Deptford Township’s mayor and council sponsored a community and storm relief barbeque for families on Sept. 18 in Allen Park.
“The families affected by this disaster needed a short break from the hours of work they have put into getting their homes and lives back together,” Mayor Paul Medany said.
The barbeque included family friendly activities and kids were encouraged to participate in games and request balloon art from a professional artist who crafted crowns, animals and swords.
The food at the event was center stage, with barbeque favorites such as cheeseburgers and mac and cheese. Boy Scouts also served funnel cake to attendees and a Mr. Softee truck was funded by the mayor and his committee.
An important aspect of the barbeque though was the cause at hand. After the early September storm spawned by Hurricane Ida, Councilmen Bill Lamb and Ken Barnshaw led the effort to put together the barbecue.
“The event was to bring affected families together to share their experiences and to simply talk about this terrible weather event that nature brought to our doorsteps,” Medany explained.
Since the storm, Deptford Public Work crews have helped clean up the damage and the county sent in trucks and equipment to help with the clean-up procedures. Deptford Emergency Management did storm assessments and paperwork while aiding victims.
The Deptford Lowe’s store worked with council to distribute 300 buckets of supplies to those in need throughout the neighborhood immediately after the storm hit. More buckets were provided at the storm relief event, and consumer information was available regarding FEMA.
Medany notes that while events like the barbecue help with community bonding and support, “the effort is not done yet,” as the financial burdens that the storm caused are still very real.