EDISON –Students, parents, teachers, administrators and alumni of The Wardlaw-Hartridge School community have contributed time, energy, monetary donations and other resources to help victims of Hurricane Sandy “restore the shore” since the super storm ravaged the New Jersey coastline.
It didn’t take long for Tanda Tucker of Bernardsville, an art teacher and cheerleading coach at the North Edison school, to spring into action. Tucker and assistant cheerleading coach Brooke Sofield of Edison began generating sales of ocean blue “Restore the Shore – Jersey Strong” bracelets. The school ran bake sales and members of the cheerleading team found other ways, including a weekend trip to Manasquan, to help the victims at the Jersey Shore.
Tucker eventually identified a charity to direct the donations – the Union Beach Fire Department. She realized that fire department of the small blue-collar community needed assistance in order to continue helping its people. The firemen themselves lost homes, cars and other personal items. Despite suffering these hardships, they continued to respond to calls from victims.
“Our team is truly inspired by the way the Union Beach Fire Department continues to help,” Tucker said. “By helping them, we are helping those who need their help. Sometimes we forget to help those who help because they never ask for it so I believe our team is really making a difference in the Union Beach community”
Wardlaw alumnus Peter Madsen of Westfield, an Emeritus Trustee of the school, got involved in the effort by donating cleaning supplies from his company, Madsen & Howell Industrial Supply Inc. Mr. Madsen provided three pallets of materials including buckets, mops, brooms, rubber gloves, bleach and laundry detergent to aid the cleanup. A group of cheerleaders, Coach Tucker, and Head of School Andrew Webster of Edison delivered the supplies and a check for $3,500 to the Union Beach Fire Department on Saturday, Dec. 15.
“It was an overwhelming experience,” Wardlaw-Hartridge senior Lorianna Carlucci of Edison said. “It was astonishing to see that so many families are still in need of so much help. It’s unbelievable that these people were affected so deeply by the hurricane, yet every one of us is back to our daily lives. It means so much that we were able to help these fire fighters, and hopefully Union Beach and all other affected areas will get the help they need to rebuild.”
“Saturday was a really moving experience on both sides of the spectrum, feeling good because of donating the check to the fire department and feeling bad seeing the destruction at the beach front,” classmate Nick Davis of Union said. “I’m really glad I went and what I saw on Saturday will stick with me for a long while.”