Last week’s issue generated lots of comments — some based on a cover story we expected to cause some reaction; others concerning a small item tucked away in the Preview section.

The cover story was Barbara Figge Fox’s account of the McGraw Webster squabble over who should be in charge of the matriarch’s fortune. The small item was Dan Aubrey’s story noting the cancellation of Marvin Rosen’s radio show “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde,” which aired for two hours every Wednesday on WPRB-FM.

All that response to both stories, caused some wheels to turn inside the head of our editor. Richard K. Rein’s column on page 62 addresses the stories and the feedback.

#b#To the Editor: Community Works Not Just a Drill#/b#

On Monday, January 28, more than 400 enthusiastic participants braved the weather to attend the 15th annual Princeton Community Works conference held at the Frist Center at Princeton University. Participants from more than 200 non-profit organizations across the state attended two workshops and a keynote event.

This year our keynote was the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department. Captain Roy M. James and a team of 12 firefighters arrived by fire truck — and brought hoses, uniforms, ropes, and all kinds of other equipment to demonstrate for the conference attendees. Captain James shared with us the importance of recruiting, training, trusting, and practicing with your volunteers to ensure your mission is met. We were provided with an interesting history of the Princeton Fire Department and learned it is the oldest volunteer fire department in the country.

Captain James made the point nothing is as easy as it looks — as he set up a group of audience volunteers to dress in uniform. The firefighters are trained to get into uniform within the standard of 90 seconds. Our volunteers took more than five minutes to get into gear — and that was with the help of the fire department.

At the end of his presentation, we recognized all the participants as heroes — and we all joined in a vibrant rendition of “We Are The Champions” — as we exited the large hall and headed to our workshops.

Registrants selected two workshops to attend from 22 offerings. All were led by experts in their fields who volunteered their time and talents for the evening. People came away with actionable points from each workshop. Many have shared the information with others in their organization.

Our deep gratitude goes to Princeton University for its generosity as our host, to the Princeton Rotary for its significant administrative support, to the Princeton Volunteer Fire Department, the Community Works planning committee, and our workshop leaders. The evening was infused with the spirit of giving. We all left inspired by the many ways individuals and organizations are enabling community to work.

Marge Smith

Founder and Chair, Community Works

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