The column that says if anything you watch tonight on television will change the lives of people in your community, go for it.
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
Google all columns at jackhummelblog
You have to admit one thing about Cumberland County.
We can feed a man a fish, even if we’re having trouble teaching him how to fish.
“Bethany Grace Community Church will be reopening its doors to the community for a free lunch every Sunday through May beginning this week (Oct. 2) from 1-2 p.m. in the Church Fellowship Hall.
“This is our third year with sponsoring the Agape Café and over the years it has grown from serving 15-20 people to now over 100 men, women, and children,” said Pastor Rob Weinstein.
The church is located at 31 N. Pearl St., Bridgeton.
“its not bad enough that people don’t take care of their flags, but you have a state building at the intersection of State Highways 77 and 49 that not only has an American flag but a POW flag and a state flag that are shredded and should have been replaced before now.”
— Whitey Ruberts,
We always have a problem with governments and a newspaper forgetting to change flags.
We don’t have a problem with the newspaper anymore.
From Campani Lanes comes this:
|High Scores Week of Sept.19|
|Golden Age League|
|Phil Procida Jr||643|
|Dave Zieger Sr.||725|
|Phil Procido Jr||687|
|Gene Richards Jr||657|
|Phil Gannon 3rd||606|
|Al (We Don’t Care)||630|
|CJ Logan Jr||622|
Check out Al’s name, even if you’re not a bowler.
The Millville Marauders traveled to Haddonfield for their third match of the season this weekend. The boys played their best soccer to date and are truly making great progress.
The Millville Pride traveled to Bayville this Sunday to face the SJA SOL.
The man who grew up in Chicago getting stabbed twice in the back in a gang fight, who, if had never met his wife from Gouldtown at a Sixers basketball game, would have never come here to work 14 years in the school system was elevated to principal Tuesday night by the board of education.
E. Deionne ThrBak was named principal of the Geraldyne O. Foster Early Childhood Learning Center to applause from both the board and well-wishers.
ThrBak has taught at Quarter Mile Lane, Cherry Street and what is now Broad Street School.
He was also sent overseas to Iraqi Freedom for nine months.
The Bridgeton School District never forgot him.
“The students and staff sent cards to my unit and care packages were sent,” he said. “I received great support from the community and Glory Tabernacle Church.”
The soft-spoken ThrBak, who grew up with the last name Baker before changing it when it got married to incorporate both his and his wife’s last names, was still accepting congratulations in the hall the whole time the board was in executive session.
He alluded to the meetings Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly was having with leaders from all over the county and Rutgers University to get a handle on the senseless violence that has racked the area.
“I was not at the latest meeting, so I haven’t gotten the report,” he said. “But it’s going to take everybody helping. Everybody.”
He mentioned the work of Bishop David Hadley, from his church, Glory Tabernacle.
“He’s been involved, as have the other ministers,” said the deeply religious ThrBak.
During an interview last year while assistant principal at the Early Childhood Learning Center, he never doubted Bridgeton could be turned around.
“Believe me, this is not Chicago,” he has said.
“Out of my eighth-grade class, two of us are alive today,” said ThrBak of the mid-80s. “Another classmate is in prison for life.”
He was introduced at the beginning of the meeting by Superintendent Dr. Thomasina Jones and asked to say a few words.
“I want to thank the board and Dr. Jones for your support in providing this opportunity and I intend to present the best education possible for our students,” he said.
His wife, Dr. Tiffanie ThrBak, also works in the school system.
When the new principal was growing up in Chicago, he could never escape the gang culture.
Even after he was sent to a private school, he said he had to run through enemy territory to catch the bus to the other side of town.
“What we need to show the children today is that there’s a better way. I’m here today because of my teachers.
“I made mistakes. I made bad decisions.
“I was angry because of where I was born.
“I fought in the gangs. I was looking for somebody who cared.”
He has been active in Bridgeton Little League, and called the Bridgeton High School Air Force Jr. ROTC program the best around.
It ended with loud applause.
In between, the Bridgeton High School Air Force Jr. ROTC program made a lot of parents, teachers, administration and themselves proud at Gia’s Suburban House Friday night.
It was their 11th annual military ball.
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world,’’ said Board of Education President Angelia Edwards, who has been the program’s biggest supporter.
The night was a display of precision, respect, confidence and leadership you wouldn’t expect of high school students.
Unless you know Air Force Tech Sgt. (ret) George Linen Sr. and his ability to draw success out of his troops.
Call her Mama Linen.
That’s what they all call her.
She is a dynamic woman who married a dynamic man.
Friday night, she told the story from the inside.
“They come in shy, develop leadership skills and leave here as great scholars,’’ she said.
She didn’t have to get involved while working in the guidance office at the high school.
“It’s a passion,’’ she said. “I can’t count the times I have cried.’’
She started a parents support group.
So many good stories to tell.
“One of our kids was in trouble in school and his first speech told us about his life,’’ she recalled. “It turned him a round and he’s now serving in Afghanistan.
“He always calls us and says, ‘Mom, dad, if not for you, I don’t know where I’d; be.’
“When they smile, I smile.’’
Last year, the program ran short of funds to go to the nationals despite a myriad of fundraisers.
When Board of Education President Angelia Edwards heard that, she vowed it would never happen again.
“Yes, now we have a place to practice (when it’s cold),’’ said Mama Linen, “and money is not a problem anymore.
“They’re working on getting everybody into the program who wants to get in.
“The kids want it.’’
She said her husband speaks to a lot of groups and churches.
“Me, I want to work behind the scenes,’’ she said. “Bless it forward.’’
She formed a parents support group.
“We’ve had cooperation from a lot of parents,’’ she said. “Yes, they’re there. I’m seen them’’
Her husband calls her a dynamic woman.
Clive and Juanita Thompson, of Cedarville, are on the parents committee.
They’ve bought in big time watching their daughter, Vice Commander Shannakay, mature into a leader.
“Yes, she’s sharp,’’ said Clive. “Yes, I knew she would do this well. She learned from her sister, Angel, who graduated in 2010.’’
She’s going to be a doctor.
“She was a shy girl and now her face lights up when she talks about Sgt. Linen,’’ said her mother.
She’s going to be an anesthesiologist.
Shannakay said all the things he likes about the program, then realizing it’s coming to an end, broke down.
The next day, there would be a new commander.
“Bridgeton High School is a very good school,’’ said Clive. “It has very good teachers and a very good superintendent and a very good principal.
“You have to show the students the way.
“You have to trust in the teachers.’’
“Never put kids down.’’
Mayor Albert Kelly showed his support.
“This is great,’’ he said. “I appreciate the students who took up the challenge of ROTC. I was in ROTC in college, so I know what it takes. It shows here in the city of Bridgeton that we have students willing to do this.’’
Edwards called it “a beautiful program. I’m always here to support the sergeant (Linen) and the children in any way I can.’’
The POW/MIA ceremony built around an empty chair and a small table reminded all “to remember.
“It is set for one and occupies a place of dignity and honor …
“The chair is empty. They are not here.’’
Commander Diana Sandoval broke down announcing that during the trip to Washington, D.C., a flag was flown over the Air Force Memorial on May 18 in honor of Sgt. Linen’s “dedication.’’
Added Sandoval, “We could never give back all that they have given to us.’’
Eight members of the ROTC program going into the military were honored along with their mothers.
Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center
1000 Village Drive, Millville
Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2, 10 a.m. to 5.p.m.
The two-day Festival of Fine Craft sponsored by OceanFirst Bank offers an art and shopping experience for the entire family, featuring over 130 artists and craftspeople presenting and selling traditional and contemporary works.
Come enjoy artist demonstrations, hands-on family activities, musical entertainment, specialty foods, a glass pumpkin patch, wine tasting, and a beer and wine garden!
Veteran artists as well as artists, never before seen at the festival will display their unique creations in this beautiful scenic setting. From inspired paintings, decorative ceramics and novel jewelry to innovative wood sculptures and vibrant wearable fashions, there’s something for everyone.