The arrival of Hurricane Sandy had some people more excited than nervous. Pictured is Jon Sachar and a surfing pal. Aleksey Moryakov
Helping Our Neighbors
IN 2003, Beverly Carr’s house burned down. With the help of her Cape May neighbors, she was able to get back on her feet. She would never forget that kindness. “I believe you pay it forward,” Beverly said this week. “My neighbors helped me, and now it’s my time to help someone else.” After hearing about the Jersey towns devastated by Hurricane Sandy, she acted quickly. With $400 of her own money, and a check for $1000 donated by her sister-in-law, Beverly went shopping. At the Dollar Tree in North Cape May, she bought cleaning supplies, personal hygiene products, toiletries, flashlights, can openers, 200 pounds of dog food, T-shirts, gum, dehumidifiers, candles, lighters, and much more. “I would pass items that I hadn’t included on my list but thought would come in handy. When you have nothing, like these people, every little thing helps.”
During the shopping spree, a stranger gave Beverly another $100 to put towards her purchases. And on Sunday, November 4, she drove these supplies up to the Island Heights Fire Station, where they will be of great help to those who are in need. “Yes, Cape May cares,” Beverly posted on Facebook the day before her trip. “As does the other areas in this region of the state.”
“Bottom line: It could have been us.” This is what Mary Hinchcliffe of Off the Hook Bait and Tackle told us when asked why she and her husband Chuck felt the need to get involved in relief efforts. A customer from their store had started accepting donations out of his garage, and when Mary found out about it, she offered her assistance, and donations started being brought to the store. Mary got in touch with a man named Tom Wolfe, owner of Jersey Coast Bait and Tackle in Brick, which was badly hit by Sandy. Tom agreed to distribute Mary’s donations to individual families and local churches. On Saturday, Chuck and Mary sent five trucks and a landscape trailer filled with necessities to Tom’s shop. “I was told to expect a good load, but it was three times more than my greatest expectations!” Tom wrote in a post on the fishing forum BassBarn. “To have people from 1-2 hours away take their valuable time collecting and delivering this stuff has restored my faith in humanity.”
Mary hopes to expand their “grassroots effort.” She is in touch with local businesses that have agreed to help out if needed. Keith Laudeman, owner of the Lobster House, has offered to drive the supplies up north in one of his trucks if donations keep pouring in as fast as they are. Mary told us that the trucks left at 10:30am on Saturday, yet her garage was once again packed by 12:30pm. “That’s how fast this stuff is coming in,” she said.
Donations will be accepted for as long as the distressed communities need them. If you would like to donate, send your unneeded clothes, baby wipes, shovels, snacks, cleaning supplies, canned goods, pet food, and more to Off the Hook Bait and Tackle at Hinch Marina, at 989 Ocean Drive. Call (609) 884-0444 for a full list of wanted supplies.
The Exit Zero Facebook page also provided a call to action. Inspired by the messages that quickly appeared on our page, regular reader Courtney Poole spearheaded yet another local relief operation, which she called Cape May Donates. Anyone who had leftover supplies, or were willing to go out and buy new supplies could donate these to one of four drop-off sites: West Cape May and Cape May fire departments, Villas Liquors, and Whale’s Tale. She began her efforts by calling emergency management offices in Point Pleasant and Seaside Heights, to find out what supplies were needed most. When no one answered her calls, she began calling police stations, VFWs, fire departments — anyone who could give her some information. The police informed Poole that these areas did in fact need supplies, but there was just no place to put it, since there were still no shelters in those areas. So where were all the people? “They have no idea where these people currently are,” Courtney answered.
Because of this, the first donation had to be given to a community with an open shelter. On Saturday, volunteers Sarah and Lynn Jefferis, Annie Mullock, Connor Kelly, and Lesley Finneran of Whale’s Tale met up with Courtney to help box and load supplies at the West Cape May fire department. Karen Fox and John Schneider made care packages for hurricane victims. Drivers including Danielle and Paul Beerley, Dave Wilburn, and Bob Elwell Sr drove to shelters in Bellmawr and Tom River in four separate trucks, all filled with food and other supplies. Courtney will continue accepting donations for weeks to come, as more shore communities begin to open shelters for those in need.
She specifically thanked a few people for their help with Cape May Donates. Lesley Finneran of Whale’s Tale has helped with the organization that goes into a project of this magnitude. Tracy O’Quin of Villas Liquors and Jerry Inderwies and Bob Elwell Jr of Cape May Fire Department have been kind enough to offer drop-off sites.
Carol Brunner, who lives in Delaware County and is a self-described “shlocal” (a shoobie and a local rolled up into one) started a group called Operation Shoobie. “My parents owned a house in Townbank, which I’ve since inherited. Cape May is where I have childhood memories; it’s where I now spend my summers, and sometimes my winters. I just felt like I had to help out in some way.” She has been asking for donations though churches in Delaware County, and driving them up to Cape May. From there, Operation Shoobie and Cape May Donates combine into a single effort, and all donations are sent up to the shelters in Toms River and Bellmawr. Courtney Poole commented on the sheer size of Operation Shoobie. “I was floored by how much stuff Carol brought. It was three times bigger than I expected.”
WE RECEIVE an exceptional amount of travel photos from our dedicated readers taken all over the world, and we love all of them. But we love the ones with the highest quality the most. Unfortunately, there’s a plethora of pixelation happening here. So we’ve decided to save you from yourselves. Here are some tips we gathered from talented Exit Zero photographer, Aleksey Moryakov. Okay, so we pulled them out of him… he’s a better photographer than he is teacher…
1. Include Exit Zero in your picture. We’d rather not Photoshop our publication into a shot. And for Pete’s sake, don’t hold it upside down!
2. The difference between a good photo and a poor one often comes down to lighting. Early evening and early morning produce the best natural light. And some things are just better real… breasts, butter, lighting, etc. Make sure the sun is shining on your subject, not behind them.
3. Split your shot into thirds. Say, for example, you wanted to take a picture of the setting sun at Sunset Beach. A bad photograph would have the horizon directly down the middle. A good photograph would consist of the beach, then the water, and then the sky, thus splitting your picture into thirds.
4. Focus on your subject — in this case, Exit Zero and the person or people holding it. We want to see your lovely faces more clearly than that palm tree behind you!
5. Keep it steady. Most vacationers are unwilling to drag a tripod along for vacation, with good reason. But you can turn yourself into a tripod! All you have to do is spread your legs wide. If this method doesn’t work for you, try leaning against a tree or pole to steady yourself. And if you’re the DP (designated photographer) at the bar, limit yourself to five. After that, you’re pictures become as blurry as your vision.
6. Know when to use flash. We all know that it’s necessary at night, but there are other times flash is a useful tool. If your subject is wearing a baseball hat, for example, the flash will help erase the shadow over her eyes. A flash can also help bring out shadows on extremely sunny days. Just remember not to overdo it; that can lead to red-eye.
7. Please don’t send pictures of yourself at the Cape May Court House Wawa. We’re glad you’re getting out, but we don’t really consider that“traveling.”
8. If you’ve tried all of our tips to no avail, then just ask a passerby to take the picture for you. We recommend that you quickly assess the person before asking them to hold an expensive camera or phone. People who are in groups, especially families, will be the most willing, and least likely to run off with your equipment.
9. Email it! We’d rather get an electronic version that a hard-copy one… if we spend all of our time scanning, we can’t produce this peppy periodical. Send your shots to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, and be sure to include the location, and the names of all the people in your picture. And we LOVE hearing little stories about your trip. Perhaps you saw a lion on your African safari! Perhaps you stepped on a sea urchin in Puerto Rico! Perhaps you got airsick and threw up the whole way to Abu Dhabi! Perhaps you lost your passport and had to ride a tugboat to Turkey! We’re in the story-telling business, so let us hear them!
10. Remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid photo. (Photographers are a different story.) So try your hand at our new vacation photo contest. If we like your photo the best, at the end of the month, we’ll send you a free Exit Zero T-shirt. Just be sure to include your address in your email to us. Happy traveling, and good luck!
A Legend Runs On
ON AUGUST 11 of 2011, Cape May suffered a terrible loss — the passing of 48-year-old Gene Sole, who’d been struggling with cancer for three years.
As an educator, the principal of Richard M. Teitelman Middle School, Gene inspired the best from his students. “He disciplined in such a way that kids sought his guidance,” one colleague told us after his passing. “During our Christmas show, he would get on stage and sing in front of 800 kids,” said another. “A man’s man with a gentle soul,” said a third.
Gene and his wife Betsy (née Craig) raised two boys, Jackson and Tyler, who have become respected members of the community. Under his seven-year leadership as Scoutmaster for Cub Scout Troop 73, a record 13 boys earned Eagle Scout status, he served as treasurer for the Cape May County Republican Party, and he volunteered with the Cape May City fire department. Gene served his country as well, completing two tours in Iraq as a Marine. His loyalty, his passion, and his ability to bring out the leader in those around him (and possibly his affinity for impersonating Elivs) earned him the nickname Soleman.
In honor of Gene, and in order to raise money for the scholarship fund in his name, the Soleman Run for Character 5k and mile fun walk will take place at the Cape May Convention Center on November 10 at 9am (registration begins at 7:45).
In 2012, two $5,000 scholarships were awarded to local kids (Shannon Rose and Matt McGaffney) who, like Gene, display the kind of character that brings out the best in others. Come out, and support a great cause.