Feldmans Honored at Luncheon for Traffic Safety

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

L to R: Joel Feldman, Teresa Thomas (SJTSA), Charles Simonson (Ocean City, N.J. Police Dept) and Dianne Anderson (Feldman) at the luncheon

Casey’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman were recently recognized for their work with law enforcement officials and traffic safety experts to educate the public on pedestrian safety issues.

Casey's grandparents, Martin & Winnie Anderson at the awards luncheon

A luncheon was held on October 27 by the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance (SJTSA), and in addition to the Feldmans, 11 other individuals and organizations were honored for their contributions in the past two years.

The Feldmans helped to create “Casey’s Law”  which requires motorists to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks (See  Media Coverage 2010 – N.J. Pedestrian Law on the Memories website). They have also lent Casey’s image to be part of a pedestrian safety education and awareness campaign throughout South Jersey, as well as dedicated several pink remembrance trees to loved ones who were lost in traffic crashes. View photos from the awards luncheon.  To learn more about SJTSA, click here and to learn more about pink remembrance trees, click here.

Award recipients

Pink Tree in Cumberland County, N.J. to be Dedicated to Casey Feldman on July 16th

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Officials from the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance completing the finishing touches in preparation for the Millville tree dedication ceremony

On Friday, July 16, 2010  a pink tree will be dedicated to Casey in Millville, N.J. at 7:30 p.m. as part of the SJTSA’s summer safety campaign. Trees have already been dedicated in Sea Isle City, Salem, Northfield and Ocean City, N.J. While dedicated to Casey, the pink trees also stand as a memorial to all who have been killed in traffic accidents. The original inspiration came from the 325 year old Sycamore tree in the Feldman’s yard in Springfield, Pa. which was decorated with some 18,000 pink lights in December, 2009 as a tribute to Casey. Pink was Casey’s favorite color.

Teresa Thomas of the SJTSA decorating the Millville tree

The Feldmans and the SJTSA hope that the pink trees will ultimately become a nationwide memorial to traffic victims and a reminder to all to exercise caution as a driver or pedestrian.  The website, pinkremembrancetree.org, has been established where anyone can post a memorial tribute and photos of their loved one who was killed in a traffic accident.

Friday’s tree dedication will take place at Glasstown Park, East Pine and High Streets in Millville. The City of Millville has coordinated the tree dedication along with their Third Friday event which highlights the Millville river front and the art galleries and restaurants of the historic Glasstown District. In addition to the tree dedication, there are  a multitude of activities scheduled for this Friday’s event for all to enjoy.

Note: Photos from all of the tree lightings throughout the South Jersey counties will be featured in a future article. Click here to read the article about the Sea Isle City tree dedcation on May 1, 2010.  Click here to read about the original pink tree and  to view photos and news coverage.

Sea Isle City Dedicates Pink Remembrance Tree to Casey Feldman on May 1, 2010

Friday, May 14th, 2010

The Sea Isle City tree at dusk

The City of Sea Isle, along with the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance (SJTSA), dedicated a “Pink Remembrance Tree” to Casey Feldman as part of Sea Isle City’s Community Day, Saturday, May 1st at Noon in front of the police department on JFK Boulevard. Adorned with some 1400 pink lights, the tree is visible upon entering the island from the bridge and will be lit every night from dusk till 5:00 a.m. A plaque at the base of the tree is inscribed with Casey name and dates and serves as a memorial to all who have lost their lives in traffic accidents.

Mayor Len Desiderio said, “Mr. and. Mrs. Feldman have worked very hard to raise awareness to pedestrian safety and it is my privilege to honor the memory of their daughter in the hopes of keeping the residents and visitors of Sea Isle safe.” Speaking on behalf of the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance, Program Manager Teresa Thomas announced their summer safety campaign, stating that Casey’s story and photograph would play a prominent role in pedestrian and traffic safety in the region. “We are adding a human element which we hope reaches people enough that they start to drive more safely.”

The pink tree dedication in Sea Isle City also served as the kickoff for a nationwide effort to decorate trees with pink lights to stand as a memorial to those whose lives have been lost to traffic accidents and as a symbol of traffic safety.

Left to right: Dianne Anderson, Cape May Sheriff Gary Schaffer, Sea Isle Mayor and Cape May County Freeholder Len Desiderio, Joel Feldman, Cape May County Freeholder Ralph Sheets and Sea Isle Police Chief Tom Dintino

Also speaking at the ceremony were Sea Isle City Chief of Police Thomas D’Intino and Dianne Anderson, Casey’s mother.

Dianne Anderson took the opportunity to express her and Casey’s father Joel Feldman’s appreciation for the dedication of the tree in Sea Isle, stating that Sea Isle City was Casey’s home away home. Casey loved the shore and Sea Isle City in particular, where the family has owned a home for over 17 years. Casey was living in Sea Isle during the summer of 2009 and was struck in a crosswalk at an Ocean City intersection on July 17th. Casey wrote about the summer and Sea Isle City in high school essays and her mother took the opportunity to share Casey’s feelings in Casey’s own words by reading excerpts from one of those essays written when Casey was 16 years old:

Summer. Just saying the word, hits me with a barrage of senses. I can almost taste the word, like a half-melted cherry Popsicle on the 4th of July. Or hear it, the sound of the rushing ocean, the seagulls cawing, and crickets chirping, their call audible through the open window, their sound mixing with the whirring of the fan late one hot August night….

Ever since I can remember, we have had a shore house. I can’t remember a 4th of July that hasn’t taken place on the deck of our beach-front shore house in Sea Isle City, New Jersey….

As soon as my last final exam is finished on that thrilling day in mid- June, I’m already packing my bags for “the shore,” and, for the majority of the summer, I’ll call Sea Isle home….

Every day at the shore is special, and every second is a moment in time that I’ll commit to memory and forever cherish…. Summer has a sort of timeless quality, and even though the profound aspects of your life change, it almost seems like, in the summer, time stands still, and all the summer days of my memory merge into one….

Most people share this belief that summer is sort of the time to make memories. When middle-aged adults and parents reminisce about their youth, getting starry-eyed and talking about “the good ol’ days”, often you hear stories of wild nights at summer camp, crazy debacles at the beach, and summer romances…

I can picture myself, even though it makes me cringe to do so, in my forties. Although I have virtually no idea what direction my life will have taken, I know one thing: when life becomes more stressful than fun, and when I have more obligations than vacations, maybe I, too, will daydream about the “good ol’ days;” and those unforgettable summer nights at the beach.

 

Casey's parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles in front of the pink tree following the ceremony

[Note: View more photos from this tree dedication ceremony.  See ThinkSafetyCampaign.org and SJTSA.org for more information on the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance’s summer safety campaign featuring Casey. Visit PinkRemembranceTree.org to post and view memorials of Casey and others who died in traffic accidents.]

Mother Memorializes Loss of Daughter to Distracted Driver with LED Christmas Light Display

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

By Philip Curtis

Published March 2, 2010, HolidayLEDs.com

Dealing with the loss of a child is by all accounts is the most difficult tragedy a parent can ever face. I watched the terrible pain that my father and step-father endured when my little brother lost his life to sudden brain aneurysm. He died on his fifth birthday. People handle dealing with the loss of a loved-one in different ways. Some people keep a personal affect of their loved one; others build permanent memorials; and some develop foundations or engage in other charitable work in memory of their loved one. Because of the loss of my brother and watching the unbearable grief that my parents endured when my brother Robbie died so unexpectedly I feel great compassion for people I meet who have lost children.

This past holiday season we had a customer who purchased a large amount of pink LED Christmas lights which were to be used to wrap a large deciduous tree. We regularly ask our customers about how they are using the lights they purchase from us. I was particularly interested in this customer’s order because of the large amount of pink lights that were ordered. It is not uncommon for us to sell 100s of sets of white Christmas lights but no one had ever purchased this many pink Christmas lights from us in the past. We sell a fair amount of pink lights during the month of October as customers use them to show their support for breast cancer awareness month. However, this order was placed in December so my interest in this display was further peeked.

After assisting the customer with her order and learning a bit about her plans for the installation and display of the pink lights, I learned the lights were being used to honor the memory of Casey Feldman. During some email correspondence the customer emailed me the url of a website about Casey. I did not think much about it at the time because the customer’s last name was not Feldman. However, after the holiday season I received an email from the customer with pictures of the tree she had decorated in Casey’s honor. The tree look magnificent. I see a fair amount of light displays with LED Christmas lights and I have never seen a display that was as spectacular as this one. After marveling at the picture for a while, I responded to the customer’s email and asked for her permission to post it on our website. She kindly agreed and asked that we mention something about Casey.

I dug up my old email with the link that the customer had sent me to the website about Casey. I visited the website and learned that Casey Feldman was a young, intelligent and strikingly beautiful Fordham University journalism student who had been struck down and killed by a distracted driver while crossing the street. The story about this extraordinary young woman who had lost her life in such a senseless manner was heartbreaking. I responded to the customer’s email and shared my thoughts with her about what I learned about Casey and the tragedy that ended her life. I then asked the customer how she knew Casey. Casey was her daughter. I felt embarrassed that I did not asked about her relationship to Casey earlier.

I did not know Casey Feldman but her story and the efforts her mother and others who loved her have made to honor her memory are a true testament to the impact she must have had on those around her. One of the website’s established to honor Casey’s memory reads “Because of Casey, I will…” This short phrase was not lost on me. I thought about this phrase quite a bit over the following day and became aware of how frequently my attention to the road is diverted while I am driving. Casey Feldman’s story made me realize that one small distraction from a comparatively unimportant phone call or text message could result in the end of someone’s life. At the end of that day, I finished the phrase posted on Casey’s website. Because of Casey, I will no longer be distracted while driving.

While most people wouldn’t argue that driving while intoxicated is not safe, most people underestimate the dangers of driving while distracted. Here are some interesting statistics:

  • Distraction from using a cell phone while driving can slow your reaction time as much as having a blood alchohol level of .08.
  • Driver’s that use cell phones are 4 times more likely to get into serious accidents.
  • Distracted driving is a factor in 25% of reported crashes.
  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity that is associated with driving by 37%
  • Distracted driving is a serious problem:
      • Take a moment today and think about how much your attention is taken away from the road by your cell phone or anything else while you drive. It only takes a second for some silly distraction to end someone’s life.To learn more about Casey and what is being done in her memory and to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving please visit

    CaseyFeldman.com

        . See pictures, video, and news clips about the tree decorated in Casey’s honor please visit the

    Casey Feldman Smugmug page

      .

Casey Tree on Local News

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

The bright lights that lit up Springfield in pink have made their way to the local news! Three channels in the Philadelphia area covered “The Casey Tree” that was assembled at the Feldman home right before Christmas. Click here to view a compilation of the coverage.  NBC, ABC & FOX Philadelphia News – The Casey Tree

The Feldman family used some 19,000 pink lights to decorate their 300 year old sycamore tree in Casey's memory.

The Springfield Press and The News of Delaware County (12.30.09) “Her sparkling spirit remembered”

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

 

The Feldman family used some 19,000 pink lights to decorate their 300 year old sycamore tree in Casey's memory.

Published: December 30, 2009, Springfield Press and The News of Delaware County

With the help of local arborist Steve McFarland, Dianne Anderson has decorated an 80-foot-tall Sycamore with 19,000 pink lights. The lights are to memorialize the sparkling spirit of Anderson’s daughter Casey Feldman who lost her life last summer while crossing a street in Ocean City, N.J. McFarland of Aldan, and a former Longwood Gardens employee, used a piece of cherry picking equipment to decorate the 325-year-old, native Sycamore tree with pink lights, which was Feldman’s favorite color.  Four workers took helped in the project, which took three full days to complete The tree, on Ridge Lane in Springfield, is to remember Feldman, a Springfield High School graduate and a student at Fordham University, who loved Christmas.

Read the original article here.