Meals on Wheels Donations Help "Pay it Forward" Initiative Surpass $500,000

2024 Robbinsville "Pay it Forward" Initiative Benefits Meals on Wheels to Surpass $500,000 Raised Since 2015


PHOTO GALLERY BY JEN DAVIS

HAMILTON - (May 14, 2024) - The ninth edition of Robbinsville Township Mayor Dave Fried's groundbreaking "Pay it Forward" initiative produced another milestone Tuesday at The Stone Terrace by John Henry's.

As part of his annual State of Robbinsville Township address to benefit Robbinsville Meals on Wheels, the mayor announced the total amount raised for individuals and organizations in need since 2015 has eclipsed $500,000.

dave-joparr - Copy (2)“That is something I never imagined in my wildest dreams, said Fried, who also presented “Pay it Forward Community Partner Awards” to Christine O’Brian of David Bradley Chocolatier and local non-profit Be Kind Inc. “We love this event. We transformed something we had to do by law into something we look forward to doing. We’ve made a tangible difference in people’s lives and that’s really cool.”

With Meals on Wheels founder Josephine Parr, 87, a surprise attendee, the mayor – with the help of current MOW Executive Director Jodi Marra - bestowed Mrs. Parr with just the third David L. Fried Humanitarian Award.

“None of this could be possible without the vision, compassion and kindness of Josephine Parr,” he said. “We have only given out two of these (Humanitarian Awards) in my nearly 20 years as mayor, so this is as special as it gets. Her vision, compassion and kindness shown to every single homebound resident of Robbinsville over the past three decades is an inspiration.”

As for Township business, Fried announced that the May 9 introduced municipal budget includes the 10th flat or reduced tax rate in the past 13 years. A public hearing and vote for adoption on the $28.5 million budget is scheduled for June 13.

“Getting there was not easy, it almost never is on either side of the balance sheet, but we are staying flat despite the worst inflation battle since the 70s, which as you all know has led to price hikes everywhere you turn,” Fried said. “We are doing this while also improving our services and adding initiatives. No one hates raising taxes more than me, and I am very happy to be able to stay flat this year.”

The mayor, who was introduced by the evening's emcee - Mercer County Commissioner and William Penn Bank Senior Vice President Nina Melker - also unveiled his revised vision for moving Robbinsville’s municipal court and police department into the former Roma/Investors Bank Building next door to the existing municipal building at 2298 Route 33.

“Logistically speaking, the decision is a no-brainer,” he said. “Financially speaking, leasing the building for 10 to 12 years - compared to buying it outright at what we consider an inflated price - seems to be the way to go. Even after retrofit and other renovations, we will still save compared to building new. We also leave open the option of owning the building via condemnation when the lease expires. we desperately need a new court and police station - which will be shared both in terms of space and costs - with our neighbors in Hightstown. We cannot kick this can down the road any further because there is no more road.”

Past Pay it Forward recipients include the Shepherd Family, Quilts for Comfort, Deborah Dauer, C.A.R.E., Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, the We Love Our R'ville Neighbors campaign, the Breden Family and the McLaughin family.

Donations to Meals on Wheels are still being accepted. Please make checks payable to C.A.R.E. and send to: 2298 Route 33, Robbinsville, NJ 08691. Attn: Jodi Stephens. Please write "2024 Pay it Forward" in the check notes.

 -RT-

 

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