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These articles were prepared for the August 11, 2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
An Unusual Team On a Unique Adventure
Mike and Anne Kruimer are hoping to be among the first people to traverse the length of the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida on the route of the developing East Coast Greenway (ECG) by bike. But they need help to make the trip a reality. Their upcoming fundraiser on Sunday, August 15, at Brearly House in Lawrenceville, has events for everyone, and includes the opening of the D & R Greenway bridge on Route 1.
Between September 12 and November 3, the Kruimers and eight other cyclists will become the first people to ride the full length of the East Coast Greenway, averaging 60 miles daily over 53 days for a total 2,800 miles. This inaugural tour will raise critically needed funds to develop and sustain the Greenway, frequently referred to as the urban sister to the Appalachian Trial because it links cities from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida, utilizing scores of urban greenways, waterfront esplanades, park paths, and abandoned railroads.
The Kruimers, both 50, of Edison, are avid cyclists and trail supporters, riding about 4,000 miles annually. They are also two of the tour’s more extraordinary participants. Paralyzed at the waist in a 1992 cycling accident, Anne, who had worked at the Metuchen YMCA’s daycare program, rides a specially-designed tandem bicycle, "pedaling" with a hand crank in the front while Mike, who is retired from Delphi Automotive Systems, but who continues to work for Guaranteed Motors in New Brunswick, commandeers the rear. Since the accident virtually every aspect of their lives has changed. Every aspect, that is, save one.
"It’s always been our dream to ride across the United States," Mike explains, "but after Anne’s accident it looked like we would never be able to do it. Twelve years later we’re now going to be among only 10 cyclists to ride the inaugural tour of the East Coast Greenway. That’s huge. It’s not our original dream, but this trip puts us back on that track."
Named one of 16 National Millennium Trails in 2000, the ECG ranks alongside the Appalachian Trail and Alaska’s Iditarod in scope. Passing through 15 states, plus Washington, D.C., the trail is today 20 percent complete with the goal of 80 percent realization by 2010. Route highlights include Maine’s fabled rocky coast, the Manhattan skyline, Spanish moss-festooned oaks in coastal Georgia, and Miami Beach.
The ride will be beautiful, as well as grueling. But it will not be free.
Each cyclist riding the first ECG Maine to Florida Tour is required to raise $10,000 in pledges to participate. Mike and Anne Kruimer may ride one bicycle, but they are still two cyclists, and that means they have to rally $20,000 in pledges before September to secure their place. So far the couple has raised $8,000, just over a third of the total amount. With less than two months to go, they remain confident that the money will come in.
On Sunday, August 15 the couple hosts a fundraiser bike ride in Lawrenceville at Brearly House: "Hold That Dream: A Benefit for Mike and Anne’s End-to-End Tour," and cyclists of all ability levels are invited. Beginning at 9a.m., there are three rides to join -10, 25, and 40 miles – and a hike along the D & R Canal towpath beginning at 10a.m. The cost of participating is $30 per adult and $15 per child, ages 10 and under. Children under 10 ride free. Other festivities take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include music, antique bicycle riders, food, and a raffle. Tours of the historical Brearly House will be given between 11a.m. and 2 p.m.
At 2 p.m. participants head out on the towpath for a 2:30 p.m. ribbon cutting on the new pedestrian bridge over Route 1 in Lawrenceville. Parking will be available on the Route 1 northbound side near the bridge, north of Franklin Corner and Bakers Basin roads.
"There was supposed to be a grand opening of the bridge in April, but it rained," says Kruimer. So while he is careful to say that this event is not the "official" opening of the bridge, it is going to be a festive, public event. Pam Mount, mayor of Lawrenceville, is set to attend, as are representatives of the construction company that built the bridge.
The bridge, and a small adjacent parking area, provides access to a 43-mile stretch of the D & R Canal towpath from Johnson Park in Highland Park to Mulberry Street in Trenton, says Kruimer, who, along with his wife, frequently rides the trail. The couple especially enjoy passing through Kingston, where Anne Kruimer’s great grandfather was one of the last lock tenders.
Contributions for the Kruimers may be sent to the Greenway’s parent organization, the East Coast Greenway Alliance, with the couple’s names in the check’s memo line, or by logging on to www.greenway.org, clicking on the tour logo, and following the link to the Kruimers’ fundraising page. Donors may also send checks payable to the ECGA, c/o Mike and Anne Kruimer, 33 Parkerson Road, Edison, 08817. For information, call 732-287-9447.
"You’ve got to get out of the car and enjoy the world," says Mike. Anne echoes, "Get on a bike and smell the roses. The ECG isn’t just for cyclists; it’s for people of all abilities."
Kelsey Theater has auditions for several fall productions at Mercer Community College.
Pierrot Productions, "Of Thee I Sing," Saturday, August 14, 11 a.m.; Sunday, August 15, 5 p.m.; and Tuesday, August 17, 7 p.m. The show opens Friday, October 15. Call 609-658-1233 for appointment.
Playful Theater Productions, Oliver! on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 7 and 8, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Production opens Friday, November 19. Must be eight or older to audition. Call 609-499-1388 for appointment.
Pennington Players, "A Christmas Story," Saturday, September 18, 10 a.m.; and Sunday, September 19, noon to 4 p.m. The show opens on Friday, December 10. Call 609-737-7529 for appointment.
Villagers Theater holds auditions for "Once on this Island on Monday and Wednesday, August 16 and 18, at 7:30 p.m. 475 DeMott Lane, Somerset. Contact director Trent Van Doren via E-mail at email@example.com or visit www.villagerstheatre.com.
Academy Theater has auditions for "Rocky Horror" on August 17, 18, and 19. 146 Route 130, Bordentown. Contact Keith at 609-291-9000 or www.theacademytheatre.com.
Suburban Dance Force of Central New Jersey has auditions for the annual children’s Nutcracker on Saturdays, August 28, and September 11, at 12:30 p.m. 25 Lexington Avenue, Ewing. Audition fee is $15. Dancers must be at least 8 years old and have ballet training. Call 609-530-0979 or visit www.suburbandance.org.
Voices Chorale seeks singers in all voice parts for the concert season. Rehearsals are Monday evening at Timberland Middle School in Pennington. Call 609-637-9383 or visit www.voiceschorale.org.
Philomusica Choir seeks singers for the 35th season. Auditions are Mondays, August 23, 30, September 13, 20, and 27, at Unitarian Society in East Brunswick. The group also offers a beginner’s sight singing class on Tuesday evenings beginning October 5. Call 888-744-5668 or visit www.philomusica.org.
Celestial Arts offers a $1,000 prize in a new poetry contest. Send poem (21 lines or less) to Celestial Arts, Box 1140, Talent, Oregon 97540, or enter at www.freecontest.com. Deadline is Tuesday, August 31.
Contact of Mercer County is recruiting for its 24-hour Crisis Intervention Hotline. Volunteers must complete a 10-week training course on Tuesdays, September 28 to November 30. Trinity United Methodist Church, Ewing. Call 609-883-2880 or visit website contactofmercer.org.
Literacy Volunteers of America offers a tutor training course on Tuesdays, September 14, to October 26, 6 p.m. at the Princeton Library. Volunteers are needed to help with Basic Literacy and English as a Second Language students in Mercer County. Call 609-393-8855.
Auxiliary of University Medical Center at Princeton begins accepting donations for White Elephant 2004, on Saturdays from August 17 through October 2, from 9 a.m. to noon. Also on Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bring books, clothing, jewelry, knick-knacks, art, antiques, holiday items, toys, linens, drapes, and housewares to the storage facility on the grounds of Princeton House Behavioral Health, 900 Herrontown Road. For information or to volunteer to help with the rummage sale call 609-497-4069.
Salvation Army of New Jersey seeks financial donations to aid Burlington County flood victims with meals, cleanup, supplies, and financial assistance. Call 908-851-9300 or visit www.salvationarmynewjersey.org and click on the Burlington flood icon.
Sebastiani Fencing Academy offers instruction for children, teens, and adults. Program begins Tuesday, September 14. Call 609-419-1700 or visit www.fencinginstruction.com
Kelsey Kids Playshops, a 10-week session for children from kindergarten through fifth grade, meets on Saturday mornings at Mercer Community College. The session meets from September 11 to November 20 and the winter session begins on January 8. Children explore music, movement, dance, and storytelling. The cost is $175 per session. Call 609-586-4800 or visit www.kelseyatmccc.org.
Howell Living History Farm is accepting applications for parent and child enrollment in fall Hatchery Program. The 12-week program is for children ages 3 to 5 years in exchange for a parent becoming a volunteer farm staff member. Activities include feeding and watering animals, collecting eggs, picking pumpkins, storytelling, and taking a hayride. Parent organizational meetings are Tuesdays, August 10 and 18, at 1 p.m. Call Kathy Brilla at 609-737-3299.
Arts Council of Princeton offers scholarship funds on a need basis for children to take advantage of the arts instruction at the arts council. For information on receiving a scholarship or referring children, call Maria Evans at 609-924-8777.
YWCA Princeton Crafters’ Marketplace is accepting applications for the November 20 and 21 show at Princeton Day School. The next round of jurying is Sunday, August 15. Visit www.ywcaprinceton.org to retrieve information or call 609-799-7089.
Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission offers a bus tour along the feeder canal of the D&R Canal with tour guides Robert and Linda Barth, on Saturday, September 18. $40, lunch and bus included. Register. Call 908-722-7428.
The Men’s Adult Baseball League of New Jersey is forming and admitting new teams for the 2004 fall season. Individuals or teams over the age of 18 of any skill level are welcome. Five separate leagues, internet statistics, and box scores. Ten-game season followed by playoffs. Call David Micallef at 973-699-8336 or visit www.amateurbaseballnj.com.
Wishes on Wheels makes available electric wheelchairs to non-ambulatory senior citizens who cannot walk and cannot self-propel a manual wheelchair. Call 800-823-5220 or visit www.threewishes2.com.
NJ After 3 funding is available to community-based providers seeking to partner with schools to begin innovative after school programs in October. Requests for proposals are due Monday, August 23. For information visit www.njafter3.org.
American Heart Association offers free Go Red for Women materials, programs, and a red dress pin. Mary Leary, a Ewing resident and a survivor of a massive heart attack at age 32, is an official spokeswoman for the national campaign. Call 888-MY-HEART.
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