Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 25
 
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
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Mailbox

Simulated Drunk Driving Crash Earns Praise for Police and School Officials

WENDY JOLLEY
Gallup Road
Crash Simulation Committee

McCarter Thanks Corporate Sponsors, Patrons, Volunteers for Annual Gala

KATHLEEN KUND NOLAN
Interim Managing Director
McCarter Theatre

Princeton High School Parents Thank Supporters for Safe Post Prom Event

ANNIE YOUSSOUFIAN
Dodds Lane
SHEREE DUNNETT
Cranbury


Simulated Drunk Driving Crash Earns Praise for Police and School Officials

To the Editor:

On May 28, juniors and seniors at Princeton High School witnessed a very realistic and graphic simulation of a head-on drunk-driving car crash. The event sent a powerful message to the teens, their teachers, and community members who attended that drinking and driving can be lethal.

Staging such a major undertaking takes a great deal of coordination, energy, and cooperation, and many people and organizations must be thanked for their support.

The Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, under the direction of Frank Setnicky, ran an elaborate scene which looked frighteningly authentic. Members of the squad and narrator Greg Paulson created a believable scenario, complete with a prerecorded 911 call. Detective Ben Gering, Officer Kim Hodges, Captain Robert Buchanan, and the Princeton Township police and the PBA were extremely helpful, and special thanks go to Chief Mark Elmann. Thank you also to Lt. William Mooney and his crew from Mercer Engine Co. No. 3; Deputy Chief Roy James and the Engine Co. No. 11 crew; Capital Health System; the Outpatient Rehabilitation Department of Princeton Health Care System; Jack Roberts, Princeton Recreation Department; and Chief Anthony Federico and the Princeton Borough Police.

Gary Snyder, PHS principal, was an extremely effective key speaker, and was instrumental in making the event a reality. Other Princeton Regional School District members to be thanked are Judith Wilson, superintendent of schools; Gary Weisman, Facilities; Tony Diaforli and the grounds crew; and from PHS, Kurt Zimmerman and Danny Turner of the Media Department; Angela Siso, Student Affairs; Jeni Griffin; Gwen Kimsal, Student Assistance Coordinator; and members of the Guidance Department.

John Witherspoon Middle School principal, William Johnson, and JW English Department teachers coordinated a companion letter-writing campaign. Every sixth, seventh, and eighth grader wrote an essay to a PHS junior or senior on the dangers of drinking and driving.

Thank you, Ken Larini of Larini’s Sunoco, for your ongoing involvement and support. Thanks also to Matt Long of Volvo of Princeton. Peter Hodge and Mather Hodge Funeral Home left the audience with a final and devastating image as the hearse drove away slowly, bearing the body of the “deceased.”

Gary DeBlasio, Corner House Executive Director, the Corner House office staff and counselor Anna Hernandez helped in many ways.

Finally, the actors, members of the Corner House Student Board and seniors at PHS, PDS, Hun, and Stuart, are to be commended for doing a remarkable job. They, and their peers, are the reason why so many people came together to work on this project. It is hoped that every student who saw the simulation will always remember to stay safe and sober. May we in Princeton never experience this tragedy in real life.

WENDY JOLLEY
Gallup Road
Crash Simulation Committee

McCarter Thanks Corporate Sponsors, Patrons, Volunteers for Annual Gala

To the Editor:

On Saturday, June 7 McCarter Theatre held its 30th Annual Gala Benefit featuring an old Hollywood Coconut Grove theme. The guests enjoyed a gourmet dinner and champagne dessert reception. Award winning actor BD Wong served as master of ceremonies at dinner and thoroughly charmed the crowd. The legendary Burt Bacharach gave a once in a lifetime performance and enjoyed four standing ovations before the guests left to dance to the big band sounds of the Midnight Sun Orchestra.

This year, the Gala also featured the exciting Raindrops Project. In celebration of Mr. Bacharach’s award-winning song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” and of all the extraordinary artists who have trod McCarter’s boards for the last 78 years, 15 local artists were asked to turn a white golf umbrella into a masterpiece. Each umbrella was a tribute to a different actor, entertainer, play, or production from McCarter’s history. Popular subjects included Lookingglass Alice, Pilobolus, Argonautika, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and Burt Bacharach himself. A special thank you to participants Eugene Lee, Jay McPhillips, Cindy Boone, George Vogel, Benchley Sullivan, Karen Steinhagen, Sorat Tungkasiri, Leah Targon, Lea Novak, M. Teresa Simao, Nesrin Avci, Carrie Ballenger, H. Patricia Tieman, and Eva Mantell.

The event was a smashing success due to the wonderful support we received from over 300 individual patrons and 30 businesses throughout the mid-New Jersey region. The event netted $135,000 that will help fund McCarter’s educational and artistic programming. For this, McCarter applauds its supporters.

Special thanks go to Johnson & Johnson for their leadership support as underwriting sponsor. A heartfelt thank you also goes to our other corporate participants: American Airlines, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Daiichi-Sankyo, Domain Associates, Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP, Mathematica, McCarter & English, Merck, Noramco Inc., Prudential, Rosetta Marketing Group, The 6800 Capital Group, Verizon Wireless, Wachovia, and Wilmington Trust.

The event could not have achieved such success without the work of our corporate chair, Susanne Svizeny of Wachovia Bank, and our fabulous committee members Will Allen, Alexi Assmus, Lisa Callaway, Kary Clancy, Julie Felsher, Iona Harding, Debra L. Lemeshow, Christine Lokhammer, Livia Wong McCarthy, Leah McDonald, Elaine Torres-Melendez, H. Patricia Tieman, Emily Starkey, and Lidia Usami

Next year’s gala will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2009. Be sure to mark your calendars!

KATHLEEN KUND NOLAN
Interim Managing Director
McCarter Theatre

Princeton High School Parents Thank Supporters for Safe Post Prom Event

To the Editor:

This year’s Post Prom event at Princeton High School was a smashing success thanks to the hard work of over 50 volunteers, and the generosity of the Princeton and Cranbury communities. The Princeton High School PTO would like to thank those businesses and organizations that helped provide a memorable experience to our juniors and seniors and their guests. This is the 31st year that the event has been held with the intention of providing a safe and enjoyable substance-free post prom night. This year’s event, “Surf’s Up,” hosted roughly 500 students at Princeton High School, with food, activities, and door prizes. The high school gym, hallways, and auditorium foyer were literally transformed into “Surf City,” an environment that received rave reviews from the students.

The Post Prom Event is funded entirely through private donations and community organizations. This year’s generous sponsors included Cranbury Municipal Alliance, Corner House, Prudential Insurance Company, ARI Products, Alliance Homes, Princeton Borough PBA No. 130, Hamilton Jewelers, Long Motor Volvo Company of Princeton, Cranbury School PTO, Cranbury Boy Scouts, Cranbury Girl Scouts, and Cranbury Lions.

Other generous donations were made in the food, services, and prize areas, from Barnes and Noble, Chazmatazz, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Forest Jewelers, Hinkson’s, Hoagie Haven, Iano’s Rosticerra, Jake’s on Nassau, Kopp’s Cycle, Lisa Jones, Papery, P.J.’s Pancake House, PNC Bank, Record Exchange, Ricky’s Candy, Cones and Chaos, Ten Thousand Villages, Pizza Star, Target, Best Buy, Sunglass Hut, Lenscrafters, Eastern Mountain Sports, Mystique Hair Salon, Regal Movie Theater, and UA Movies at Market Fair.

The students were thrilled with their selection of over 80 door prizes including items like a flat screen TV, surfboard, Ipod, and microwave ovens. As co-presidents of the Princeton High School PTO, we would like to thank everyone who once again provided a safe post prom tradition for our students.

ANNIE YOUSSOUFIAN
Dodds Lane
SHEREE DUNNETT
Cranbury

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