Giving Back

Press Releases

1st Annual Gun Violence Awareness Game 'Shoot Hoops not Guns'

cf10411645731cc28e7a_IMG_1405.JPG
de49797976f8bb7fa840_IMG_1406.JPG
39310a91a1bab4523701_IMG_1407.JPG
8a54eef39cd70eba4fe1_IMG_1408.JPG
1e53c234323decfded3c_IMG_1410.JPG
cf10411645731cc28e7a_IMG_1405.JPG

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ  – Ashton Burrell, award-winning author, community leader and the founder of the LIVE Mentorship Program, held a Gun violence awareness basketball game called “Shoot Hoops Not Guns” on Thursday, June 15th at 7:00 p.m. at the Highland Park Middle School, located at 330 Wayne Street in Highland Park, NJ. Rita’s of Edison New Jersey sponsored the event by providing all the kids there with free Italian ices throughout the evening.

The event began with a moment of silence for all of the victims that were lost around the world to gun violence. There was a reading of names submitted to Ashton Burrell to be read aloud during the moment of silence. The moment of silence was followed by the actual game in which Ashton Burrell’s team faced off against the young men of his mentorship program which is called LIVE.

Burrell founded LIVE Mentorship Program in 2011 while a sophomore at Lincoln University in Oxford, PA. Burrell, well-known for his award-winning community involvement and commitment to helping young people to learn the skills needed to succeed in school and life, would travel two hours from Pennsylvania to his hometown of Highland Park, NJ each Thursday evening to mentor at-risk adolescents and young adults between the ages of 9 – 19.  Under Burrell’s leadership, Live Mentorship Program provides its members with the opportunity to participate in character-building service projects, such as food drives to help people in need, charity basketball games to collect canned goods for people in need, blanket drives to collect blankets for children in Malawi, Africa, and annual Charity Games to raise cancer awareness. The members of LIVE Mentorship Program even cooked meals for families at the Ronald McDonald House in New Brunswick, which provides families lodging when they travel to New Brunswick for pediatric medical care.

Sign Up for E-News

The game was packed with people of all races, ethnicities, and religions with one common goal to stop Gun violence and bring awareness to it. At half time the crowd heard from Highland Parks Mayor Gayle Brill-Mittler, NAACP New Brunswick Area President Bruce Morgan, Community leader Seshat Ali, and Brother Charles Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No.85. After half-time the second half of the game started. It ended with a great ending as Ashton Burrell’s team was victorious over his mentorship programs team 48-46.Every player wore the number 93 on the back of their jerseys to represent the amount of lives lost due to gun violence each day in this Nation. Even though the young men of LIVE lost to their mentor they were very good sports about the game shaking hands with each other saying “great game”.

LIVE Mentorship Program is successful in building leadership skills, self-confidence and a “can-do” attitude among its membership. In fact, 100% of all seniors who have gone through the Live Mentorship Program graduate high school.

“This event is so important I lost a childhood friend from Philadelphia to gun violence at a young age,” says Burrell, “Every day I watch the news and just see people losing their lives to gun violence and it breaks my heart!”

Burrell is also set to receive this years P.E.A.R.L.S Community Service Award on June 24th at the 16th Annual Maurice M. Williams Brunch at the Bridgewater Marriot. This award is given out each year to community leaders who have made significant contributions to making the Middlesex/Somerset county area a better place.

Burrell has also has his “Hometown Hero Club” clothing line designed to “change fashion and the lives of others as well!” A portion of the proceeds of each specially designed shirt goes toward helping a child’s future, and helping families in need to provide them with much-needed food for the holidays.

Ashton Burrell recently just graduated with his masters in business from the historical black college Lincoln University in Pa. This school has some great alumni from Thurgood Marshall to even Langston Hughes. Ashton Burrell is surely making his past to be mentioned amongst those great alumni as well.

To receive more information about the Gun Violence Awareness Game, or Ashton Burrell please contact Aburrellhp@gmail.com.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Franklin Republicans take part in Somerset County reorganization

June 17, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - The Franklin Township Republican Committee participated in a second meeting this week. On Monday night, June 11th, the Committee met for its own reorganization meeting. The very next night on Tuesday, June 12th several Committee members traveled to Hillsborough to meet at the Peter J. Biondi Municipal Building for the Somerset County reorganization.

Al Gaburo, who is a ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Hillsborough teacher charged with ‘sexual conduct’ with student

NEW BRUNSWICK - A Plainsboro man and tenured English teacher at Hillsboro High School was being held in the Middlesex County jail today on charges of having improper contact with a 17-year-old student that occurred over a period of five months, authorities said today.

Kenneth Shindle, 27, is charged with one count of engaging in sexual conduct that would impair or debauch the morals of the ...

$200K Police Settlement a 'Total Disgrace,' Reiner Says

RARITAN TWP., NJ – A recent TAPinto report that $200,000 was paid to a former township man after he filed a federal suit alleging excessive force by police here prompted a passionate defense of township police by Committeeman Louis Carl Reiner at last night’s Township Committee meeting.

The suit was filed by Dennis Shuman against the township Police Department and several of its ...

Raritan Twp. Paid $200K to Settle 'Excessive Force' Lawsuit

RARITAN TWP., NJ – The township has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle a lawsuit filed in federal court against its police.

The suit was filed by Dennis Shuman against the township Police Department and Patrol Officers D. S. Carson and Aaron Roth; Lt. Nicholas Buck; Sgt. Scott Lessig; and Police Chief Glenn Tabasko. It alleges assault and battery; negligence; emotional distress; abuse of ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

June 15, 2018

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Somerset County Employees' Health Center Opens in Somerville

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and officials from Integrity Health gathered for a June 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new health care facility on East Main Street.

The Somerset County Partnership Health Center (SCPHC) will serve as an on-site health, wellness and care coordination center for employees of Somerset County, the county park commission, the ...

Long May It Wave: Somerville Elks' Festival Salutes American Flag

SOMERVILLE, NJ The Somerville Elks are hosting their annual salute to America, patriotism and the American Flag  June 15 on the green adjacent to the historic Somerset County Courthouse on East Main Street, beginning at 5 p.m.

The Flag Day Country Music Festival features “Big Hix,” a country/western tribute cover band that takes the stage at 7 p.m. for a free 90-minute ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

June 15, 2018

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Somerset County Employees' Health Center Opens in Somerville

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and officials from Integrity Health gathered for a June 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new health care facility on East Main Street.

The Somerset County Partnership Health Center (SCPHC) will serve as an on-site health, wellness and care coordination center for employees of Somerset County, the county park commission, the ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...