The Whitehall Coplay School Board spent the majority of their brief meeting on Monday night honoring the students and faculty at Steckel Elementary. The principal of Steckel, Glenn Noack, showed a video highlighting a collection drive that was held at the school to benefit those affected by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. The collection has been named “Reach the Beach”.
“At Steckel, we empower driven people and then get out of the way,” said Noack.
He continued by saying that the idea of “Reach the Beach” came from his secretary, Michelle Corey, just after the storm hit. She organized a collection at Steckel and each of the other schools in the District was contacted to participate. Each school in the District donated to the collection as well as some School Board Members, local businesses, and other School Districts such as Northwestern Lehigh.
Last Friday, volunteers stayed after school to help load all of the organized supplies into 10 cars and two U-Haul trucks. The cars left from Whitehall High School early Saturday morning and visited four towns in New Jersey to deliver the supplies. The volunteers started their trip at Red Bank, and then moved to Belmar, and finished the day by visiting Neptune City and Bradley Beach. All of the donations collected by Steckel were handed out in each town at specified Hurricane Relief points because the volunteers were not allowed near the coastline.
Noack mentioned that this collection began as a Facebook event and that is how Corey was able to make connections to the towns that needed the supplies in New Jersey.
“Without Facebook and social media, I don’t know how those affected would be able to communicate with no power,” said Noack.
In the spirit of giving, Superintendent Jack Corby mentioned another group that was collecting supplies for victims of the storm. Whitehall Alum and Freshman Football Dan Caffrey and his father, Tim, collected toiletries and supplies from both the Whitehall Freshman Football Team as well as the Northampton Freshman Football Team. The captains recently drove all of the supplies to New Jersey to towns in need.