#b#Aging Athletes Need Coaching#/b#

I enjoyed reading about Jerry Fennelly’s adventure in the triathlon (U.S. 1, September 5). I noted that his key piece of advice was to get a triathlon coach. However, readers may need help finding the right coach. USA Triathlon has a certified coaching program. I am one of several USA Triathlon Certified Coaches at Can Do Fitness in the Princeton Forrestal Village. USA Triathlon has a website that contains a coaching directory to find a coach in your zip code. I wish Jerry Fennelly and all of our local triathletes health and success and I second Jerry’s advice about finding a coach.

David Dorfman

USA Triathlon Certified Coach, Can Do Fitness

#b#Correction#/b#: U.S. 1’s September 5 cover story, “An Iron Man Discovers His Limits,” misstated the date of an upcoming charity run being sponsored by Jerry Fennelly. The second annual “Diaper Dash for Healthy Babies,” a 5K run and one-mile walk, will be Saturday, October 20. It will benefit Capital Health’s pediatrics foundation (www.capitalhealth.org/foundation).

#b#Valley Road School Needs Help Now#/b#

In recent speeches and news articles Princeton Superintendent Judy Wilson has commented that “the Valley Road Building does not need any attention; it’s been well-maintained and renovated in recent years.” She seems to have forgotten the older portion of the building, which the school system still owns and is still responsible for as a community asset. Historic Valley Road School has been suffering from neglect for decades. Over the past year the school system re-roofed the newer portion of the building and has made other major improvements, but ignored the older portion and left it as an eyesore.

Valley Road School Community Center Inc. (VRSCCI), a not-for-profit organization, would like to buy this portion of the building and convert it to affordable office space for nonprofit organizations that would benefit from reduced rent and the synergies of being with other nonprofits. VRSCCI has developed a plan to separate the two portions of the building, which involves the construction of a firewall, a new boiler, and a new fire alarm, and then to move forward with other repairs. While Corner House and Community TV are slated to move to a reconfigured Borough Hall, other nonprofits are interested in leasing this space. VRSCCI also wants to install two new black box theaters and badly needed public meeting spaces.

The School Board has not provided for historic Valley Road School in its upcoming bond issue. Assuming the bond issue passes, the board will be busy over the coming year with its implementation, while the building continues to deteriorate. The School Board should do the right thing, sell the older portion for $1 and let others in the community take on this project.

Kip Cherry

President, Valley Road School Community Center

#b#Back To School A Positive Time#/b#

Once again, the caring and generosity of our community has been immediate and impressive. This year, through HomeFront’s Back to School drive, 1,200 homeless or very low-income children are going back to school with their heads held high, thanks to the concerted efforts of area businesses, organizations, congregations, and individuals. In these opening days of the school year, these children will proudly open their backpacks, filled with all the school supplies they could possibly want or need. They are confident-and, most importantly, they are ready to learn.

Not only did community members provide clothing, backpacks, and supplies, they also contributed to HomeFront’s Children’s Fund, which will be used through the school year, to help parents of our client families provide those items that mean so much to their children: school pictures, the fees for a class trip, and even athletic shoes and equipment.

HomeFront knows the critical role that education plays in an independent, positive life and we do our very best to encourage and support academic success for adults and the children we serve. We provide tutoring four evenings a week during the school year, and our summer camps have a strong educational component. If a child has a learning disability, we work to have it remediated. Throughout all of our work, the community plays a vital role; as just one example, we have an amazing corps of volunteers who work one-on-one with the children.

In these difficult economic times, community support is even more meaningful. I only wish everyone who helped with our Back to School drive could have seen the children’s faces when they came to HomeFront last week. All of their excitement as they saw their new clothing, backpacks and supplies was possible because they lived in a community that cares. I thank you.

Connie Mercer

President & CEO, HomeFront

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