Corrections or additions?

This article by Jamie Saxon was prepared for the March 24, 2004

edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Doing the Donald Thing: A Singles Event for the Finale of

‘The Apprentice’

So many firings, so little time," crows the web site of

"The Apprentice." Over the past 10 weeks, candidates from all walks of

life have been vying for the primo job of president of one of the

Donald’s companies, with a salary of $250,000. And on Thursday, April

15, just two whippersnappers will be left on the chopping block. Which

head will roll?

The two-hour finale seemed the perfect opportunity to Donna Como for a

singles event, who says that there’s never a shortage of women, but

she wanted to do something "that would get the men out."

Apparently, the Donald will do just that. "Everybody loves the

Donald," says Como, a native New Yorker and director of community

service in Highland Park, which is hosting the event for singles in

the 40-to-50s age group at Charlie Brown’s (directions below), just a

short 20-minute drive north of Princeton. "It’s the power. He’s so

decisive, so take-charge. He’s not a good-looking man but he’s

powerful." The Donald’s power is evident — his empire earns more than

$10.2 billion in annual revenues.

Como, who recently organized another very successful singles event

with the Zimmerli Museum’s "Art After Hours," program in New

Brunswick, likens the event to the excitement and fervor surrounding

big sports events like the Super Bowl and the Final Four.

"I know that people gather for big sports games. I thought the finale

of "The Apprentice" would bring people out. Everybody watches ‘The

Apprentice’ — my peers here, the guys at my car dealer, my doctor’s

office, my son in Texas, my sister in New York — everyone’s talking

about it." To raise awareness of the event in the X-chromosome crowd,

she’s marketing to gyms, golf courses, big companies like J&J and

Merck, and even car dealers.

Como says she watches the show for the Donald’s little

"business-isms." "He’ll inject a little business sense. For example,

whenever he breaks up the teams, they always pick Amy first. And

Donald says, ‘You always pick Amy; psychologically, you’re giving her

too much power.’"

Part of the attraction of the show, too, says Como, is just to see

Trump’s gorgeous residences and real estate properties. Oh, yes, and

she’s intrgued by Carolyn, Donald’s assistant. "There’s something

about Carolyn," says Como. "I want to know why he hired her. Well, I

found out last week." She’s referring to a March 6 story in the New

York Daily News, which reported that Kempcher was running a bankrupt

golf course that Trump was interested in. Apparently he liked the way

she was operating the course despite the bankruptcy and said, "Come

work with me." She’s now COO for Trump National Golf Clubs.

You’ll be able to munch on free appetizers and chitchat about all this

and more at Charlie Brown’s on April 15, when all six TVs will be

tuned to "The Apprentice." The festivities start at 8:30 p.m. with a

voting session, "Who Gets the Job," and at 9 p.m. the show begins. So,

come swap your favorite "Apprentice" moment — was it Omarosa’s

boardroom breakdown, Troy and Heidi’s attempt to sell modern art, or

Nick and Amy’s "dirty dancing?" — and you just might make a new

friend while you’re at it.

@lt:"The Apprentice," 40s and 50s singles event, Charlie Brown’s

Steakhouse, 247 Raritan Avenue, Highland Park, sponsored by the

Highland Park Department of Community Services. Directions: Take Route

1 north, pass junction with with Route 18, go over the John Lynch

bridge. Pass exit for Middlesex College, then take next exit, for

Highland Park. This will bring you to Raritan Avenue; about a mile

down the road, you’ll see Charlie Brown’s on your right.

Pre-registration required by Tuesday, April 13. $7. 732-819-0052. Ask

for Kim.

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