Last Friday at the OEM depot next to Land O'Pines School a tractor-trailer finished a 12 hour trip from Michigan with more than 11 tons of food sent to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The trip all started thanks to Jack Aronson, the owner and founder of Garden State Fresh Gourmet and local business owner Dean Bach who supplied and helped collectthe food. Working with Andrew Wurm of the Ferndale Michigan Police Department and the head of security at the company Wurm said the relief effort came together quickly. "Anytime anybody has somebody that needs something he's the first one to step up," he said of Aronson.
Wurm said an hour after Aronson made the call looking for supplies they already had enough food and water to load up the truck. The next step was to find a location to bring it to the east coast.
That was where Sgt. Joe Markulic of the Howell Police Department came in. Wurm and Markulic play in a nationwide police softball league and the Michigan officer said after a few phone calls he found his familiar opponent. The two worked together to get the supplies where they were needed most. "Within an hour we had it all lined up and within two hours we were on the road," Wurm said.
One of the people helping to distribute the palettes of food was Sgt. Chris Hill of the Howell Police Department and the Police Athletic League. Hill said the food would be delivered "to everybody that needs it." He added, "It doesn't have to be any specific group, it's the people that are in need."
Helping people in need is nothing new for the PAL members as they have travelled all over the country in emergency situations. "That's what we do here in PAL and what we do in Howell Township. We look out for our own and we look out for others."
For his part Markulic said he was glad to be part of such an extended effort to help people affected by one of the worst storms to hit our area in recent memory. "In the time of need that's what it's all about," he said of Wurm's help.
The competition on the field may be fierce but Markulic said when the game is done they are all on the same team. "It's competitive on the field but when there's a crisis or someone is in need we usually all join together and help each other out."