Students Plan Volunteer Efforts to Aid Hurricane Victims

EDISON — The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison has initiated various volunteer and fundraising efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The school’s cheerleading team will be selling ocean blue wristbands with “Restore the Shore” and “Jersey Strong” embossed on opposite sides. These wristbands are being sold for $5 each and the proceeds specifically will support Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts at the Jersey Shore. The wristbands can be purchased from the W-H cheerleaders, varsity cheerleading coach Tanda Tucker of Bernardsville, as well as at the main reception desk. The school’s address is 1295 Inman Avenue in North Edison.

“The cheerleaders always want to help other people who are less fortunate,” said Tucker, whose teams have participated in efforts to aid earthquake, tsunami and 9/11 victims in the past decade. “They’re compassionate for other people and they always want to do something.”

Brooke Sofield of Edison, the school’s assistant cheerleading coach, initiated the wristband idea and built a Facebook page to spread the word. Sofield and Tucker are a pair of Jersey girls who are very passionate about helping to restore the shore. Sofield’s parents and aunt own homes in Mantoloking and Tucker spends her summers in Manasquan.

“We really want to do something that is going to keep the proceeds here in New Jersey because our ties are in Jersey,” Sofield said. “We want to help people rebuild by giving back to those who suffered in New Jersey. We’ve always been down the shore. When you think of your shore memories, you think of places like Point Pleasant and Seaside. You have an emotional attachment.”

“We have so many wonderful memories from the shore and now so many things are gone,” Tucker added. “Our first priority is to help residents who lost their homes.”

Wristbands also may be purchased on the school’s website at Be sure to fill in all required fields including the amount ($5 each) next to Restore the Shore Wristbands. These wristbands will be available until Dec. 21.

“I cannot begin to express my gratitude to you and thousands of others who have selflessly offered their time and talents to help our neighbors and New Jerseyans in every corner of our state,” Gov. Chris Christie wrote in a letter to Rhona Eserner of Edison, Upper School Head.

Wardlaw-Hartridge also is running a blood drive in conjunction with New Jersey Blood Services on Monday, Nov. 12 in its Laidlaw Gymnasium. Several drives in recent weeks have been cancelled due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy and Wardlaw-Hartridge welcomes the community to participate from noon to 6 p.m.

In addition, a group of Wardlaw-Hartridge students and alumni will join faculty members and administrators at the Community Food Bank in Hillside to work a four-hour shift on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The school is also running separate drives to collect coats and food for the victims through the Hands of Hope in Edison.

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