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We want nothing less than to save the universe!
The Novins Planetarium has been part of the Ocean County community for over 32 years. Today, its doors are closed, the stars are out and the facility may remain closed forever . . . unless we stand together to change its fate.
This web site will bring you the latest information on our efforts to ensure the future of the planetarium, fundraising and the status of the planetarium. Check back frequently as the site is still growing and updated often.
Please be sure to sign our guestbook while visiting and let your voice be heard!
The Robert J. Novins Planetarium is located on the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River NJ, and has been part of the local community for over 32 years. In March 2006, the College announced their plans to close this educational resource due in part to state budget cuts and much needed repairs for the Planetarium's Minolta star projector.
Shortly after that announcement, the community began banding together through grass roots fundraising efforts, petitions, and through their presence at meetings of the Board of Trustees and Ocean County Freeholders. Not long after, those efforts were put on hold when the news broke that a major donor had stepped forward offering the College in excess of a million dollars to create a state-of-the-art, newly renovated planetarium for the students and people of Ocean County.
Sadly, that donation later turned out to be, in essence, a cruel hoax.
As a result of this, the planetarium doors closed in September 2006, and may remain closed forever unless the funds to save this wonderful resource can be raised.
The public has been vocal about its desire to see the Novins Planetarium remain open. Recently the Ocean County Freeholders voiced agreement that the planetarium was a valuable county resource and indicated that the College would soon announce a plan to save the facility. The following week, Ocean County College Trustees and Administration announced the start of a fundraising campaign to raise the funds needed to renovate and re-open the planetarium. Good news, indeed! But the work is not over. Funds still need to be raised and community support is still vital to the success of this project.
What Can be Done?
While few of us can step forward with a million dollars, many of us can step forward with smaller amounts to help support this effort. These smaller amounts do add up! As the story goes, "Many raindrops fill an ocean." The Save the Planetarium Fund was started by a number of community members who truly care about the future of the planetarium and are committed to its survival. To that end, we will be seeking both public and private individual donations, as well as corporate and group donations. These monies will be held in a third party bank account earmarked for the planetarium.
Our first fundraising program is the "I'm Helping to Save the Planetarium" t-shirt. These shirts prominently feature the image shown above of the Novins Planetarium star projector set against a star-filled background in the planetarium theater. These are available for a minimum donation of $15 each.
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