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Elementary School Students Collaborate to Help Sandy Survivors

The impact of Superstorm Sandy on local families may have fallen off the radar of the national news media but not from the minds of some shore area school children.

Students learning the song Cross Town Roar from Patrick Shoreshot Whealan
West Belmar School students learning the song Cross Town Roar from Patrick Shoreshot Whealan (West Belmar School)

A desire to help has drawn elementary school students from the Emma Havens Young School in Brick and the West Belmar School in Wall Township’s together.

West Belmar School Principal Anthony Abeal says School Council Members approached him about helping local storm-affected families soon after Sandy but he says Wall Township didn’t sustain as much of an impact as other communities. He says a connection was drawn to the Emma Havens Young School in Brick where his son attends and mentioned that the school district had 90 families they wanted to help. That’s when Abeal reached out to school officials in Brick and the students began collaborating.

Abeal says Student Council Members from both schools used technology like Face Time on their I-pad tablets to hold brainstorming sessions after school and during lunch time on the types of fundraisers they wanted to hold.

West Belmar School student learning the song Cross Town Roar from Patrick Shoreshot Whealan (West Belmar School)
West Belmar School student learning the song Cross Town Roar from Patrick Shoreshot Whealan (West Belmar School)

He says “they came up with some really, really good ideas but the one that we settled on was to have like a family walk-a-thon and a food drive in the Spring and all the proceeds raised would go to the affected families in Brick Township and the kids with some of the money they raised they’re going to buy a couple of boards at the boardwalk in Belmar.”

He says there was even a contest to come up with a name for the event, that’s dubbed “The Crosstown Roar to Rebuild the Shore” and a T-Shirt is being designed for walk-a-thon participants.

Abeal says the fundraising efforts even has a theme song of sorts written by a local artist called “Sho Love (You Survived It)”. He says one of the teachers went to High School with the artist, Patrick Shoreshot Whelan and contacted him. Whelan’s been teaching the students his song and is also donating 100% of all online purchases of the tune to Holy Family St. Vincent de Paul in Union Beach.

Abeal says the Crosstown Roar walk-a-thon on June 1st, at the Emma Havens Young School, is open to the public.

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