause, largely determines the rate of production the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood, causing mood swings.

Luckily, HRT and anti-aging treatments in Brainards, NJ for women work wonders for mood swings by regulating hormone levels like estrogen. With normal hormone levels, women around the world are now learning that they don't have to settle for mood swings during menopause.

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Weight Gain

Staying fit and healthy is hard for anyone living in modern America. However, for women with hormone imbalances during perimenopause or menopause, weight gain is even more serious. Luckily, HRT treatments for women coupled with a physician-led diet can help keep weight in check. But which hormones need to be regulated?

  • Estrogen: During menopause, estrogen levels are depleted. As such, the body must search for other sources of estrogen. Because estrogen is stored in fat, your body believes it should increase fat production during menopause. Estrogen also plays a big part in insulin resistance, which can make it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.
  • Progesterone: Progesterone levels are also depleted during menopause. Progesterone depletion causes bloating and water retention, while loss of testosterone limits the body's ability to burn calories.
  • Ongoing Stress: Stress makes our bodies think that food is hard to come by, putting our bodies in "survival mode". When this happens, cortisol production is altered. When cortisol timing changes, the energy in the bloodstream is diverted toward making fat. With chronic stress, this process repeatedly happens, causing extensive weight gain during menopause.
 HRT Brainards, NJ

Low Libido

Lowered sexual desire - three words most men and women hate to hear. Unfortunately, for many women in perimenopausal and menopausal states, it's just a reality of life. Thankfully, today, HRT and anti-aging treatments Brainards, NJ can help women maintain a normal, healthy sex drive. But what causes low libido in women, especially as they get older?

The hormones responsible for low libido in women are progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.

Progesterone production decreases during perimenopause, causing low sex drive in women. Lower progesterone production can also cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, and other symptoms. On the other hand, lower estrogen levels during menopause lead to vaginal dryness and even vaginal atrophy or loss of muscle tension.

Lastly, testosterone plays a role in lowered libido. And while testosterone is often grouped as a male hormone, it contributes to important health and regulatory functionality in women. A woman's testosterone serves to heighten sexual responses and enhances orgasms. When the ovaries are unable to produce sufficient levels of testosterone, it often results in a lowered sex drive.

 Hormone Replacement Brainards, NJ

Vaginal Dryness

Often uncomfortable and even painful, vaginal dryness is a serious problem for sexually active women. However, like hair loss in males, vaginal dryness is very common - almost 50% of women suffer from it during menopause.

Getting older is just a part of life, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for the side effects. HRT and anti-aging treatments for women correct vaginal dryness by re-balancing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When supplemented with diet and healthy living, your vagina's secretions are normalized, causing discomfort to recede.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Brainards, NJ

Fibroids

Uterine fibroids - they're perhaps the least-known symptom of menopause and hormone imbalances in women. That's because these growths on the uterus are often symptom-free. Unfortunately, these growths can be cancerous, presenting a danger for women as they age.

Many women will have fibroids at some point. Because they're symptomless, they're usually found during routine doctor exams. Some women only get one or two, while others may have large clusters of fibroids. Because fibroids are usually caused by hormone imbalances, hysterectomies have been used as a solution, forcing women into early menopause.

Advances in HRT and anti-aging medicine for women give females a safer, non-surgical option without having to experience menopause early. At Global Life Rejuvenation, our expert physicians will implement a customized HRT program to stabilize your hormones and reduce the risk of cancerous fibroid growth.

 HRT For Men Brainards, NJ

Endometriosis

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS, and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.

Xenoestrogen is a hormone that is very similar to estrogen. Too much xenoestrogen is thought to stimulate endometrial tissue growth. HRT for women helps balance these hormones and, when used with a custom nutrition program, can provide relief for women across the U.S.

 Sermorelin Brainards, NJ

What is Sermorelin?

Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.

 HRT Brainards, NJ

Benefits of Sermorelin

Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.

  • Benefits of Sermorelin include:
  • Better Immune Function
  • Improved Physical Performance
  • More Growth Hormone Production
  • Less Body Fat
  • Build More Lean Muscle
  • Better Sleep
 Hormone Replacement Brainards, NJ

What is Ipamorelin?

Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.

Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Brainards, NJ

Benefits of Ipamorelin

One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies. Ipamorelin can boost a patient's overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life.

When there is an increased concentration of growth hormone by the pituitary gland, there are positive benefits to the body. Some benefits include:

  • Powerful Anti-Aging Properties
  • More Muscle Mass
  • Less Unsightly Body Fat
  • Deep, Restful Sleep
  • Increased Athletic Performance
  • More Energy
  • Less Recovery Time for Training Sessions and Injuries
  • Enhanced Overall Wellness and Health
  • No Significant Increase in Cortisol

Your New, Youthful Lease on Life with HRT for Women

Whether you are considering our HRT and anti-aging treatments for women in Brainards, NJ, we are here to help. The first step to reclaiming your life begins by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation. Our friendly, knowledgeable HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!

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Tittanegro’s first start a scrapbook occasion as he leads Scotch Plains to victory

We will start the 2022 football season by offering up a gentle warning about trusting first impressions.We are wise to not judge a book by its cover and we also should never jump to conclusions about a team’s potential based upon its opening drive of a season.Scotch Plains-Fanwood looked like a rudderless mess on its first five snaps of the contest, three of which were whistled for penalties starting at its own 2-yard line, and the fifth an errant hike out of the end zone that gave North Plainfield a quick two-point lead....

We will start the 2022 football season by offering up a gentle warning about trusting first impressions.

We are wise to not judge a book by its cover and we also should never jump to conclusions about a team’s potential based upon its opening drive of a season.

Scotch Plains-Fanwood looked like a rudderless mess on its first five snaps of the contest, three of which were whistled for penalties starting at its own 2-yard line, and the fifth an errant hike out of the end zone that gave North Plainfield a quick two-point lead.

But the Raiders would promptly wipe away the jittery rust of that first possession and look more like a well-oiled machine behind the play of speedy senior running back Anthony Tittanegro making his first varsity start, and steady-handed senior quarterback Weston Fischer.

Tittanegro carried 18 times for 186 yards and one touchdown and he also caught a scoring pass from Fischer, who threw for 157 yards and three TDs and ran once for a score to direct their Raiders to a 38-16 win over North Plainfield in a cross-divisional Big Central Conference clash Friday night at Perry Tyson Field in Scotch Plains.

“We just had to keep up our confidence, keep moving (after the first drive). Bad plays happen in football and they did there,” Fischer said. “you just have to keep pushing through it.”

Scotch Plains did just that with a hard-hitting defense that limited North Plainfield to just 31 total yards for the first two quarters after spotting the Canucks two points, and with an industrious offensive line firing off the ball in order to jump-start a running back who needed little more than a nudge to propel himself downfield.

Tittanegro’s initial carry went for zero yardage on first down of the drive that followed that game-opening sequence of mishaps. But then Fischer found Tim Paprocki open in the middle of the field for a 36-yard gain and it seemed as if Scotch Plains could finally exhale. Tittanegro followed that play with a 4-yard run on a counter to his left, and then shifted into another gear.

Tittanegro ran 10 times for 60 yards and also hauled in a 41-yard scoring pass from Fischer in the first half to help the Raiders seize a 28-2 lead, and he churned out 126 yards on eight attempts in the second half, including a dazzling 59-yarder early in the third quarter to set up a 32-yard field goal by Kyle Brainard, and a 17-yard scoring run midway in the fourth quarter for a 38-16 lead.

“I’ve grown up playing with Anthony. I’ve always known how good a running back he is. He got his opportunity today and really showed how great he can be,” Fischer said. “He’s so fast and he’s got great field vision. He knows what he’s doing out there.”

Tittanegro said he knew exactly what he had to do following that rough opening series and he further knew that the rest of his teammates held the same information, particularly his front line.

Not one lineman who started for Scotch Plains was a regular last year, but Luke and Evan Doyle, Jerry Mundle, Alex Salameh, Shane Hickey and Michael Donofrio all wound up looking like multi-year starters after the first few possessions.

“I knew they were young and inexperienced, but with size and their commitment, I knew we had something in us to get us to the next level,” Tittanegro said. “Those are my brothers. I trust them in my heart, from my toes to my brain.”

The linemen sprung Tittanegro loose for big pickups several times and also offered excellent protection for Fischer on his play-action rollouts. He completed 8 of 12 passes for the night, and connected with Tittanegro in the first quarter and Evan Hanvey and Paprocki in the second quarter for touchdowns. Fischer also scored that period with a 1-yard sneak for a 21-2 lead.

“We came in knowing they (North Plainfield) were a good team, but we knew we were better,” Tittanegro said. “Once that safety came, we were ticked. We went out on defense and shut them down and then got the ball again and proved we were better. It was just nerves in the first couple minutes.”

North Plainfield’s case of nerves lasted a little longer than Scotch Plains’, though the Canucks finally did settle into a better rhythm on offense in the second half.

The Canucks struck on the opening drive of the second half, going 67 yards in eight plays to close the deficit to 28-10. Josh Collazo hit Tyrell King with a 38-yard pass to the Scotch Plains 14, and Ryan Sullivan followed up with a scoring run on the ensuing play. The senior started off right end, then cut back and knifed his way through the middle.

Scotch Plains answered that with a seven-play, 77-yard march that Tittanegro highlighted with his 59-yard run and Brainard capped with his field goal with 4:23 to go in the quarter.

North Plainfield was halted at the Scotch Plains-Fanwood seven-yard line on its next drive following a long march sparked by a 29-yard run by Nasir McGlone, but capitalized on a short punt a bit later. The Canucks took over at the Scotch Plains six following a punt from the Raiders’ end zone, and McGlone took it in with a run off right tackle on the first snap.

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Middletown Mayor Feuds With Open Space Group Over Sale Of Hwy. 36 Lot

Kastning said Mayor Perry dislikes him since Monmouth Conservation Foundation opposed Middletown Walk, the town homes going up on Kings Hwy:MIDDLETOWN, NJ — A well-known land preservation nonprofit in Monmouth County is planning to sell a parcel of land it owns along Rt. 36 — and Middletown Mayor Tony Perry is not happy about it.The nonprofit is the Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF) and the lot in question is 120 Hwy. 36, directly across from Regency Park and Guttenplan's frozen dough plant. This is a three-a...

Kastning said Mayor Perry dislikes him since Monmouth Conservation Foundation opposed Middletown Walk, the town homes going up on Kings Hwy:

MIDDLETOWN, NJ — A well-known land preservation nonprofit in Monmouth County is planning to sell a parcel of land it owns along Rt. 36 — and Middletown Mayor Tony Perry is not happy about it.

The nonprofit is the Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF) and the lot in question is 120 Hwy. 36, directly across from Regency Park and Guttenplan's frozen dough plant. This is a three-acre wooded lot that is currently empty; it is bound on one side by a cell tower and on the other a bus company.

The lot is zoned for commercial development.

William Kastning, the executive director of the Monmouth Conservation Foundation, confirmed to Patch that his group is in contract to sell the land to a developer, which plans to build storage units on it. He declined to say exactly how much the developer is paying for the lot, but it is more than $200,000.

Mayor Perry said the sale represents an abandonment of the MCF's principles, which are to conserve open land and open space in Monmouth County. Perry is calling for Kastning, a Holmdel resident, to resign.

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"The Monmouth Conservation Foundation was founded in party by a great Middletown resident and philanthropist Judith Stanley Coleman, and I am extremely confident this was not her vision when she helped form it in 1977," wrote Perry in a letter he sent Tuesday to Monmouth County Commissioners Director Tom Arnone, who oversees the Monmouth County Parks Department. Perry also sent his letter to all the Monmouth Conservation Foundation trustees.

"Given that the Monmouth Conservation Foundation and the county parks system work together, I thought Arnone should know this is happening," Perry told Patch Tuesday. "You are taking one of the few remaining parcels of untouched, undisturbed land and you're going to turn it into a self-storage facility. Why would anyone now donate to the Monmouth Conservation Foundation? Why would anyone volunteer for the Monmouth Conservation Foundation?"

According to Perry, Middletown offered to buy the lot from MCF a few years ago, offering to pay no more than $1. The Township intended to keep the land as open, undeveloped wooded space.

The Monmouth Conservation declined the Township's offer, said Perry, and confirmed by Kastning.

"We wanted to keep it as open space," said Perry. "If their executive director was true to his word, he would turn around and donate this to the Township. Their executive director is being greedy and selling it for a profit. I am not going to associate myself with an organization that purposely misleads people."

Kastning said his organization has helped preserve thousands of acres of open space in Monmouth County and that land sales such as this one provide the funding that allow his organization to exist. He said all the money generated from the sale of the lot will be put back into the non-profit, to continue purchasing lots of land that are worth preserving as open space in Monmouth County.

He also said such land sales are permissible under "trade lands" rules, which allows non-profits like his to sell land to developers as long as the land is not historically or ecologically significant. This Hwy. 36 parcel is neither.

The lot is also commercially zoned lot on the busy Hwy. 36 commercial corridor, Kastning pointed out.

"The revenue from the sale of this property on Route 36 is to be used to preserve natural resources in Monmouth County," wrote Kastning in his own follow-up letter, which he sent Arnone Wednesday. "In a perfect world, we would preserve all (green space) ... but MCF simply does not have the funds to do so. MCF must make hard decisions to preserve what it can."

Kastning also said Perry and his allies on the Middletown Twp. Committee dislike him since the Monmouth Conservation Foundation adamantly opposed the Village 35/Middletown Walk Toll Brothers development, which are the townhouses currently being built along Kings Highway.

A few years back, Monmouth Conservation Foundation put out a robo-call to all Middletown residents asking them to oppose Middletown Walk, which was approved by the Middletown Planning Board.

Here are some of the public parks/open space Monmouth Conservation Foundation has worked with others to help preserve:

Allaire State Park: MCF and the state of New Jersey DEP Green Acres Program purchased the last remaining large parcel of land connected to Allaire State Park in 2019, expanding the park by nearly 190 acres in Wall Township.

Shrewsbury Riverfront Park in Sea Bright: MCF and Monmouth County paid for walking paths, open green space and installation of benches and fencing along the waterfront. Plans are moving ahead for Phase Two completion this year, which will include amenities like a patio, pavilion and landscaping.

Swimming River Park in Middletown: Construction takes place this summer to improve public water access and add recreational amenities. An effort years in the making, the project is a successful collaboration of Monmouth County, the Monmouth County Park System (MCPS), and MCF that preserves approximately 18 acres of green space.

Colts Neck: MCF preserved the 19-acre Stivala Farm in Colts Neck. The property is contiguous to the roughly 63-acre DeGroot Farm, which was also preserved through the State’s Farmland Preservation Program. Both quintessential examples of rural farm life in Colts Neck, these farms will now be protected forever from encroaching development.

Sunset Park in Red Bank (still in planning stages): MCF secured a $2 million anonymous donation from a philanthropist in fall 2021 to support the creation of a park on the underserved west side of Red Bank. Sunset Park will become a reality in the coming years, as MCF works with the Red Bank Borough Council and other partners to restore the former landfill into a public park for recreational use.

Edgemere Park in Sea Girt will soon be home to a new pollinator garden thanks to a $10,000 charitable grant secured by MCF.

MCF is working with the U.S. Navy to preserve land and natural habitats that surround Naval Weapons Station Earle to "help sustain critical, at-risk military mission capabilities." Conversations are currently underway to preserve applicable properties in Howell and Colts Neck.

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Scotch Plains-Fanwood Football Preview

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Scotch Plains-Fanwood football has not made the playoffs in almost a decade. Head coach Austin Holman, in his fourth year at the helm of the Raiders, believes the team is capable to make that leap this campaign and make the postseason for the first time since 2014.“It has been way too long,” Holman said.With a 14-14 record since joining the Raiders in 2019, Holman’s winning percentage heavily outweighs the previous 4-35 record Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s previous regime accumulat...

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Scotch Plains-Fanwood football has not made the playoffs in almost a decade. Head coach Austin Holman, in his fourth year at the helm of the Raiders, believes the team is capable to make that leap this campaign and make the postseason for the first time since 2014.

“It has been way too long,” Holman said.

With a 14-14 record since joining the Raiders in 2019, Holman’s winning percentage heavily outweighs the previous 4-35 record Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s previous regime accumulated in between his arrival and the program’s last NJSIAA Tournament appearance.

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To reach the postseason, the Raiders will be turning over from a senior-laden roster, including one which lost All-State running back Anthony Robinson. But at the signal caller position, veteran senior quarterback Weston Fischer will be making his return after throwing for 1,050 yards and 11 passing touchdowns in 2021, both the most since the 2017 season for a Raider.

“He has an opportunity to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league,” Holman said. “He is going to make special plays for us.”

During the summer, Fischer gathered players to assemble off-season workouts, showcasing his leadership to the head coach.

“Weston was really instrumental in making sure guys were around all summer and being accountable, even when they are going to other camps and tournaments and whatnot,” Holman said. “Weston was a solid leader last year, and he is an outstanding individual as a person, and it really carries over to the football field.

“He is a team guy. He is all about the team, and he is going to continue to push everybody to get us better.”

The Raiders will be instituting a running back by committee behind Fischer, as seniors Anthony Tittanegro and Khadar Jackson will lead a four-headed backfield. Tittanegro will alternate as the back with acceleration and quickness, while Jackson will bring more of a power-style attack at 210 lbs.

“He can pick them up and put them down,” Holman said of Jackson.

Despite losing their top three receivers from 2021 to graduation, Holman does not expect the position group to ‘skip a beat’, believing the wideouts can be ‘even better than last year’. Timmy Paprocki and Jaiden McDonald will be the outside wide receivers for the Raiders, with both possessing ‘good size and speed’ according to Holman. Ethan Filler and Jackson will be at the slot positions.

“They are all big, good-sized guys who can run,” Holman said. “We will be tough to stop there.”

The offensive line will be headed by junior twins Evan and Luke Doyle, and although the players in the trenches will be young, Holman thinks the size of Scotch Plains-Fanwood will lead to success.

“We just need to clear up some technique, but they have a lot of talent and potential to be really dominant.”

On the flip side of the trenches for defense, the line will have returning senior Amir Crawford.

“Amir is the leader of the group,” Holman said. “He is an outstanding pass rusher and is going to be a problem to block all year.”

Five other players will rotating on the defensive line for Scotch Plains-Fanwood, which Holman thinks will give the team "great ability to run stop and pass rush."

Another factor in stopping the run will be Jackson, called ‘one of the best linebackers in the league’ by Holman. Known as the ‘QB of the defense’, the linebacker group behind Jackson will be filled out by Filler, Evan Hanvey, and Jake Fezza.

Making a transition from linebacker to safety will be Paprocki. Holman projects the senior to be better in the secondary because of his ball skills and open field tackling. Tittanegro will be another big piece of the secondary as a returning corner from last year’s squad.

Overall, the biggest strength of the defense will be its ability to run, according to Holman.

Roster

Assistant Coaches

Date Opponent Location
Friday, Aug 26, 2022 North Plainfield High School SPFHS - Tyson Field
7:00PM
Friday, Sep 2, 2022 Away vs. Colonia Colonia High School
6:00PM
Friday, Sep 9, 2022 St. Thomas Aquinas SPFHS - Tyson Field
7:00PM
Friday, Sep 16, 2022 Rahway SPFHS - Tyson Field
7:00PM
Saturday, Sep 24, 2022 Away vs. Westfield Westfield High School
1:00PM
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 Summit SPFHS - Tyson Field
7:00PM
Friday, Oct 7, 2022 Away vs. Cranford Crandford High School
7:00PM
Friday, Oct 14, 2022 Montgomery SPFHS - Tyson Field
7:00PM
Friday, Oct 21, 2022 Away vs. John F. Kennedy JFK High School, Iselin, NJ
7:00PM

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Once a retail giant, Kmart down to 3 stores after NJ closing

AVENEL, N.J. (AP) — The familiar sights and sounds are still there: the scuffed and faded floor tiles, the relentless beige-on-beige color scheme, the toddlers’ clothes and refrigerators and pretty much everything in between.There’s even a canned recording that begins, “Attention, Kmart shoppers” — except it’s to remind folks about COVID-19 precautions, not to alert them to a flash sale over in ladies’ lingerie like days of old.Many of the shelves are bare, though, at the Kmart in...

AVENEL, N.J. (AP) — The familiar sights and sounds are still there: the scuffed and faded floor tiles, the relentless beige-on-beige color scheme, the toddlers’ clothes and refrigerators and pretty much everything in between.

There’s even a canned recording that begins, “Attention, Kmart shoppers” — except it’s to remind folks about COVID-19 precautions, not to alert them to a flash sale over in ladies’ lingerie like days of old.

Many of the shelves are bare, though, at the Kmart in Avenel, New Jersey, picked over by bargain hunters as the store prepares to close its doors for good April 16.

Once it shutters, the number of Kmarts in the U.S. – once well over 2,000 – will be down to three last holdouts, according to multiple reports, in a retail world now dominated by Walmart, Target and Amazon.

The demise of the the store in the middle-class suburb, 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of New York City, is the tale of the death of the discount department store writ small.

“You’re always thinking about it because stores are closing all over, but it’s still sad,” said cashier Michelle Yavorsky, who said she has worked at the Avenel store for 2 ½ years. “I’ll miss the place. A lot of people shopped here.”

In its heyday, Kmart sold product lines endorsed by celebrities Martha Stewart and Jaclyn Smith, sponsored NASCAR auto races and was mentioned in movies including “Rain Man” and “Beetlejuice.” It was name-dropped in songs by artists from Eminem to the Beastie Boys to Hall & Oates; in 2003, Eminem bought a 29-room, suburban Detroit mansion once owned by former Kmart chairman Chuck Conaway.

The chain cemented a place in American culture with its Blue Light Specials, a flashing blue orb affixed to a pole that would beckon shoppers to a flash sale in progress. Part of its success was due to its early adoption of layaway programs, which allowed customers who lacked credit to reserve items and pay for them in installments.

For a time, Kmart had a little bit of everything: You could shop for your kids’ back-to-school supplies, get your car tuned up and grab a meal without leaving the premises.

“Kmart was part of America,” said Michael Lisicky, a Baltimore-based author who has written several books on U.S. retail history. “Everybody went to Kmart, whether you liked it or not. They had everything. You had toys. You had sporting goods. You had candy. You had stationery. It was something for everybody. This was almost as much of a social visit as it was a shopping visit. You could spend hours here. And these just dotted the American landscape over the years.”

Kmart’s decline has been slow but steady, brought about by years of falling sales, changes in shopping habits and the looming shadow of Walmart, which coincidentally began its life within months of Kmart’s founding in 1962.

Struggling to compete with Walmart’s low prices and Target’s trendier offerings, Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2002 — becoming the largest U.S. retailer to take that step — and announced it would close more than 250 stores.

A few years later, hedge fund executive Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart and pledged to return them to their former greatness, but the recession and the rising dominance of Amazon contributed in derailing those goals. Sears filed for Chapter 11 in 2018 and currently has a handful of stores left in the U.S. where it once had thousands.

Kmarts continue to operate in Westwood, New Jersey; Bridgehampton, on New York’s Long Island, and Miami.

It didn’t have to end this way, according to Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia University in New York and former CEO of Sears Canada. Trying to compete with Walmart on price was a foolish strategy, he said, and Lampert was criticized for not having a retail background and appearing more interested in stripping off the assets of the two chains for their cash value.

“It’s a study in greed, avarice and incompetence,” Cohen said. “Sears should have never gone away; Kmart was in worse shape, but not fatally so. And now they’re both gone.

“Retailers fall by the wayside sometimes because they’re selling things people don’t want to buy,” he continued. “In the case of Kmart, everything they used to sell, people are buying but they’re buying it from Walmart and Target.”

Transformco, which owns Kmart and Sears, did not respond to an email seeking comment and a phone number listed for the company was not taking messages.

Nationwide, some former Kmarts remain vacant while others have been replaced by other big-box stores, fitness centers, self-storage facilities, even churches. One former site in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is now a popular dine-in movie theater.

Employees at the Kmart in Avenel found out last month that the store would close.

Unlike 20 years ago, when news of impending Kmart closures around the country prompted an outpouring of support from loyal shoppers and a Detroit radio station even mounted a campaign to try and save a local store, the closing of the Avenel location was met mostly with an air of resignation.

“It’s maybe a little nostalgic because I’ve lived my whole life in this area, but it’s just another retail store closing,” said Jim Schaber, a resident of nearby Iselin who said his brother worked in the shoe department at Kmart for years. “It’s just another sign of people doing online shopping and not going out to the retail stores.”

The closing packed a little more of an emotional punch for Mike Jerdonek, a truck driver who recalled shopping at Kmart in Brooklyn and Queens in his younger days.

“It’s like history passing right in front of our eyes,” he said as he sat in his car outside the Avenel store. “When I was younger I didn’t have any money, so it was a good place to shop because the prices were cheap. And to see it gone right now, it’s kind of sad.”

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