Regional Director's Report – October 2012

September 29, 2012

A Trip to the Mall

I am not a fan of the regional shopping mall, preferring to do most of my shopping in downtown West Orange or some at some of the surrounding urban/suburban neighboring communities.  Of course Macy’s (Bamberger’s to those who remember that great store in downtown Newark) was where I had to go for Marsha who is on the mend after spraining her ankle, to make a return of an item she bought, but did not want. The fact that OUR CanStruction Event was set up at the Livingston Mall made the trip that much easier for me to make!

I arrived early Saturday afternoon and noticed that the Mall’s parking lot looked to be fuller than other of the few times that I have had to go there.  I thought it must be the CanStruction buildings that were bringing out the crowds on this first and most beautiful day of fall?  After returning the item, I made my way to the locations of these wonderful creations, that when broken down will go to feed many of New Jersey’s hungry citizens through the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

I eavesdropped as many of the shoppers with their children stopped by and was absolutely amazed at what the teams were able to construct.  Words I overheard were “fantastic, beautiful, what a GREAT idea” and the best from a little boy about the age of my granddaughter, who asked his mother, “how did they do that”?   One older woman was very impressed with the theme of this year’s competition, “Back to School” I did not ask, but she must have been a teacher and I saw her nod her head as she read about children that go to school hungry every day. I am sure that in her long career, she had more than a few hungry children in her classroom each and everyday.

For me as a national leader in OUR professional organization, I am super proud of all of the builds and the very creative skills, the teams showed, this year. However, the most amazing outcome of this event is in the saying “it starts with one can”  There were of course thousands, so they will go to help many of needy families in our communities. I want to take the time to personally thank Christey DiBartolo, AIA for leadership she showed in organizing and chairing this event, OUR 14th.

As I finish up this article, Marsha and I have just come from “Kids who Cook.” They are a group of youngsters from Columbia High School, who cooked a meal for about 50 adults. The event was sponsored by Morgan Stanley, with all of the proceeds (like ours) going to Community FoodBank of New Jersey. I was able to mention to the youngsters that CanStruction would be at the Livingston Mall through October 1st. By the time that we left the party, I was assured by one of these superb cooks that before the week was out they were going to take a trip to the mall!

Thank you,

Jerry

jebenaia@aol.com

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