By Muriel J. Smith ~
Call it a desire to help a good cause and make people feel happy and act a little silly at the same time. Whatever it is, Martha and Tom Kosinski have donated hundreds of dollars to Lunch Break while having a good time watching home-made videos of friends and neighbors who take up their challenge to walk silly past their house.
It was Monty Python back in the 1970s who did a segment on Silly Walks for his popular show. The Kosinkis saw a take on that at a home in Michigan and decided to bring it to their home on Alston Court. “Covid is getting everyone down, both my husband and I are working from home, and we wanted to help a good cause and let people have a good time,” said the friendly and fun-loving Martha.
“When I saw what this family did in Michigan, I thought it would be fun to do here. Then I thought we might as well do it for a good cause. My friends Sarah Stout and Cat Rice first told me about Lunch Break, and when I researched Lunch Break more I really wanted to get involved after I saw all they do in addition to providing food and clothing. It was easy to select them for our donations.”
Essentially, Martha and her husband put up signs at either end of their property frontage, inviting people to do some kind of silly walk on that strip of sidewalk. She is recording all the walks, then makes a donation to Lunch Break for each she videos. The company that employs her, Bristol Myers Squibb of Princeton, matches her donations. So now Martha is wondering whether some of her silly walkers want to ask their own employers if they’d like to do the same.
“My goal is not just for silly walkers to donate but also for local businesses to get in on the cause,” Martha explained. “ One idea my friend had was to have a local business say they’ll match one week of silly walkers (maybe only 15-20 walkers) but then that means it triples the money lunch break gets – from me, then matched by my company, Bristol Myers, then matched by the business.”
Martha can’t control herself laughing when she reviews her videos, partially because she enjoys watching people enjoy a few light-hearted moments themselves, partially because she is chalking up a donation for each for Lunch Break. Her neighbors are joining in the fun and bringing along their pets to add to the entertainment.
“My neighbor Jack, has Sadie, an adorable dog,” Martha explains, “and he walks past here with Sadie,” Martha laughed. And Martha’s sister came from Boston with her Corgi, Potato, and had the dog jumping up and down and over things along the walk. Potato even has his own Instagram following so his antics for Lunch Break were really popular.“There’s a new puppy on the block, “ Martha continues, “That’s Daisy. And she gets all tangled up and gets out of it. So much fun to watch.” Teenagers do cartwheels, sedate seniors take some funny steps, and everybody seems to enjoy it.
Every evening, Martha and Tom go through the footage, count the number of silly walkers they’ve captured, and do the bookkeeping to keep tab on the donations they make, all for the price of laughter and fun for others.
“We all have to learn how to spread happiness,” Martha explained, “and if we can do it simply by putting up our signs, then capitalize on it by making donations for all the fun we’re having, then it’s doubly worth it.”
The couple has lived on Alston Court for two years, coming here after living in both Jersey City and Manhattan, preferring to be closer to Tom’s family, originally from Middletown.
*For each confirmed silly walk we’ll make a donation to Lunch Break in Red Bank!
*We don’t always catch each walk so feel free to send a video or picture to @RedBankFunnyWalks on Instagram or RedBankFunnyWalks@gmail.com to confirm!