Sandy response gets an A++ in Ventnor

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To the editor:

As we recover from Superstorm Sandy and its aftermath, I am amazed at the community of Ventnor and the people who came forward to assist. 

When we think of great leaders, people think of Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, and John Kennedy.  Since this experience, when I think of great leaders, I think of people like Mike Advena and Doug Biagi.

Before FEMA and the Red Cross had yet to arrive, there were two people who rallied others, made the phone calls and put in the time necessary to assist people who were in great need.  As Interim Superintendent of Ventnor, I was able to work with these two men and focus our school’s efforts on supporting the families and children of Ventnor who were struck the hardest.  Thank you Mike and Doug.

I also need to thank other great leaders who assisted in our four-day VECC Distribution Center.  First, the more than 30 students and former students who came out and greeted people with a smile, folded and sorted clothes, and helped distribute food.  These students, our future leaders, stepped up in a time of crisis.  Amazing. 

Second, I thank the majority of our school staff at the VECC for bringing food, supplies and clothes and then volunteering their time.  Working at the VECC is not just a job and our VECC staff proved that. They really “brought the heart.”

And finally, the amazing number of community members who came to the VECC and said “what can I do to help?”  Some of the volunteers had devastating losses themselves.  It was truly emotionally overwhelming.  My sincere thanks to everyone involved.

My mom used to say that you can really find out someone’s true colors when things are going bad.  If we were to judge this community by the content of its character in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, then I would give everyone an A++.

Rob Baker

Interim Superintendent

Ventnor Public Schools

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