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Riders of the Storm at Woodloch

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by J. Ranner

There's something to be admired about persistance in humans- not giving up on pursuing things that you desire, even if the odds aren't exactly in your favor. If we want something badly enough, we're willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Even outrunning the Storm of the Century.

Case in point- Ann Mirto and the Bethpage Senior Group. 

As Hurricane Sandy meandered up towards the Mid-Atlantic coast, businesses were closed and many were forced to evacuate. Even with all the craziness, Ann, the group's leader, was still determined to make it. She made the call around 5 AM on Monday, October 29th to Randy, their driver to pick them up and escort them to Woodloch. "I'll take my chances (with the weather)," said Ann. "When I say GO, we GO!" She was able to convice 16 of her friends to do the same.

The bus was among the last vehicles permitted through before city bridges were closed down. 

The "Bethpage 17" made it safe and sound to Woodloch. Though we had minor power outages across the region, our generators fired up and we had a somewhat normal (albeit breezy) midweek. "We enjoyed ourselves tremendously," says Mirto. In fact, the 17's kids made use of their vacated apartments in the storm's aftermath. Miraculously, their development was left mostly unscathed. In fact, many of their children and relatives retreated to their homes to escape the storm's wrath elsewhere. "We'll be back," said Ann. And I don't doubt her for a second. 

They even made commemorative shirts:

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While this is a warming tale of determination in the face of danger, Hurricane Sandy left a vey devestating path of destruction throughout the Northeast and many are still in the need of help. There are plenty of ways in which you can make a difference; contact the American Red Cross today to see how! 

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Woodloch Aids in Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by T. Compton

So many people are still suffering.

Nearly two weeks without power, heat or hot water, some Hurricane Sandy victims are being told electricity may not be restored until Thanksgiving or later still. Others left homeless are struggling to find a speck of normalcy in a world all but turned upside down.

Superstorm Sandy goes down in the books as "the largest Atlantic hurricane on record" and "the second costliest Atlantic hurricane in history, surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina." That's according to Wikipedia.

"The devastation is just beyond anything you can imagine," said one Woodloch caller. Knocked off foundations, homes have been swept a block away. Towns near the coast are covered in sand so much so that it looks like it snowed she said . . . which it did. The Nor'Easter that pelted an already battered area seems to be the straw that is breaking the camel's back. "It's freezing," the caller said.

So many of our Woodloch employees have family and friends who have been affected by this natural disaster. "My brother is in Farmingdale, NY. He had no power from Monday night, October 29, until this past Wednesday, November 7. They are doing okay but still struggling to get gas," said Melissa Latsch, Woodloch's Human Resources Generalist and International Staff Coordinator.

"I have many friends and family still without power. I'm heading down to New York this Saturday to help a friend in need. I wanted to get in my truck last week and pick my brother and my niece up and take them away from the chaos," Melissa said.

It's difficult to watch the coverage on TV, she said, knowing that so many are still hurting. "I can't watch the news. I break down every time it's on; to watch these people without a home or heat makes me tear just writing this. I fear for my family and friends," she said in an email.

Woodloch has rallied, reaching out to the community for donations for the devastated areas. The drives, which originally started with Christina Acquavella, an employee at Woodloch's sister property, The Lodge at Woodloch, have been picked up by Melissa and Marketing Director, Rory O`Fee, who have broadcasted the need throughout the resort and local community.

"So far we have collected men's, women's and children's clothing, shoes, coats, formula, mattresses, food (non-perishable), cleaning items, toys, and baby items," Melissa said.

There have been four distribution drives so far with additional drives planned in the near future. "Woodloch has been generous to allow us to use one of the bakery trucks" for transportation, she said. So far they've gone to Rockaway Beach, Breezy Point and Long Island in New York as well as Sea Bright, New Jersey.

Special items are still needed for Hurricane Sandy victims. Donations are being accepted at Woodloch's Human Resources office. Items most needed include:

  • Cleaning supplies (bleach, mops, buckets, rubber gloves, garbage bags etc.)
  • Flashlights, batteries, and paper products
  • Blankets, winter wear, socks
  • Dog & cat food
  • Items to keep children occupied (coloring books, pens/markers, small games etc.)
  • Baby formula, baby food, diapers, wipes
  • Non-perishable foods, water
  • Personal hygiene items (towels, washcloths, soap, anti-bacterial cleaner, toothbrush/paste, lotions etc.)

    **At this time, clothing is not needed.

In closing, Melissa extends the following sentiment: "A big thank you to everyone at Woodloch and in our community, especially those who have volunteered their time to drive."

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THANK YOU.

  
  
  
  
  
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~Shared by Tammy Compton

A huge "Thank You" to PPL and all of the private electrical contractors who are working so feverishly around-the-clock to restore power to the masses.

 

A heartfelt "hoorah" to the National Guard, to the volunteer and paid fire Departments, Rescue personnel, ambulance companies, and every single person who has extended the hand of help to neighbors and strangers alike.

 

You are all a big blessing.

 

"We can all be angels to one another. We can choose to obey the still small stirring within, the little whisper that says, 'Go. Ask. Reach out. Be an answer to someone's plea. You have a part to play. Have faith.' We can decide to risk that He is indeed there, watching, caring, cherishing us as we love and accept love. The world will be a better place for it. And wherever they are, the angels will dance." ~ by Author Joan Wester Anderson .

 

family reunions, class tripsHurricane Sandy didn't teach us to care about one another, she's just the impetus that brought us together.

 

You are all in our prayers.

 

Woodloch Pines CEO and owner John Kiesendahl shared the following words Wednesday morning. (Woodloch's power was fully restored Tuesday evening.)

To our friends and guests,

This historic storm has left a path of destruction across nearly a third of the United States, none more so than in the neighborhoods of our closest friends. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this catastrophe. We sincerely hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and sound.

Woodloch has been fortunate to have the storm pass us with minimal damage. As of this morning, our power has been fully restored and our team is working hard to clean up trees and debris across our property and the community. We are eager to return to a full schedule of fun activities and provide a warm, comfortable retreat for all.

These challenging times remind us how valuable and important family is. On behalf of the entire Woodloch family, we want you to know that we stand with you and look forward to brighter days ahead.

Sincerely,

John Kiesendahl & the Woodloch Family

 


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