White Haven, PA (November, 16, 2012) — The Eastern Winter Sports Reps Association (EWSRA) has established a fund through the organization Waves for Water to help colleagues who were severely affected by Hurricane Sandy in the Mid-Atlantic. Many association members, their families, and the retail accounts that they serve, were wiped out from Hurricane Sandy, losing their homes and businesses in New York and New Jersey.
Kerry O’Flaherty, a member of EWSRA who lives in Rockville Center, NY, is spearheading the fundraising effort along with the EWSRA office. 100 % of the funds generated will go to snow, outdoor, surf, skate and bike shops, reps and their families to help them rebuild. Donations can be made at www.wavesforwater.org/fundraiser/274 .
“It is heartbreaking and overwhelming”, said O’Flaherty. ”The task of cleaning up, discarding all of your belongings, every appliance, piece of furniture, flooring, walls and more is unimaginable for most, but the sad reality for almost all in NY and NJ. On top of that, some of our retailers have experienced the double hit of losing their businesses. These are OUR people. These are our reps, and retailers and their families. They are the lifeblood of our industry. We need to help our own through this very long process”.
The Waves for Water organization typically focuses on providing clean water to those who need it in disaster relief situations. Efforts generally are targeted in areas outside the U.S. In the aftermath of Sandy, the organization is providing clean water and also is addressing the initial survival needs from first responder assistance to rubble removal and ultimately the rebuilding of our surf and snow communities.
According to EWSRA Director Linda Irvin, EWSRA decided that setting up a fundraising effort with Waves for Water was the most effective way to immediately help colleagues in need.
“Winter is just around the corner”, she said. “Not only are our reps impacted with the impending weather that will bring cold and snow but they are also entering the busiest time of the year for their business. Many have lost their homes, some forever, and along with it, their business headquarters. Shops have sustained major damage, some losing everything. Their employees are facing their own challenges as they try to take care of their families and their homes and are unable to work.”