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Lynch gives a ‘whoop’ Seeking unique donations for Sandy victims
By: ROCHELLE A. SHENK Review Correspondent, Staff Writer
The Seaside Heights area of New Jersey is near and dear to Dee Lynch’s heart.
That’s why she’s mounting an effort to collect items for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
"Hurricane Sandy struck in late October, but people in New Jersey are still trying to clean up," Lynch said.
The retired Ephrata High School special education teacher is seeking donations of boxed Valentine’s Day cards for children to share with their friends; cards of encouragement for victims of this devastating hurricane — many of whom are still dealing with the aftermath; and individually wrapped whoopie pies.
"People in Ephrata really reach out to people in need. After 9-11, the community donated over 1,000 Teddy bears to help comfort people in New York City. After Hurricane Katrina, over 1,000 Teddy bears were collected during the Ephrata Fair to help comfort people that were affected by that disaster," Lynch said.
She’s hoping that the community will once again reach out to people in need. In addition to the cards, her goal is to collect 500 whoopie pies, and although she would prefer if they were individually wrapped, unwrapped ones will also be accepted.
"Whoopie pies are associated with Lancaster County. I’m sure people who were affected by Hurricane Sandy need a lot of things, but every now and then you need a little treat, especially when you’re faced with challenges," Lynch said.
Donations of the boxed Valentine cards, cards of encouragement and the whoopie pies, will be collected from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., February 6-8. Boxes will be placed in the lobby of the Ephrata Review; in the lobby of Blue Ridge Cable, 804 Academy Heights Ave; and OMPH (Our Mother of Perpetual Help), 320 Church Ave. Lynch plans to deliver the donated items to the Salvation Army in Ortley Beach on Feb. 10.
A native of Dover, NJ, Lynch’s connection to the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy is three-fold. She has fond memories of spending two summer vacations (1960 and 1961) at the beach of Lavallette (on the Barnegat Peninsula near Seaside Heights) with her aunt, Mary DeLorenzo, who is now 92-years old and still lives in Dover.
In 1962 as a freshman at Albright College, she made a lifelong friend in Judy Storch. The two visited each other frequently and that friendship has grown to include Judy’s husband, Bob. Lynch said that the first floor of the Storch’s home in Lavallette was engulfed by flood waters from Hurricane Sandy for nine days, and they were evacuated from the area. The couple is living elsewhere while they await repairs to their home and for infrastructure to be restored in the area.
Lynch’s friends Ed and Jan Angster live in Toms River, NJ, and Ed is involved with the Salvation Army.
"We were spared during Hurricane Sandy, but New Jersey wasn’t. I wanted to do something in honor of my relatives and friends in New Jersey that would help people who were affected by Sandy," Lynch said.
She explained that her first thought was to coordinate an effort to assist people in Lavallette. However, she was told by Ed Angster that that area is virtually inaccessible, so he contacted the American Red Cross, who suggested the Salvation Army headquarters in Ortley Beach as a place to deliver the items she’s collecting.
While this area had only minimal damage from Hurricane Sandy, parts of the county were ravaged by Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011. Lynch’s daughter, Deborah, was one of many Manheim residents whose home was damaged by flooding.
"A lot of people volunteered to help Deborah, and that help really meant a lot to us. We want to pay it forward and help others," Lynch explained. Deborah is one of the volunteers who is lending a hand in this Valentine’s Day effort.
For further information about or to volunteer or donate to this project, contact Dee at 733-7372. More LYNCH, page A6