May 31, 2008

Bon Jovi, Sambora thank kids for effort

By PAULA SCULLY
Staff Writer

LITTLE EGG HARBOR — State Sen. Raymond Lesniak will present a letter from rock stars Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora of the band Bon Jovi to students from Pinelands Regional Junior High on June 5.

The letter will be presented in gratitude and support for the campaign the junior high school students have initiated throughout the state to establish Bon Jovi's song, "Who Says You Can't Go Home," as New Jersey's official state song.

The presentation will take place at 11 a.m. in the Senate Chambers at the State House.

Lesniak, D-Union, and the civics class students worked together and the bill proposing the state song, is now in committee.

"We're excited," said teacher Jane Hall. "We've been campaigning for two years, collecting petitions in support of the Bon Jovi song. New Jersey was the only state in the nation that doesn't have a state song.

She added that a Pinelands student noticed three years ago that New Jersey does not have a state song.

At the time, "Who Says You Can't Go Home" was being broadcast in Jersey Shore tourism promotions and the students thought the upbeat song was perfect for the state.

The students wrote a proposal to their Ninth District state legislators, urging that the song be named as the state song. The legislators spoke to the students.

Lesniak, who had the same idea in mind that the Bon Jovi song would make a perfect state song, went to Pinelands Regional Junior High school two years ago to meet the students.

He presented the petitions and information the students had collected to Jon Bon Jovi and Sambora. The bill to make the song the state song is now in committee.

"(Jon) Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora wrote them a nice letter thanking them," Hall said.

She said the educators at Pinelands Regional School District are very proud of the students for what they have accomplished and the students are very excited about the upcoming presentation and letter.

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