Category: Robbinsville

The National Weather Service Reports Wintry Tuesday for New Jersey

November 28, 2023

TRENTON – ROBBINSVILLE – ALLENTOWN, NJ — The National Weather Service forecast states a chance of snow showers between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 37F. Breezy, with a west wind of 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. The chance of precipitation is 30%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Tonight, will be mostly clear, with a low around 22F. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Snow falls in the Allentown – Robbinsville, New Jersey area the moring of November 28, 2023

Good morning! The cold air has arrived and some flakes of snow may soon follow! It will be a blustery day with highs mostly in the 30s but winds gusting 25 to 35 mph making it feel a good 10-15 degrees colder. Also, lake effect flurries and snow showers have been ongoing across portions of central and western PA and as we head into the day today, some of these are likely to make it into eastern PA beginning this morning. It’s even possible some of these could briefly be on the heavier side especially across portions of Chester County north through the Lehigh Valley into the southern Poconos. Be alert for rapidly changing visibility and slippery roads!

The Robbinsville School District’s R.E.D. Program: Much More than Childcare

November 20, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–When Reina Albert – a seventh grader at Pond Road Middle School, was a pre-kindergartener attending the Robbinsville Extended Day (R.E.D.) program, she didn’t want to miss a day – especially when an older Robbinsville student was teaching sign language.
“She loved the program,” her mother, Celeste Albert, said. “As does my son, Stuart, a third grader who attends now.”
Being a working parent has so many challenges, Albert said. R.E.D. is there, she said, helping working Robbinsville parents balance all their responsibilities.
“It’s a win-win,” Albert said. “Our students get to learn new skills, meet new friends and get homework help. They are also are being cared for and watched over, so that parents can work.”
The 12-year-old, for-profit program at Sharon Elementary School is available for parents who need before- and after-school care. But please don’t quickly dismiss the program as a babysitting service, said Pamela Elmi, R.E.D. founder and director.
Offering “true enrichment” for the more than 170 participants in grades K-8, Elmi said, enrichment programming is offered in addition to childcare. This fall, R.E.D. has a slate of programs that includes yoga, science, hockey, financial literacy, soccer and cooking, as well as tutoring and homework help.
The curriculum is anything but “cookie-cutter,” she stressed.

“Our programs and people are what make it unique,” Elmi explained. “I base the curriculum on the interesting people that come and join us. Anyone can sign up for the enrichment or tutoring even if they don’t need the childcare. The program is now 50% childcare-50% community education.”

Jennifer Broyles’ daughters are also big fans of the program. Third-grader Elizabeth Broyles and first-grader Nora Broyles have been able to make many new friendships.
“Sharon is a large school, so maintaining consistent friendships can be a challenge. But R.E.D. has given them a chance to experience a more enduring type of relationship,” Broyles said. “R.E.D. has been a wonderful experience.”
“As a working parent it is incredibly difficult to find trustworthy care before and after school,” Broyles said. “We also really enjoy the sense of community we get from driving up to the school in the morning, and the warm greeting we receive from Jill the security guard – it makes for a nice transition into the day. Additionally, the R.E.D. teachers are warm and caring, providing many fun activities.”

The R.E.D. program was the brainchild of the late Steven Mayer, who had served as Superintendent of Schools.
“R.E.D. was his baby,” Elmi said. “It is part of his legacy. His idea was to start something brand new just for Robbinsville. While I was the person to do the job, it is his vision. His spirit is in everything we do.”
The program has continued to receive strong support through Schools Superintendent Brian Betze, who is committed to building on the original vision.
R.E.D. embraces flexibility for working parents. Fees are on a sliding scale based on how often children attend. Scholarships are available for children that participate in the free or reduced lunch programs. R.E.D. offers care from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. with breakfast and then after school, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Prior to R.E.D., the before- and after-school care was outsourced, not an ideal situation. In setting up R.E.D., parents and the greater school community were consulted. Many focus groups were held to design the right program for both parents and students.
The program is run by the school district. Revenue supports initiatives, such as funding a playground at Sharon Elementary School and a new school bus.

From the start, Elmi said, she recruited school district personnel to staff R.E.D.
“They already knew the kids and knew the curriculum,” she said. “So, there was that consistency for the families as well.”
During the summer, R.E.D. teams up with the township’s recreation department for a camp. R.E.D. provides before- and after-care with academic programming, similar to the school year.

Along with a popular robotics program, R.E.D. offers “Discover Kindergarten,” which prepares children for that first step into the school district. This program introduces the youngsters to the school, reducing anxiety for children and parents.

For Albert, that was “one of the best experiences” for Reina as she entered kindergarten.

“She was able to be in the Sharon School, get to know the building, get to know some teachers and meet new friends that would be in her grade – all before kindergarten started,” Albert said.

“It gets all the tears over and done with before school starts,” Elmi added.

Albert hopes Reina will one day give back to the program; teen students are encouraged to volunteer.

For more information, visit, click on “Families” or follow @RvilleRED on “X” (formerly Twitter).

Children enjoy attending R.E.D.’s “Discover Kindergarten,” the district’s most popular summer camp.

In 2018, R.E.D. purchased a school bus for the Robbinsville district.

In 2023, R.E.D. expanded its current S.T.E.M. enrichment programs.

In 2014, the R.E.D program purchased playground equipment for the Sharon
Elementary School.

Students who attend R.E.D. has an opportunity to vote in a mock election on Election Day. 

Robbinsville Voters Reject $4.8M School Question, Pass Open Space Question, Town Council and School Board Members Elected

November 8, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Township Council candidate slate of incumbent vice president Mike Todd, longtime Councilwoman Chris Ciaccio, and political newcomer Amit Chopra emerged victorious when the dust settled in Tuesday’s General Election.

Unofficial numbers just after midnight had Mr. Todd (2,539), Ms. Ciaccio (2,468) and Mr. Chopra (2,329) securing four-year seats. The “Committed to Community” slate defeated first-time candidate Lea Borghard (1,550) and Kiran Agrahara (1,270).

Results are not final and official until all votes are counted and the election is certified by the Mercer County Clerk.

“We would like to thank residents all over Robbinsville for their support in this year’s Township Council race,” Mr. Todd said on behalf of his slate. “The three of us all live in this amazing community and consider it an honor to continue serving on Council. We’ve been fortunate to earn the trust of our neighbors – many of whom we now call friends. Our bond with the Robbinsville community has only grown stronger over time, as has our desire to make Robbinsville an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Despite the three available Council seats, much of the focus in this year’s General Election was on the two ballot questions.

Municipal Question 1 called for a 1-cent increase in the open space tax. That passed by a margin of 2,208 to 1,833 after failing last November.

Maintaining it had no other viable option, the Robbinsville Board of Education voted unanimously August 9 to place Public Question 2 on the November ballot, asking voters for nearly $5 million in the form of tax increases to cover anticipated deficits in upcoming school budgets. That highly controversial question failed 2,188 to 1,828, per the unofficial Mercer County tally.

“Thank you, Robbinsville,” Mayor Dave Fried said of the Open Space passage. “This was never about any one property. This was about making sure we secure the funding to maintain our open space legacy, which we are extremely proud of. This will go a very long way, and the Township thanks residents for their faith and trust. We understand this was a very difficult ask in a particularly tough budget year for many.”

Maintaining it had no other viable option, the Robbinsville Board of Education voted unanimously August 9 to place a public question on the November general election ballot, asking voters for nearly $5 million to cover anticipated deficits in upcoming school budgets. 

The new Township Council of President Debbie Blakely, Mike Cipriano, Vice President Todd, Ms. Ciaccio and Mr. Chopra, who replaces retiring longtime Councilman Ron Witt on the governing body, will be seated on January 15, 2024.

The three top vote-getters to earn seats on the Board of Education were Amanda Hill D’Angelo (2,457), Harry Ray (2,229) and Nadia Bandukda (2,208).

File Photo

Robbinsville High School Sophomore Stitches Sustainability and Style into Her Own Clothing Line

October 16, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–With a love of fashion and passion for sustainability, Robbinsville High School sophomore Megana Madhurakavi has weaved the two into her own business – LIILA, an eco-chic, non-profit clothing line.

As the visionary behind LIILA, 15-year-old Megana imagines a world where fashion is a force for good. She hopes to encourage consumers “to make conscious choices without sacrificing style.”

“At our brand we take sustainability very seriously,” Megana said. “We make sustainable clothing with ethical procedures and upcycled fabric.”

Megana explained that the clothes are produced without child labor. The clothes are handcrafted in small batches to minimize waste and the manufacturing facilities use energy saving measures, which are more eco-friendly.

“And a cool thing we do is upcycle fabric, which means we get fabric from brands that were going to toss it in landfills and burn them because of the excess they have,” she added. “Instead, we grab that fabric and recycle it into our collections, creating a sustainable cycle that keeps things out of landfills and helps the environment.”

LIILA launched just before the start of the new school year. It was a journey sparked by a personal realization when she was about 13 years old, said Megana, who enjoys hanging out with friends, social media and dancing Kushitudi, a classical Indian art form.

“I had this strong desire to make a positive change,” she said. “I saw how fast fashion was taking over, especially among teenagers like me. I was unaware and got caught up in this fast fashion cycle. Then I started noticing all the problems it caused – like the exploitation of workers, the environmental impact, the mass production and much more.”

Through social media, Megana met like-minded people who also wanted to make an impact.

She is now proudly a part of the sustainable fashion community. Through her sources, she came across the opportunity to attend a social impact investment and sustainability conference in April 2022. This opportunity to work with the United Nations ignited the spark into a flame.

“It opened my eyes to the darker side of the fast fashion industry,” she said. “The side where the price we don’t pay is paid by the children working in sweatshops or the cries of the Earth. I realized something really needed to be done.”

At the sustainability conference was a youth competition for creating an idea that meets Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the United Nations aims to accomplish by 2030.

“One of these goals really correlated with me,” Megana said. “But I didn’t think I would win. I didn’t go into the conference knowing completely what I wanted to do. But I ended up winning.”

With the win came the title of “Global Youth Ambassador of SDG and Carbon Neutrality.”

“That really helped connect me with all these other opportunities that I have now,” she said.

About a year ago, with the full support of her family, Megana began reaching out to founders of other sustainable brands. She researched for months – learning more about the industry, the clothing and how to upcycle fabric.

“Then I decided to take action. And that’s how LIILA was born,” she said. The name LILLA’s origin is rooted in Sanskrit – an ancient language in India that is special to Megana’s culture. It means “divine play or God’s creation,” the sophomore explained.

But she gave her special brand name a twist.

“This name reflects the essence of creation and beauty that we aim to embody in our brand. A lot of sustainable brands these days are pretty neutral and plain but we want to bring out that bright color and vibrancy – a divine aspect to it,” she said.

In her debut collection, there are five dresses – all designed by Megana. The designs are available on the LIILA website

“It’s the youth now who I really want opinions from; it’s not just me,” she said. “It’s other people who have to buy them. So, I got opinions from friends. I designed the clothing. And then I tried to find manufacturers who work with a lot of brands and I finally came down to one who really had the same passion as me.”

The selected manufacturer employs workers from villages to handcraft the clothing.

The LIILA price point also is very reasonable, with dresses ranging from $50 to $57 online.

“One of our main goals is not to profit at all,” she said. “It’s just to give a wider range of audience access to these clothes. So, if I keep it at this price point for now, maybe in the future, my brand will get more attention and people will be more willing to buy it. Now, the mission is not profit. It’s knowledge.”

The response to LIILA has been both exciting and successful. Feedback from brands and customers has been very positive, Megana said.

“Things are going great,” she said. “I’ve had brands reach out to me saying that they really like what I’m doing. There are ups and downs obviously. But I’m learning a lot through this whole process. I’m really enjoying content creation and outreach for my brand.

And her favorite part of my day? Sending out orders at the local post office.

“It just it makes me happy to realize that people are actually seeing what I’m doing,” Megana said. “And wearing what I’m doing! Just a few days ago, I got a picture from one of the people that got my clothes. She was on vacation and was wearing my dress. I was like ‘Oh my God, she went on vacation in my dress!’ It was so amazing to see.”

Though college is still a couple years away, Megana hopes to combine sustainability and business into a major.

“In order to keep a successful business going, I need to have those marketing techniques,” she said. “I need to know how a business would grow. I definitely want to incorporate business, but I also want to make sure that our brand’s core values never, ever go because of profit, or greed or anything like that. So, I want to implement sustainability into it.”

In the future, as LIILA grows, Megana envisions the clothing line as a leading force for positive change in the fashion industry.

“Eventually, I would like to open a store but since e-commerce is more popular now, LIILA might stay that way,” she said. “But our goal is to inspire more people to create not just a brand, but a community and not just a trend, but a way of life. We want to create this community of conscious consumers who appreciate the value of our clothes, and that also enjoy that it looks really good.”

Wearing the Cream Floral Bell Sleeve Mini Dress – one of her own eco-chic designs – Megana Madhurakavi, a sophomore at Robbinsville High School, recently launched LIILA, a sustainable clothing shop online. The passion project weaves together Megana’s love of fashion and sustainability

Mercer County Military Action Council Helps Send A Hero Home for the Holidays

October 6, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER) – For the third consecutive year, Mercer County Military Action Council has partnered with the Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton during its annual Flags for Heroes campaign. Net proceeds from the campaign will be donated to nonprofit organizations in Mercer County, including MCMAC, which will use its allocation to support sending junior military members home for the winter holidays through the Send a Hero Home for the Holidays Program.

“We are so pleased to be a part of this admirable campaign again,” Regina Arcuri, chairwoman of MCMAC, said. “This program is a great way for us to show junior service members that we honor their steadfast commitment to serve our nation, and the sacrifice of their whole family.”

Arcuri, an Honorary Commander at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, noted that Send a Hero Home for the Holidays gives military families a chance to spend time with their loved ones during the winter holiday season and reassures them that their sacrifice is greatly appreciated.

The campaign allows contributors to sponsor or purchase a flag in honor of veterans or active duty service members, as well as local first responders, hospital workers, teachers and whomever they consider a “hero” in their life. More than 300 flags are expected to be flown on the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Hamilton Campus from Nov. 1-18. The deadline to order flags online is Oct. 18.

A dedication ceremony will be held 11 a.m. Nov. 4 on the hospital campus.

An individual flag sponsorship cost $60. All sponsors receive a digital certificate via email, a keepsake placard with their hero’s name, and a mention on the sponsor banner and website. For an additional $40 sponsors can keep their flag. New this year: Sponsors can have their flag donated to an active military member.

Corporate sponsorships are available. Visit for more details.

MCMAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the service members and the mission of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, as well as active-duty personnel, reservists, guardsmen, veterans and their respective families living in local towns.

For more information about the Mercer County Military Action Council or to become a member, visit

Regina Arcuri, chair of Mercer County Military Action Council, speaks at the 2022 Flags for Heroes dedication ceremony.

Flags flown on the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton campus in 2022.

Each flag sponsorship receives a keepsake placard with their hero’s name.

Techie Teens Create App to Help Millions with Crohn’s, Colitis

October 3, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–They’re a trio of teenage techies.

Proof of their talent is “MyCrohnicles,” a new free mobile app they created, now available for Google Android and Apple iOS smartphones and tablets.

MyCrohnicles is the handiwork of Robbinsville High School senior Udhirna Krishnamurthy, 17; and her brother Svadrut, 13, an 8th-grader at Robbinsville’s Pond Road Middle School.

It’s the brainchild of their cousin, Shravan Rajagopal, a 17-year-old senior at East High School in West Chester, PA.

The purpose of MyCrohnicles: Help an estimated 3.1 million Americans with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to better manage their diets and lifestyles. “There are millions more people worldwide who may also benefit from our MyCrohnicles app,” Udhirna Krishnamurthy said.

Unlike most app-makers, these whiz kids aren’t in it for money.

“We want to help people; people like our family members afflicted with Crohn’s and colitis,” says Shravan Rajagopal, speaking for the trio. “We did not create this app to make money.”

Any profit the trio might make from their app “we would gladly donate to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation,” Udhirna adds, referring to a Manhattan-based volunteer-driven non-profit organization. “Our goal is to simply help others.”

A year in development, MyCrohnicles finally hit Google Play and Apple App stores this summer.


MyCrohnicles allows people afflicted with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis to “track and monitor their diet, exercise regiment, and bowel movements, and share that data with their physicians,” Udhirna explained.

This allows users to “understand what foods and personal behaviors work best for them,” she said. “It enables people to better manage their diets, exercises and lifestyles.”

MyCrohnicles lets users to enter their daily breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks; the frequency of their workouts; their bowel movements; and answer questions about how their body reacts to various food; how they feel after meals, after exercise or other daily activities.

“In a short time, it builds a user’s guide for healthier living,” Svadrut said.

Sounds simple enough.

But, there were some design challenges along the way, the teenaged trio explained.

For instance, they wanted the design for MyCrohnicles to be easy for any potential user, yet sophisticated enough to build an individualized model for each person’s diet and exercise routine, Udhirna said.

As the app designer, Udhirna insisted it be visually appealing, intuitive and give users quick, easy access to their data, minimizing excessive button-clicking or complicated navigation.

In short, she says: “I wanted the user interface to be simple and streamlined, providing a holistic view of their well-being.”

Coding the app posed other challenges.

“Each of us is into computer science and coding,” Udhirna said, quickly crediting her younger brother for collaborating with her on the app’s coding.

Svadrut learned coding basics in school, modestly adding: “The rest of what I needed to know was self-taught.” Sometimes, he said, that happened by trial-and-error. 

His toughest challenge was to code MyCrohnicles to smoothly conform with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems. Android is the world’s most common smartphone platform, used by many phone manufacturers. iOS is used only on Apple devices, like its iPhone.

“They are very different from one another, and require different coding. We wanted our app to look and feel the same on each,” Svadrut said. “That was a challenge.”

Once those hurdles were cleared, the teens had to leap through a few legal hoops to get their app published and publicly available. Their proud parents stepped in to help with those aspects.


Not only is MyCrohnicles family-made, it is also family-inspired.

Shravan candidly explains he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age seven, and his father, Praveen Rajagopal, has been coping with ulcerative Colitis long before that. 

Shravan is on medication, but his parents also encouraged him to consider alternative treatments and diets. At one point, “I was simultaneously vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and oil-free, basically only eating rice and vegetables,” he said.

He learned to be mindful about nutrition, and he used a number of diet-tracking apps, quickly realizing they were sadly insufficient. Shravan says he needed “a more personalized lifestyle app,” but said none were available.

Certain he wasn’t alone, Shravan spoke to his cousins. “With our combined expertise, we hit the ground running in July 2022 to develop MyCrohnicles,” noting that he also came up with the app’s catchy name.

Udhirna and Svadrut designed, developed, and brought the app to life, while Shravan handled the communications and marketing side.


Undoubtedly, Udhirna and Svadrut, and their cousin, Shravan, are brilliant kids and, perhaps, tomorrow’s technocrats. But, they say, there is much more to life.

They are outgoing, well-rounded and altruistic.

Udhirna is a member of Robbinsville High’s “Girls Who Code” club and its robotics team. She plays on the school’s tennis team, and has a true passion for music.

Since age five, Udhirna has been a classical Carnatic singer, performing traditional music of Southern India at Hindu temples across New Jersey. “Singing brings me joy,” she said.

Svadrut expects to pursue a tech career, but he also has many outside interests. Like his sister, Svadrut is a Carnatic singer and an avid tennis player. He plays alto saxophone for Robbinsville’s marching band, and plays guitar to relax.

Their cousin, Shravan, plays varsity tennis for East High School’s Vikings and competed in regional tennis playoffs for his school.

Shravan is a member of his high school’s business club, and is active in Eastern Pennsylvania’s regional DECA Inc., a national organization for emerging leaders and entrepreneurs interested in marketing, finance, and management.

Shravan Rajagopal (left), Svadrut Krishnamurthy (middle), and Udhirna Krishnamurthy (right) working on their app

Rotary Club’s Flags For Heroes Display Set for RWJ Hospital Grounds Flag Sponsorships Available for Residents and Businesses Goal is to Exceed 300 Flags

September 21, 2023

Flag sponsorships are now available for the Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton’s popular and stirring Flags for Heroes display at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton.

Residents and businesses can honor their personal heroes by sponsoring a 3’x5’ American flag to be flown for nearly three weeks – Nov. 1-18 – on the hospital grounds along White Horse-Hamilton Square Road and Klockner Road.

The Rotary Club’s goal is to fly more than 300 flags, exceeding last year’s total.

Flag sponsorships, starting at $60 for individuals and $300 for businesses, can be purchased from the Rotary Club’s website, The deadline for sponsorships is Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Each donor will receive a digital certificate, a keepsake flag medallion with their name, message, and hero’s name, and acknowledgement on the display banner at RWJUH/Hamilton and on the Rotary Club’s website.

Net proceeds from Flags for Heroes will be donated to non-profit organizations in Mercer County, including the Mercer County Military Action Council, which will help finance an active U.S. military member’s return to their family during military leave.

The 4th annual Flags for Heroes display will fill the prominent hospital field with flags honoring family members, teachers, veterans, active military, first responders and others who have made a mark in a person’s life. A Community Field Dedication and Veterans Day ceremony will be held on the grounds on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 11 am to noon.

“If you live or work in this area, you have likely seen the fantastic display on the hospital grounds in the first weeks of November. For first-timers or those who have sponsored flags each year, here’s another chance to recognize heroes in your life,” said George Ott, president of the Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton.

“We are inviting local individuals and businesses to sponsor an American flag so that we may continue our efforts to assist those in need,” said Bill Coleman, co- chair of the Rotary Club’s Flag For Heroes committee. “This is a great opportunity for people to honor their hero and to make everyone aware in a moving display.”

For more information about the Rotary Club of Robbinsville Hamilton and its charitable initiatives, email or visit

BAPS Celebrates Veterans Appreciation Day in Robbinsville, New Jersey

BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham Shines Spotlight on Heroes: Veterans’ Commemoration Event

September 17, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–On September 16, 2023, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham hosted a Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony with nearly 100 veterans, active-duty military, and their families in attendance. Set outdoors against the backdrop of Akshardham, U.S. Armed Forces’ veterans were honored for their dedication and commitment to the nation.

BAPS, along with members of the local community, deeply appreciated the service, courage, and commitment of the current and former members of the U.S. Military. They gathered to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have selflessly served the nation, defending the principles of freedom, liberty, and democracy. The ceremony was led by SSgt Angelina Mehta, who has proudly been serving in the US Marine Corps for 20 years and is also a dedicated BAPS volunteer.

The program commenced with a presentation of the colors by the Burlington High School JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) and a moment of silence for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. It was then followed by a beautiful duet of the American national anthem. 

Rooted in the spirit of service, both BAPS and our U.S. Military champion the value of giving back and selflessly serving society. Ms. Medina Wilson, Chief of Veteran Services of Mercer County, spoke on behalf of Mercer County Executive, Mr. Brian Hughes, and was honored to recognize the contributions of veterans. She shared BAPS’ excitement to commence this annual Veterans Appreciation Day at Akshardham. 

A highlight of the program included a heartfelt pinning ceremony as a token of BAPS’ appreciation for the veterans’ unwavering dedication. The presentation also recognized and acknowledged the role of families of veterans and active-duty U.S. Armed Forces. Families are the foundation of our nation’s strength and resilience that enable our armed forces to serve with purpose. 

Captain Robert E. Smyth delivered a touching speech on the qualities of veterans and how to honor all branches of our Armed Services. “It’s an honor and privilege to be here today. Veterans Appreciation Days are my favorite and happiest days. There are 21 million veterans in the US. I also want to thank those that are on active duty and in the reserves. This organization [BAPS] here wants to reach out to local veterans and help veterans and their families.” 

The program also commemorated National POW/MIA Recognition Day with profound respect and solemnity, observed on September 15, 2023. This day of remembrance honors those Americans who were prisoners of war and those who served and never returned home from the call of duty. A Missing Man table was set up in honor of those brave individuals to understand their sacrifice and pay tribute to those who are not with us today.

SSgt Angelina Mehta concluded the program by asking each participant to reflect on the powerful message of selfless service and harmony. She remarked “Akshardham stands as a testament to the incredible achievements that can be accomplished when individuals come together in unity and dedication, regardless of their background or beliefs. It is a symbol of the profound impact we can have on the world when we work towards a common purpose.” She also reflected on Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s (former spiritual leader of BAPS) life motto, ‘In the joy of others, lies our own’ and shared, “This timeless wisdom reminds us that our happiness is intertwined with the wellbeing of those around us. It calls upon us to extend our hands in service and compassion, just as our veterans have done for our nation… Let us carry this spirit forward, fostering unity and understanding in our communities and continuing to support those who have given so much to our nation.”

Photos and story provided.

About BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham

The BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham at Robbinsville, NJ, is a nexus of Hindu architecture, culture, unity, and selfless service. Bridging India’s heritage with modern America, it embodies the visionary guidance of BAPS’ spiritual leaders Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj. Created by 12,500 volunteers, this masterpiece stands as an enduring symbol of love, peace, hope, and harmony, while preserving traditions across generations.

About BAPS

BAPS is a volunteer-driven spiritual organization committed to fostering individual growth through Hindu values of faith, service, and harmony. It enriches society with the devoted efforts of tens of thousands of volunteers from diverse professional and social backgrounds, contributing millions of volunteer hours annually. Under the spiritual leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS nurtures Indian traditions in over 100 North American and 3,500 communities worldwide. Through these communities, it champions holistic personal growth, promotes social progress, and encourages diversity by embracing inclusivity across class, race, gender, and culture.

Six Robbinsville High School Seniors Named Semifinalists in 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program

September 14, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Six seniors at Robbinsville High School are among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide in the 69th -annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically-talented students now have an opportunity to compete for 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

The students from Robbinsville: Aidan Dinh, Nora Gray, Vedhanth V. Jayanthi, Asrith Katragadda, Arnav Ketineni and Pranav A. Ram.

“We are tremendously proud of the semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors,” said Robbinsville Schools Superintendent Brian Betze. “There were more than 1.3 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools who competed in this program. Our six seniors are among the highest-performing students in the country.”

The students, working with Robbinsville High School staff, submitted detailed scholarship applications with academic records, school and community activities, leadership initiatives, employment, and honors and awards. All six students have superb grades, strong recommendations from school staff, compelling essays and very high standardized test scores, Betze said.

The National Merit Scholarship Program, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955. Scholarships come from the program, as well as approximately 320 business organizations and higher education institutions.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2024 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. The scholarship recipients will join nearly 375,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Robbinsville Holds 9/11 Wreath Laying Ceremony At Memorial Tree

September 11, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Professional Firefighters Association in coordination with the Robbinsville Township Fire Department conducted a wreath laying commemoration ceremony this morning, Monday, 9/11 at 10:00 a.m. The commemoration was held at the Memorial Tree on Lake Drive in Town Center, near the intersection of Hutchinson Road. The wreath laying honored the memory of Robbinsville resident Pamela Gaff and all who were lost on September 11, 2001. American flags were placed around the Memorial Tree by attendees at the conclusion of the ceremony as they reflected on the events of this tragic day.

Multi-Vehicle Crash On NJ Turnpike In Robbinsville

August 25, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Around 6:30 p.m. the NJ State Police, Robbinsville Township Fire Department, and EMS were dispatched to the New Jersey Turnpike north bound outer lanes near mile post 62.2 (near Gordon Road overpass) for multi-vehicle crash with an overturned vehicle and reported entrapment. Upon arrival it appeared that everyone was out of their vehicles and there were no serious injuries. One vehicle was overturned on its roof and two other vehicles were damaged in the area. The injured were transported to local hospitals for treatment. No other information is available. The New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash.

Truck Burns On NJ Turnpike Between Exit 7 and Exit 7A

August 18, 2023

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Bordentown Township and Robbinsville Township Fire Departments responded to the New Jersey Turnpike at 12:34 a.m. for a truck fire between Exits 7 and 7A. A New Jersey State Trooper on scene at mile post 57 north bound inner roadway reported a truck well engulfed in fire. Firefighters arrived a short time later and extinguished the fire. No other information is available.

Multi-Vehicle Crash On NJ Turnpike Near Exit 7; Second Serious Crash Of Day In Chesterfield Twp.

August 16, 2023


SFC Philip Curry of the New Jersey State Police, Office of Public Information told that the crash occurred at 3:57 p.m. on the NJ Turnpike southbound on the inner roadway Mile Post 56.3 in Chesterfield.  Preliminary information indicated that 4 vehicles were involved in a crash with multiple roll-overs.  One minor non-life threatening injury was reported.

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–For the second time today there was a serious crash on the New Jersey Turnpike south bound this time involving both the inner and outer lanes in the area of mile post 56.3. The crash involving multiple vehicles happened around 4:00 p.m. about two miles north of Exit 7. The crash happened on the inner lanes and left two vehicles overturned and two other vehicles had severe damage.

Robbinsville Township, Bordentown Township, Chesterfield Township, NJ State Police and EMS all responded to mile post 56.3 south bound for a multiple vehicle crash with entrapment. The crash was found on the south bound side of the roadway, a small work type van and an overturned Jeep were in the left shoulder of the inner roadway. An SUV with heavy damage and an overturned pickup truck appeared to both break though the guiderails between the inner and outer roadways. There were no major injuries, and it was unclear if anyone was transported to the hospital.

The crash backed traffic up with a 5-mile delay all the way back to Exit 7A-Robbinsville-I-195.

Earlier this morning around 11:00 a.m. there was a serious truck crash on the right shoulder of the outer roadway.

It was unclear if there were additional vehicles involved in this afternoon’s crash. The New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash.

You can read the earlier story here:

Firefighters Extinguish Work Van Fire On New Jersey Turnpike

August 15, 2023

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–At 11:37 p.m. last night August 14, 2023, Hightstown Fire Company and Robbinsville Fire Department responded to a fully engulfed van fire on the NJ Turnpike south bound inner roadway by mile post 65 near Old York Road, South of Exit 8. Firefighters arrived and quickly extinguished the fire. The small work/utility type van that was said to be carrying HVAC Parts. The fire was completely extinguished in about 10 minutes. There was no information available about the cause of the fire. The New Jersey State Police is investigating.

Lucky To Be Alive as Tire Smashes Through Windshield and Roof of Car on NJ Turnpike in Robbinsville

August 11, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–NJ State Police, Robbinsville Fire Department and EMS were dispatched to the area of mile post 63 north bound inner roadway for a reported crash with extrication. Upon arrival it was reported that a loose tire crashed through the window and roof of a car that was traveling north bound and the crash was located on the shoulder of the inner roadway. The driver of the car was able to self-extricate and Robbinsville EMS treated for minor injuries and transported the person to a local hospital for treatment. The person was lucky to survive this crash with only minor injuries. The New Jersey State Police is investigating the incident.

8/12/2023 UPDATE from NJ State Police:

According to New Jersey State Police, Sergeant First Class, Philip Curry, the crash occurred at 2:56 p.m. on the NJ Turnpike, northbound on the inner roadway mile post 63.4 in Robbinsville. Preliminary information indicated that a wheel and tire became dislodged from a northbound traveling Nissan sedan.  The tire then struck the windshield and roof area of a northbound traveling Chevy Malibu.  The driver of the Chevy sustained minor non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital.