Sunday, June 12, 2005
The Times, Trenton

By KIMBERLY VAN HAVERE

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP – Bristol-Myers Squibb is usually recognized for the advanced research and development inside its facility here, but yesterday the activity was outside on its perimeter – the opening of a 1.2-mile segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail.

As 24 2005 BMS Tour of Hope cyclists from all over the country relayed down Pennington Rocky-Hill Road, the public cheered the ribbon-cutting for the new pathway.

Children patiently warmed up their scooters as they waited for the trail to officially open for recreation, while local and out-of-state cyclists and nature lovers wore T-shirts supporting cancer research, reading “Join the tour, make the promise, feel the hope.”

“We are very pleased to be part of the effort to create a biking and walking path loop through Lawrence and Hopewell townships, anchored by three Bristol-Myers Squibb properties and the Educational Testing Service campus,” said Elliott Sigal, chief scientific officer for BMS.

“Here, within this beautifully rural community,” Sigal said, “some of the most exciting research discoveries offer opportunities to extend and enhance human life.” The trail, he noted, providing exercise and relaxation opportunities, echoes the BMS mission – improved wellness and enrichment of life.

Lou Fedele, vice president of facilities, spoke about the value the prospective 20-mile trail will provide for the public. “We know that every link that is added, we are getting closer to the day when residents of this area will enjoy a recreational sanctuary second to none.

“All of us are looking forward to recreational cyclists, commuters, joggers, walkers and nature lovers using our newest attraction,” Fedele said.

Hopewell Township Mayor Arlene Kemp marveled at the work put into the trail, calling it a “welcome addition to the community,” and talked about the goal of bonding local residents and providing more recreational activities.

“I’m honored to be here today to celebrate the eagerly awaited opening of the first leg of the Hopewell Township segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail,” Kemp said, “or as we in Hopewell refer to it, the Hopewell Lawrence Trail.”

For grants exceeding $200,000, applicants must match the funds provided with an equal sum from their own resources.

As Sigal cut the ribbon, the trail was opened to the public and the Tour of Hope team led the first ride through the campus. Team members included 12 survivors of cancer, and the rest have been touched by the disease in some way.

The group is about to begin a challenging cross-country ride under more stressful conditions and anxiously await the chance to bike with Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, also a cancer survivor.

Partners supporting the trail include N.J. Department of Environmental Protection, Lawrenceville Main Street, NJ DOT, St. Lawrence Rehabilitation, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed, Central Jersey Bicycle Club and many more.

Others, like Mary Ann Cavallaro, a nurse with Capital Health System, contributed to the health awareness atmosphere by performing brief health screenings. Ray Pental, a Hopewell Township Police detective who works for the child identity program, offered child safety fingerprinting.

©2005 The Times.