Area Democrats plan Kerry fund-raisers

Sunday event to feature former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey.

By: Jennifer Potash
   The presidential race will make a stop in the Princeton area with two upcoming fund-raisers for the presumptive Democratic nominee, U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
   A committee made up of Princeton-area residents will host one of the events on Sunday in support of Sen. Kerry’s presidential campaign featuring a talk by former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.).
   The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Princeton Township residence of Lynn and Bob Johnston. The event has a $500 minimum donation.
   Mr. Kerrey is a member the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9-11 Commission, the independent, bipartisan commission investigating causes of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
   Wendy Benchley, a Princeton Borough councilwoman and member of the fund-raising committee, said the committee is thrilled to have Mr. Kerrey at the fund-raiser.
   "He’s going all over the country trying to get John Kerry elected," she said.
   Sen. Kerrey is the president of New School University in New York City. He served in the U.S. Senate for 12 years and was a governor of Nebraska.
   The event aims to raise $100,000 for the Kerry campaign, Ms. Benchley said.
   Attracting contributions for Sen. Kerry may be a more difficult task after so many people contributed to another candidate’s campaign during the months leading up to the primary elections.
   "A lot of people gave money to (Howard) Dean," said Ms. Benchley.
   Dr. Dean, a physician and former governor of Vermont, ended his presidential campaign earlier this year. He made two appearances at Princeton fund-raisers for his campaign last year including one hosted at Ms. Benchley’s residence.
   For more information or to attend the Princeton event, call Stephanie Harris at (609) 466-0194.
   The other fund-raiser will be held a day earlier.
   Dana Reeve, the executive director of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, will be the featured speaker at the fund-raiser Saturday, hosted by Pam and Gary Mount at Terhune Orchards, Cold Soil Road, Lawrence.
   With her husband, Ms. Reeve is actively involved in the fight for more medical research funding, and is an advocate for rights of the disabled.
   Mr. Reeve, who grew up in Princeton and is a graduate of Princeton Day School, sustained a physically disabling spinal cord injury in a horseback riding accident in May 1995.
   In addition to serving on the board of The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Ms. Reeve serves on many other boards, is an active public speaker and volunteers for many local and global causes.
   She is also an actress and singer and appeared in roles in Broadway and off-Broadway productions as well in television shows and films.
   The fund-raiser for Sen. Kerry featuring Ms. Reeve will run from 5 to 8 p.m.
   The Terhune Orchards event is also aimed at families with lots of kid-friendly activities including pony and wagon rides, games and readings by local children’s authors.
   To give kids a voice in the election process, a simulated voting booth, created by Joanne Reilly, co-owner of Sweety Peety’s in Trenton, will let young voters cast a ballot for the candidates Donkey and Elephant.
   Tickets for the Terhune Orchards event cost $35 per person or $50 per family.
   The event is sponsored by the Mercer County Chapter of the New Jersey Democratic Federation. Interested participants may make reservations by donating in advance at or calling Blanche Brann (609) 620-0450 or Paula Sollami Covello at (609) 896-5999.