Cranbury Municipal Alliance Funds Youth Events, Emphasizes Mental Health, and Acquires Essential Storage Container

In a recent meeting, the Cranbury Municipal Alliance made several decisions, including the allocation of funds for drug-free youth events, an emphasis on mental health awareness programs, and the strategic purchase of a storage container for event equipment.

The Alliance’s meeting kicked off with a positive review of the Jamfest event, a community gathering attended by numerous middle school students. Alliance members appreciated the efforts of Jamfest chair, Penny Fatias, whose organization and coordination, along with contributions from parents, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), and the Alliance, led to a successful event. Proceeds from the festival will fund trips for the sixth and eighth-grade students of Fairview School.

Red Ribbon Week, a week dedicated to drug prevention, was another well-received initiative. Students were given drug-free mementos and daily announcements to underline the importance of a drug-free life. The Alliance urged student representatives to contribute to a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video contest on drug prevention, offering a $1,000 prize to the winning school.

The meeting also gave attention to the budget for the Municipal Alliance, with funds earmarked for student education and outreach, mental health pandemic support, and parent outreach. Among the financial decisions made, the purchase of a storage container stood out. Costing $3,200, the container was seen as a good investment, as prices were predicted to double in the coming year. Denise Marabello procured the capital funds for the purchase, and now the equipment from the Jamfest and other events will have a secure home.

The group also discussed expenses related to the placement of the storage container, such as a lock, and a pathway over the grass, for which up to $400 was approved. The Alliance also unanimously approved the allocation of up to $200 for a quilt made from past drug-free fair and health and wellness fair t-shirts, a project that will provide a tangible memory from past events.

Municipal Alliance members praised the recent World Mental Health Day event, even though the attendance was modest. Diane Stanley, an Alliance member, expressed belief that the event helped raise awareness about mental health. Moreover, they noted the successful Halloween event on Main Street, with Anjali Joshi distributing drug-free message candies to around 900 visitors.

Finally, the Alliance discussed the potential of combining the Health and Wellness Fair with the National Night Out. The idea was to form a committee to explore this collaboration further. The focus on mental health continued with the introduction of PennMed Princeton Health’s Teen Mental Health First Aid program for sophomores at Princeton High School. The program aims to teach students how to recognize signs of mental health challenges and provide support, a step towards fostering a more open conversation about mental health among high school students.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Michael J. Ferrante
Municipal Alliance Officials:
Kathy Warnebold (Secretary), Joann Charwin, Maria Benerofe, Dr. Jennifer Diszler, Robyn Skeete, Anjali Joshi, Sasha Weinstein, Michael Owens, Andrea Kaplan, Diane Stanley, Erika Shulman, Eman El-Badawi (Committee Liaison)

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