Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 32
 
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
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Fun, Food, and a Pool Fund Send-Off Highlight Busy Community Night Out

Ellen Gilbert

The last thing on the minds of the children happily tossing coins and bills into the Princeton Parks and Recreation Fund’s mini-pool at last week’s Community Night Out was the simplicity — or lack thereof — of proposed pool plans.

“Tonight is the opening of our fund-raising effort,” observed Fund president Peter O’Neill as kids and adults happily collected “CP Pool Pal” pens.

“We hope tonight to start some real grass roots support for the concept of the pool,” added Recreation Board liaison Tom Zucosky. “This is an opportunity for everyone to have ownership, however small the contribution, and to be a part of the pool.”

Besides Tuesday evening’s coin-toss and future “naming” opportunities, supporting the pool, according to Mr. O’Neill, means “everybody contributing at whatever level they’re comfortable.”

Other activities at last week’s event, which was sponsored by the Princeton Township Police PBA #387 and the Princeton Recreation Department, included free swimming and food, and the ever-popular “Big Splash” dunk tank (“dunk your favorite Township Police Officer!”)

“You’ve gotta hit it hard,” said Detective Ben Gering, encouraging Montgomery resident Gillian David in her efforts to hit the target and get him dunked. Two dunkings later, Detective Gering was still smiling.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Chief of Police Mark V. Emann. “I do it every year. For some reason, kids and parents like to get the cop in the dunk tank.”

There was no doubt in Taariq Parker’s mind about the crowd’s favorite sno-cone flavor. “Cherry,” he said, without hesitation, as he dished up another sweetly-doused portion of shaved ice.

Other youngsters were happily pounding away at the colorful bongo drums provided by Princeton Senior Resource Center Program Director Maureen Tyler. “They just like to make noise,” she said, adding that adults were more than welcome to join in the “group drumming.”

Representatives of the Arts Council of Princeton distributed flyers advertising the upcoming ARTbox Derby on September 25 at Greenway Meadows Park, while Girl Scouts, Princeton Human Resources, Corner House, Princeton Recycling, PNC Bank, the Princeton Public Library, and Princeton Fitness and Wellness staff gave away free gifts and described their respective missions.

Multiple fire and rescue trucks were on hand for up-close examination, and a “pump-it-up” apparatus (“the inflatable party zone”) complete with basketball hoops attracted other youngsters. A “vertical reality” rock-climbing wall challenged more daring participants.

“I was happy,” said Ms. David of her police-dunking prowess. So were the many other people who attended Community Night Out.

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