My name is Steve Sternberg, and I'm a 1st Ward Committee Person. My son Jared, for his Bar Mitzvah project, decided to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The main crux of his campaign will be to collect donations of airline miles (since so many wishes involve travel).
Jared wanted to kick off his fund-raising drive with a bake sale, and smartly chose Saturday, March 3rd. At 12:30pm, and with some trepidation, we set up a table and his goodies (which he stayed up all night with his grandma baking) - cupcakes, brownies, chocolate covered pretzels, and cookies. I say trepidation, because in the past, we have been wary about venturing outside on this day (my wife and son were nearly hit by beer bottles thrown off a roof last year).
Well, what a pleasant surprise. We were planted on 1st and Clinton (surrounded by bars and more than a few house parties), and felt completely safe. There were police officers all over the place, and while there was a steady stream of celebrants, there were very few I would call over-the-top drunk. During the day, at least, it seemed like well-controlled fun (we left at 6pm, so I can attest to what it was like later in the evening).
Jared raised more than $900 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation (at $3 per cupcake, $2 for cookies, and $1 for a chocolate covered pretzel, that pretty good). Many people contributed and refused to take even a cupcake. The number of people, drunk or not, who commended him for doing this, was heartwarming.
Wouldn't it be great if next year more kids were out on Lepre Con 2013 holding bake sales and other charity-related events. Families and people doing good things for those less fortunate, seems like a better way to celebrate than just having a drunkfest. Most people who come into Hoboken from out of town seem to have money in their pockets. If a 12-year-old boy with cupcakes and cookies can make nearly a thousand bucks in 5 hours, imagine how much can be made if this was done throughout town. Maybe Hoboken would even get some positive press for a change.
It's a shame that the parade committee chose to cancel the parade. While I applaud Mayor Zimmer standing her ground to keep our neighbors safe, they now have another full year to find some solution.