Freehold Area Open Door is November’s beneficiary in ‘The Giving Year’



(RED BANK – November 6, 2023) The Count Basie Center for the Arts and Bank of America (BofA) have announced the next area nonprofit to be recognized during THE GIVING YEAR, the yearlong initiative to recognize and reward organizations for their contributions to the regional community.

Freehold Area Open Door ( will receive $1 from every Count Basie Center ticket sold in November, in addition to donations of complimentary event tickets for the organization’s donors, volunteers and clientele. The Giving Year - November beneficiary: Freehold Area Open Door

The mission of Freehold Area Open Door is to assist its community’s most vulnerable. With origins as a food pantry, Freehold Area Open Door expanded their services to include advocacy services and an afterschool program. This Thanksgiving, Freehold Area Open Door expects to serve over 575 families with a full holiday meal, as well as special holiday treats for its senior population.

“We are so thankful and humbled that the Count Basie Center and Bank of America have chosen Open Door as November’s recipient for The Giving Year,” said Geralyn Fraggetta-Drury, Executive Director, Freehold Area Open Door. “Generous donations like these make it possible for us to continue to serve over 3,000 households each month with grace and dignity. They allow us to provide our families with choices and give them control during a time that they may be struggling in other areas of their lives.”

“This donation will increase our ability to support our neighbors and help them discover resources that will make their lives easier,” said Victa McKenzie, President, Open Door Board of Directors. “Open Door has been committed to doing all we can to support our neighbors, and to help the discover resources that will help support them.”

“For over three decades, Freehold Area Open Door has provided an impressive range of services to community members, from food, rent and utility assistance, to afterschool programming and holiday gifting,” said Alberto Garofalo, president, Bank of America New Jersey. “We support Open Door and applaud their tireless efforts to fight food insecurity and meet the needs of children and adults in Western Monmouth County.”

“Freehold Area Open Door’s mission statement says it best,” said Jeremy Grunin, Chairperson, Count Basie Center for the Arts Board of Trustees. “Their goal is to meet clients where they are, address their immediate needs, and help them to become self-reliant. Through their origins as a food pantry, Open Door saw the everyday struggles of their community, and grew their program to meet those needs. We’re proud to support their efforts through The Giving Year.”

BofA, Basie Center employees, and board members started reviewing applications following the announcement of THE GIVING YEAR initiative on Giving Tuesday last November. THE GIVING YEAR will focus on organizations serving causes related to arts and culture, health / wellness, food insecurity, diversity, equity and inclusion, or financial management or other services to underrepresented populations.

Organizations interested in consideration for THE GIVING YEAR may learn more and apply for consideration at Organizations need only apply once – qualifying applications will be considered on a rolling basis throughout 2023.


THE GIVING YEAR will last throughout 2023, with the Count Basie Center for the Arts donating $1 from every ticket sold to one of twelve area nonprofits, with a different organization highlighted each month. Organizations will be eligible to receive up to $15,000 during their month, in addition to complimentary tickets for distribution to their volunteers and / or their beneficiaries.

Upon announcing THE GIVING YEAR last November, Basie Center and Bank of America officers presented the initiative as an opportunity to use the organizations’ platforms to highlight important work and causes throughout their service regions. Mental wellness nonprofit Shore House kicked off THE GIVING YEAR in January, followed by Asbury Park’s Inspire Life, The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide in Freehold, The Sandy Hook Foundation, Red Bank’s No Limits Café, LGBTQIA+ resource organization QSpot, the Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy, Hispanic outreach services at the Red Bank Public Library,literacy advocates Project Write Now, and Parker Family Health Center.

“The Count Basie Center is a unique nonprofit organization,” Basie Center Board Chairperson Jeremy Grunin explained. “In addition to our work in arts education, from classrooms in under-resourced communities to professional development opportunities for teachers, we have world-renowned performing artists on our stages almost every evening. We recognize the platform that affords us, and we feel it’s right to use that platform to highlight other organizations attending to vital causes in our region.”

“Bank of America and the Count Basie Center share many causes and concerns, especially the betterment of our communities,” said Bank of America’s Garofalo. “During ‘The Giving Year,’ we’ll use our long-standing partnership and platforms to highlight and reward the efforts of twelve area nonprofit organizations, whose commitments to our region help those who need it the most.”

“Part of our responsibility as a nonprofit organization is to look inwards and say, ‘What more can we do?’” said Adam Philipson, President and CEO, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “And because we have this status as a place where world-class musicians, actors and performers come to play, we also have this opportunity – and responsibility – to lend our visibility to others. Bank of America and the Basie Center want THE GIVING YEAR to become a pedestal for organizations that deserve to have their hard work and purposes known and recognized.”

December’s beneficiary organization will be announced shortly.