Eagle Ambassadors, Inc. - Thousands of Dollars Raised to Benefit Hurricane Harvey Victims

Thousands of Dollars Raised to Benefit Hurricane Harvey Victims

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From The Lock Haven Express

WINGATE — One of the flags in front of Bald Eagle Area High School proclaims, “BE A Kind Person.” BEA had a chance to emulate that virtue two weeks ago.

Elaine Winger of Texas taught in Bald Eagle Area School District until 2016, when she moved back home, to the Houston area. During her 11 years as a gifted special education teacher at BEA, she traveled throughout all the schools in the district, and was always helpful and caring to students and staff alike.

So it was only natural BEA would look to offer Winger any help she may need after Hurricane Harvey brought devastation to Houston. Within days after the hurricane’s landfall in late August, a number of Winger’s former colleagues at BEA High School contacted high school Principal Jack Tobias about the possibility of helping her – and her school – in any way they could.

Tobias immediately called Winger and found out she was safe and her home had been spared. However, some of her co-workers and students at her current school, Fiest Elementary, were not as lucky.

Fiest is part of the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District, the third largest school district in Texas.

BEA School District decided to “adopt” Winger’s school and quickly organized a Jeans Day and a Hats for Houston Day. The local school district also posted a donation bucket at the entrance gate at the Philipsburg-Osceola vs. Bald Eagle Area home football game Friday night. The donation bucket alone raised $264. The BEA 1st and 10 Club added another $197.50 by donating its share of the 50/50.

Winger said BEA’s offer to help “was an awesome gesture that filled my heart with pride.” She added, “People that I have not seen in over a year were calling to help. People that I don’t even know were willing to donate to help my students. Strangers at a football game put donations into a basket to help people they have never met.”

In addition to the above donations, the Jeans Day at the high school/middle school and four elementary schools raised $1,975; Hats for Houston (permitted to wear a hat during school for $1) earned $313; and various community members donated $250.

In just one day, $3,000 was raised to help out Winger’s school.

Tobias said, “I am very blessed to work in a truly amazing school community. The BEA faculty, staff, students and community never cease to amaze me with their open hearts and generosity when it comes to helping those in need.”

Fiest Elementary finally opened, on Sept. 11 — a full two weeks past the normal start of school. Although the physical building did not sustain much damage, Winger says the emotional and physical toll the storm had on the staff and students will be shared in the days to come. Some of them have been displaced from their homes. Some have lost everything.

“The storm was long-lasting and its effects will be long-lasting as well,” Winger related. “While the cleanup efforts continue, the acts of heroism and volunteerism continue to amaze me.”

With heartfelt gratitude, Winger added, “I will make sure the donations from Bald Eagle Area will be used to help those in need at my school. A great big thanks to BEA.”