Collingswood, New Jersey

Knight Park Volunteers Meeting – March 1

The 63-acre Knight Park, enjoyed by residents and guests for over a century, needs hands-on care from volunteers to rejuvenate stately trees and landscaping. To complete the restoration, work must take place for decades. The next planting will take place in the spring. Volunteers and organizers will meet on March 1 at 7 p.m. in the community center living room to give details and information to all those who would like to join in the next planting and pruning effort. To participate with the volunteers email Commissioner Mike Hall at or call at 856-854-4528.

Call Commissioner Joan Leonard at 856-858-4545 or email for more information, volunteering or making a donation. Consider a tree or bench for the park as a gift to a loved one. The Knight Park Trustees welcome the assistance of civic groups and all residents to continue to preserve and enhance the historic treasure that is Knight Park. Contact the Knight Park Trustees for more information to make a tax deductible contribution at P.O. Box 8731, Collingswood, NJ 08108.

Collingswood High School Band Boosters

…present their first annual Chinese Auction on Saturday, March 3 at Collingswood High School (424 Collings Ave).

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the general public and at 6 p.m. for pre-ordered ticket holders only. Everyone will receive a goody bag! Advance ticket reservations will be available beginning January 15 through February 26. Tickets can be picked up at the door the night of the event.

Ticket pricing is as follows: pre-orders cost $15 for 5 sheets or purchase tickets at the door for $10 for 3 sheets or $5 each. Each sheet contains 25 tickets and one door prize ticket. There will be two levels of special prizes, including a one week stay in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as well as 50/50 drawings and awesome door prizes.

For further information and/or ticket sales, please contact Sue McDermet, VP of Fundraising, at 856-240-1019. Join us for a fun-filled evening and help us make this a huge success!

$645K Grant Supplies New Truck for FD

We’ll all feel safer in Collingswood thanks to a $645,000 grant the Fire Department has secured that will go toward replacing the department’s current 1976, 100-foot aerial ladder truck. Fire Chief John Amet gives credit to firefighter Stephen Reustle for preparing the grant and narrative that won the funding. At the time the grant was awarded on December 15, 2006, it was the second highest amount for a single vehicle acquisition in the nation. The Collingswood FD is currently in the process of getting specifications ready for the new ladder truck and received word from the Federal Government that they could expect delivery of the new vehicle in late October or early November of 2007. Congratulations!

Colls Library Offers More, More Often

It’s a happy new year for Collingswood Library patrons. The Library Board of Trustees has announced expanded services and hours to increase accessibility for residents and visitors.

Since Jan. 1, the library added Sunday hours from noon to 4 p.m. to its schedule, allowing the branch to remain open seven days a week. The expanded hours are in addition to the library’s regular hours of Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m._
In addition, the library will also now be open over Thanksgiving weekend and other holidays such as Veterans Day and Columbus Day, allowing full accessibility over three day weekends.

Currently the library offers a host of programs such as kids’ events, historical meetings and a library of historical items, book groups and dozens of clubs and programs. The library also organizes the annual Collingswood Book Festival which draws nationally recognized authors such as Michael Smerconish and Camille Paglia for a weeklong event that encourages reading.

Heads Up Property Owners: Revaluation News

As required by the State of New Jersey, the Borough of Collingswood has contracted with Professional Property Appraisers, Inc. of Delran, New Jersey to complete a revaluation of all property in the Borough. The new assessments will be effective for the 2008 tax year.

The first phase of the revaluation will consist of inspectors taking digital images of all properties within the Borough and the inspection of commercial properties. This phase will start in the next month. The residential inspections will start in the spring. The field inspectors will have identification provided by the Borough and only those who have this identification should be admitted entrance into your property. In an effort to collect the most accurate data possible, homeowners are encouraged to make appointments to allow appraisers into homes.

In the next issue of the Town Crier look for updates on the progress of the revaluation as well as what neighborhoods field inspectors will be visiting. For more information about the revaluation please see our Borough web site or call Borough Hall at 856-854-0720 x135.

Collingswood FD Goes BALD to Help Kids with Cancer

Shaving cream will fly to provide a little support – emotionally and financially – for children with cancer when the Collingswood Fire Department celebrates their 2nd annual St. Baldrick’s Day event on Sunday, March 18.

St. Baldrick’s, a play on St. Patrick’s, collects money for pediatric cancer research through sponsorship of groups that shave their heads in the name of the event. Collingswood firefighters joined the effort three years ago, and started their own event last year.

The group is inspired to help fund cancer research by the loss of Andy Staszewski, a Collingswood career firefighter, last April at the age of 23. The son of Fire Chief John Amet is a survivor of childhood cancer, diagnosed at nine months old. Amet’s son, John, is now 10 years old.

“With St. Baldrick’s we want to help come up with a cure and maybe give enough resources to come up with some answers,” said Amet.

The Collingswood FD hopes to raise $50,000 this year to help fund that research. Last year their efforts raised $45,000. This year’s “Collingswood Firefighters for a Kids Cure” will also host a Chinese auction featuring items from Vera Bradley, Gucci, Tiffany and much more from Collingswood merchants. Donations are being accepted. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the auction, please contact Pamela Capato at 856-854-4585.

St. Baldrick’s will take place this year at the Collingswood Grand Ballroom (315 White Horse Pike) from 12 to 5 p.m. Admission to the event includes wine, beer and food and a front row seat for the “mane” event.

If you are interested in becoming a participant, additional information and registration can be obtained at Registration and fundraising is recommended in advance. All are welcome to socialize, get a cut and support local firefighters, neighbors and friends taking part in the charity event. Contact John Samas at 856-854-1043 x355 or John Amet at 856-854-1043 x100 with questions

St Baldrick’s, the world's biggest volunteer-driven fundraising program for childhood cancer, has taken place in 10 countries and 42 states, raised over $20 million and shaved more than 26,000 heads.

Don’t Hide That Beautiful Home – Show it Off!

Proud Neighbors of Collingswood is looking for covered front porches. We are asking residents to consider offering their front porch for use for our 20th annual Porch Brunch. Volunteers of our civic group provide all the homemade food, decorations and paper goods.

Proud Neighbors would like to spotlight your home at our 20th house tour. All architectural styles and interior decorator styles are welcome. Tranquil gardens are invited to participate as well. Our Porch Brunch and House Tour is Proud Neighbors’ fundraising event for our town, which commemorates National Preservation month and showcases the charm of Collingswood’s homes and lovely gardens on the Sunday after Mother’s Day, May 20. Help Proud Neighbors now to locate those special properties for this annual event. Please send us the name and address of that distinctive place for tour or brunch.

Proud Neighbors is also seeking volunteers to ask companies or individuals to advertise in our tour booklet. We need a volunteer with computer graphics skills to prepare the layout of the Brunch & Tour Booklet. If you are an artist, we ask your help to sketch house drawings of tour properties. There are many different volunteer tasks that need filling (distributing flyers, restocking ticket outlets, staffing brunch, tour greeter, cooking, donating desserts, etc.) to make this project a success.

E-mail or call 856-858-1766 for more information.

Colls Community Theatre presents “An Evening of Showstoppers”

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the All-Town Musical, Collingswood Community Theatre will stage “An Evening of Showstoppers.” On Thursday, March 1, Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3, in the magnificent, art-deco Scottish Rite Auditorium (315 White Horse Pike), the company will perform show stopping numbers from past shows as well as many new numbers from favorite Broadway musicals.

Numbers will include such favorites as 76 Trombones from our first All-Town Musical The Music Man, Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat from Guys and Dolls, Telephone Hour from Bye Bye Birdie and Ain’t It Good from Children of Eden. We’ll also be reprising a Collingswood favorite, Honey Bun from South Pacific. How could we miss the opportunity to see our Mayor in a coconut bra and hula skirt one more time?

Performance time is 7:30 p.m. on March 1, 2 and 3. There will be a matinee on Saturday, March 3 at 2 p.m. Tickets will be $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Groups of 15 or more, reserved and paid at least one week in advance, can receive a discounted price for tickets - $10 adults and $5 for students and seniors.

We have a special promotion for our senior citizens on opening night. During intermission of our Thursday, March 1, all ticket-holding senior citizens will be treated to free cookies and juice.

We will also be reprising our “Dinner and a Show” promotion. On Friday, March 2, enjoy dinner at one of our fine Haddon Avenue restaurants and see a performance for the discounted price of $25 per person. Participating restaurants include Café Antonio II, Casona, Nunzio’s, Tortilla Press and Villa Barone. The package includes salad, dinner and dessert. Drinks, appetizers and gratuity are not included. Selections are from a special menu. Reservations must be made no later than Friday, Feb. 23 and tickets must be paid for and picked up at Collingswood Borough Hall before the night of the show. Call Terry at 856-858-9275 for more information.

Make plans to celebrate the anniversary of Collingswood Community Theatre!

PTA Bricks Help Build a Future

The Collingswood High School Parent Teacher Association is raising funds for the High School PTA one brick at a time. Purchase a personalized brick for $100 and help support the PTA and show your school spirit. The bricks will be installed in the court between the High School and the Middle School at the completion of the renovation project estimated for next spring. Please return this form along with your name, address and phone number and your check payable to Collingswood High School PTA to Kathy McCarthy/President, 424 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108. For more information please call Trish O’Donnell at 856-854-4934 or Kathy McCarthy at 856-854-7537.
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