Printed in The Bridgeton News and on NJ.com :
Millville remembers Casey Feldman with Pink Tree Lighting
Published: Friday, July 16, 2010, 9:54 PM; By Anthony Bellano
MILLVILLE — Dianne Anderson stood in front of the Glasstown Plaza Friday night with a microphone in her hand and tears welling up in her eyes, looking at the tree that had just been lit for her late daughter.
“(Saturday) is the one-year anniversary of my daughter’s death,” Anderson told a group that had gathered to remember the late Casey Feldman, who was hit by a car while crossing a cross walk in Ocean City last summer. “ … She was a few steps away. Another couple of seconds and she would still be with us.”
The 21-year-old Feldman was a Journalism major at Fordham University. It was her final summer before graduation; before she would realize her hopes and dreams.
“Writing was her passion,” said Anderson, a long-time Cumberland County resident. “She was smart, conscientious, hard working, and she had a spirit, an energy. She was kind, compassionate, and she cared about the world. She volunteered at a no-kill animal shelter and she wrote about what she cared about. She made a difference, and she gives us hope and inspiration because we know her spirit continues to make a difference.”
Feldman was on her way to work at Bob’s Grill on the day she would pay the ultimate price for a driver’s momentary distraction.
“The driver was getting an iced tea out of the passenger side compartment from the driver’s seat,” Anderson said. “We certainly don’t blame her, but we can only assume the only thing she did wrong was she didn’t make eye contact with the driver. If she had, she would’ve seen he wasn’t paying attention.”
To remember the tragic day they lost their daughter, Anderson and her husband, Casey’s father, Joel Feldman were in attendance for the lighting of a “Pink Remembrance Tree,” which serves as a memorial to anyone killed in motor vehicle crashes in Cumberland, Atlantic, Cape May and Salem counties.
Pink was Casey Feldman’s favorite color.
Groups of people were wearing pink shirts, reading “I brake for pedestrians” on the front and “Brake for me. www.caseyfeldman.com” on the back. Mike Tulio of the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance hosted the event. Brief speeches were made by Commissioner Dave Vanaman, Millville Lt. Wayne Smith, Cumberland County Sheriff Robert Austino, and Freeholder Nelson Thompson.
Prosecutor Rita Carr-Volpe lit the lights on the tree and made a few comments.
“I’d like to commend you for what you’re doing,” she told Anderson and Joel Feldman. “Often times, the families are left with a void, and they don’t know what to do. What you’re doing is absolutely wonderful.”