The soup is returning to Long Beach Island, and so is Deb Whitcraft’s sanity.
Whitcraft is the founder, president and curator of the New Jersey Maritime Museum in Beach Haven, and for more than 20 years she has prepared and served soups of all kinds — from 16-bean to split-pea — from the sprawling museum’s seafoam-green lower level.
Superstorm Sandy washed out that lower level and swept away her commercial storage freezers and hundreds of containers of soup, she said. The soup-making was Whitcraft’s therapy, she said, but the kitchen has been closed since the Oct. 29 storm.
But Whitcraft was buoyant on Friday, a day after she learned that her operation was chosen — among 70 others in New York and New Jersey — to receive funding from the Robin Hood Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. The relief committee publicly announced on Friday that, in its second round of funding, it will hand out $9.6 million in grants to organizations in New York and New Jersey, including several in Monmouth and Ocean counties.
Whitcraft’s homespun operation will receive $15,000, allowing her to purchase a pair of new 49-cubic-foot freezers and a host of ingredients: dried beans, ham hocks, chuck meat, split peas and some others she is keeping classified.
“That is the only good news I have had in the last 90 days,” Whitcraft, who is also a volunteer EMT and a former mayor of Beach Haven, said of the Robin Hood announcement. “That’s a good start. My soup kitchen is back in action.”
The money will help kick-start other local rebuilding projects and feed into existing programs dedicated to Sandy relief.
Brookdale Community College, for example, will be able to help finance student recovery through its disaster relief fund. The Brookdale foundation has already distributed about $14,000 of the $15,000 it had raised after Sandy to about 65 students of the Middletown school, said Timothy P. Zeiss, the foundation’s executive director.
NJ MARITIME MUSEUM TO PARTICIPATE IN HERITAGE PRESERVATION'S
CONSERVATION ASSESSMENT PROGRAM
Beach Haven, NJ, 12/1/11 - Heritage Preservation is pleased to announce that the NJ Maritime Museum has been chosen to participate in the 2011 Conservation Assessment Program (CAP).The NJ Maritime Museum joins the 2,600 museums that have participated in CAP in its twenty-one year history of serving small museums.Heritage Preservation's CAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.CAP assists museums by providing funds for professional conservation and preservation specialists to identify the conservation needs of their collections and recommends ways to properly improve, preserve and exhibit these collections.Heritage Preservation's President, Lawrence L. Reger, praised the NJ Maritime Museum for"making the vital work of caring for New Jersey's maritime collections a priority of its institution, even in these challenging financial times, and helping ensure that they are available to present and future generations."
CAP provides a general conservation assessment of the museum's collections.A professional conservator will spend two days surveying the site and three days preparing a comprehensive report that will identify conservation priorities.The onsite consultation will enable the NJ Maritime Museum to evaluate its current collections care policies, procedures, and environmental conditions.The assessment report will help the museum make appropriate improvements for the immediate, mid-range, and long-range care of its collections.Through its participation in CAP, the NJ Maritime Museum expects to improve its existing collections, inspire the public's donation of additional maritime artifacts, and enhance its eligibility for much-needed grants.
The NJ Maritime Museum is located at 528 Dock Road in Beach Haven and specializes in the collection and exhibit of documents, shipwreck artifacts, photographs and memorabilia relative to New Jersey's rich maritime history.The facility is open year round and educational programs and guest presentations are scheduled monthly.To learn more about the NJ Maritime Museum, please visit www.NJMaritimeMuseum.org.
Heritage Preservation is a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States.By identifying risks, developing innovative programs, and providing broad public access to expert advice, Heritage Preservation assists museums, libraries, archives, historic preservation and other organizations, as well as individuals, in caring for our endangered heritage.To learn more about Heritage Preservation, please visit www.heritagepreservation.org.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge;enhance learning and innovation;and support professional development.To learn more about the Institute, please visit www.imls.gov.