#b#Thanks, And A Correction#/b#

Thank you, Richard K. Rein, for speaking at Trenton Rotary two weeks ago. I’d like to make one correction to your report in the May 8 issue and add a few comments.

Rotary International is a non-denominational organization, so we don’t start with “the Lord’s Prayer.” We do include a prayer, but it is often a member’s reflection on our common humanity.

Rotary was founded by a man who was a student at Princeton University. When Paul Harris moved to Chicago, he wanted to meet people outside of his profession, so he established a club that rotated from place to place — hence the name, “Rotary.”

That is still the best reason to join Rotary: to create and maintain friendships. Nothing replaces the experience of frequent real-world interactions, the breaking of bread and the element of inspiration that only impromptu conversations convey.

Most people have a hunger for new ideas. Rotarians are treated to interesting and challenging ideas every week. I once met a marketing professional who told me he was publishing a book about his life as a nudist. “Now there’s something I don’t know much about,” I thought, so I asked him to speak at Rotary. “I would be delighted,” he said. You could have heard a pin drop.

Glenn Paul

#b#CASA 5K A Success#/b#

On Saturday, April 27, at the Princeton Pike Corporate Center, a very successful CASA Kids Superheroes 5K was held. Though this was the sixth 5K that our organization has staged, this was the first in which we adopted the superheroes theme, in synch with our race motto, “All children need heroes, but all abused and neglected children need superheroes.”

More than 250 runners participated in the 5K and Family Fun Run, many in superhero garb, and the event raised more than $57,000 for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Mercer and Burlington Counties.

Honorary chairs for the event were Yvette Donado, chief administrative officer and senior VP for Educational Testing Service, and Robert Prunetti, president and CEO of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce. We thank a host of sponsors: Ironman sponsors Bracco Diagnostics, CSC, ETS, Mathematica Policy Research, and PSE&G; Batman sponsors were Diversified Rack & Shelving, Fox Rothschild LLP, Novo Nordisk, 1WorldSync, and Stark & Stark; Spiderman sponsors were Aramark, HDR, M Financial Planning Services, Nass-Tech Mechanical and NRG. Our EMT sponsor was again Princeton Nassau Pediatrics.

Donating photography and T-shirt design was Jessi Franko of Jessi Franko Designs, while Wright Senares of Inspirato Visual produced a pro bono three-minute video of the day. Mariesa Black-Thomas of Changing Faces provided hand-drawn face painting for dozens and kids and adults, and FoodWerx donated 25 cases of water. The staff of Prism Property Services prepared the race course for a safe day of running and walking. More than 40 volunteers, including some of our own advocates, helped in a variety of ways.

CASA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children in Mercer and Burlington Counties who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. The mission of our program is that through trained community volunteers, these children will be assigned an advocate in court to ensure they receive needed services while in out-of-home placement and ultimately, a permanent home as quickly as possible.

Though our spring training for new advocates is finished, we are looking forward to adding more dedicated volunteers. Next training sessions will be in early Summer and Fall Training in October. Visit www.casamercer.org or call 609-434-0050 for information.

Randall Kirkpatrick

Director of Community Development,

CASA for Children of Mercer and Burlington Counties, Ewing, NJ

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