Letters and Commentary

May 11, 2012
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Thanks for Giving: $23 Million Raised through Muscular Dystrophy Association Shamrock Campaign

To the Editor:

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is proud to announce that the annual Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign has raised an estimated $23 million with the help of campaign partners and their customers nationwide.

The MDA Shamrocks program, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, continues its trend of success – three decades of yearly record-setting contributions.

Led by the support of Burger King, CITGO, Jiffy Lube, Lowe’s, 7-Eleven, Valero Corner Stores, Applebee’s, Kroger, Pizza Hut, hundreds of top retailers and restaurants helped raise funds and awareness for the association’s mission to find treatments and cures for muscle diseases, and provide support to families nationwide.

The campaign started in February, with many locations running through the end of March.

During the program, retailers – including grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants and other businesses – sold $1 and $5 colorful green and gold Shamrocks mobiles, which were displayed in store windows and on walls and ceilings.

“Our partners continue to show how deeply they are committed to our cause through the energy they put into their fundraising efforts,’’ said MDA Executive Vice President of Business Development Kevin Moran. “And, we’re grateful to their generous customers who continue to share the Shamrocks spirit by buying a shamrock mobile to make a difference in the lives of families affected by muscle diseases.’’

With program income still coming in, the exact record-breaking amount of total contributions is not yet finalized.

MDA mobile programs help fund more than 300 MDA research projects worldwide and its nationwide network of 200 medical clinics as well as help send thousands of children with muscle diseases to a week of accessible fun at MDA summer camp.

Muscular Dystrophy Association, Tuscon, Ariz.

Arts Council Grant Applications Available, Community Enrichment the Goal

To the Editor:

The Monmouth County Arts Council (MCAC) is pleased to announce the Local Arts Program Grant guidelines, applications and workshops for Fiscal year 2013 are now available. The mission of MCAC is to enrich the community by inspiring and fostering the arts. The grants result in over 2,400 high quality, low cost arts events including art exhibitions, concerts, dance, theater, film and festivals throughout Monmouth County to over 700,000 children and adults.

We invite everyone to go to www.monmoutharts.org to learn about available grants and workshops. This a competitive grant process reviewed by a panel of arts experts. Funds for these grants come through the Local Arts Program of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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The grants include General Operating Support (GOS) for arts organizations, General Program Support (GPS) for other types of non-profit organizations that have significant arts programs, Special Project Support (SP) for all types of nonprofit organizations, Small Scale Arts Activities (SSAA) and Technical Assistance (TA). Mini-Grants of $500 are still available in 2012 for new art programs.

For further information on the Local Arts Grant Program contact Danny Tamez, Community Arts director at cad@monmoutharts.org or at 732-212-1890, Ext. 3.

Monmouth County Arts Council, Red Bank

Consider a Vegan Diet for Beloved Dogs and Cats

To The Editor:

In light of the recent Diamond Pet Foods salmonella outbreak that sickened more than a dozen people, readers should know that salmonella may not be the only unsavory “ingredient” lurking in their animals’ kibble (Reuters).

Many commercial dog and cat foods contain ground-up parts of animals deemed unfit for human consumption because they fall into one of the “four D” categories—dead, dying, diseased, or disabled. Most companion animal foods also contain hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, and other additives that can be toxic, such as the melamine that was linked to the deaths of least 16 animals and sickened thousands more in 2007.

Luckily, it’s easy to prepare wholesome, plant-based foods for our beloved animal companions in our own kitchens, using ingredients like chickpeas, lentils, oats, brown rice, and the supplements Vegedog or Vegecat (available at www.Vegepet.com).

It’s important to ensure that your animals’ nutritional needs are being met. Talk to your veterinarian and check out Making Kind Choices by Ingrid Newkirk (available at www.PETA.org and libraries) for simple vegan dog and cat food recipes.

Lindsay Pollard-Post
The PETA Foundation, Norfolk, VA
Seller Beware: Yard Sales Pose Potential Liability Risk

To the Editor:

Warmer temperatures make for the perfect time for homeowners to clear clutter and even make a little money by having a yard sale. However, many yard sale hosts fail to realize that they could be held liable should a shopper incur an injury on their property. Therefore, AAA Insurance would like to offer insurance advice to help consumers mitigate their yard sale liability risk.

“It’s imperative for homeowners and renters to protect themselves with adequate insurance coverage, especially in a situation where strangers will be on the property such as a yard sale,” says Sue Madden, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic in Hamilton, NJ. “Homeowners should also take the proper safety precautions to prevent any injury or damage that could occur on their property, thereby reducing their risk of liability.”

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To help minimize homeowners’ and renters’ risks of holding a sale, AAA Insurance would like to offer the following do’s and don’ts of insurance for yard sales:

Do have homeowners or renters insurance. Most standard home and renters insurance policies will generally provide at least $100,000 of liability coverage. This will protect against a lawsuit should someone get injured on your property. Additionally, these policies typically offer between $1,000 and $5,000 in no-fault medical coverage.

Do consider additional insurance. Depending on the asset value, additional liability insurance or an umbrella policy, which provides more coverage, may be worth considering. Consult with your insurance agent to determine which would best suit your insurance needs.

Don’t rely on homeowners insurance if you have yard sales frequently. If you have yard sales several times a year, it’s wise to purchase a separate policy for business liability or an in-home business policy. These are available from many homeowners’ insurance companies, such as AAA, as well as specialty insurers that sell stand-alone in-home business policies.

To ensure your patrons can shop safely, AAA Insurance also suggests taking the following precautions during a yard sale:

Do keep pets indoors, for their safety and the safety of others, Dogs with a prior biting history or with ancestry classified as vicious are typically excluded from insurance coverage.

Don’t sell items known to be hazardous or unsafe, such as recalled items. Selling an item that is banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for example, could lead to fines and penalties.

Do allow enough space in between items to prevent tripping or falls.

Don’t place items too close to stairs and ledges where people could fall.

Do keep sharp objects such as knives and scissors out of reach of children.

“Before holding any type of even on your property, such as a yard sale, it’s a good idea to consult your insurance agent to discuss possible risks,” said Madden.

For more information visit AAA.com/Insurance.
Sue Madden, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Hamilton, NJ

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