Hurricane Update, Saturday, 9/2

Dear STE Community,

Today volunteers were able to come to campus for the first time for a workday. It was a last minute event, as Servpro had accomplished more in its first day than we had anticipated, but this is a welcome problem for us to have. Despite the short notice, we had numerous parents, alumni, parishioners, students, and friends help our faculty pack boxes of salvaged materials and move them to temporary storage locations in our Upper School building, which was undamaged in the storm. It was truly overwhelming to see so many of you give your time and energy to help us.

During the day, our Director of Advancement Vernon King spoke to our volunteers about our need to raise $650,000 to address the immediate needs on campus. He asked us all to help spread the word about so that we could raise $10,000 during the workday. We surpassed that amount by raising $34,000 in an hour. Today we also got word that STE parent Eric Langan will match donations made Monday through Friday of next week, up to $250,000. Combined with the $173,600 in gifts and pledges we have already acquired, the gifts made next week will give us a substantial push toward our short-term fundraising goal. Please help us spread the word about this matching opportunity to everyone you know, as well as on social media.

We have also learned that we must delay the return to school start date for our Preschool. Earlier today we notified our Preschool families that their new start date will be Monday, September 11. Numerous factors led us to make this decision, including the fact that current work on campus has limited the areas for outdoor play and damage to the gym floor has made it unusable as an alternative play area. Further, many of our Preschool staff have been affected by the delayed start of public school districts, and we want to ensure that they are able to care for their families. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our Preschool families.

We are continuing to work with FEMA and our insurance company with respect to our damaged buildings. In the meantime, Servpro has done a remarkable job with removing damaged furniture and other items. Our school leadership has also been hard at work ironing out details for our K-Bridge through 12th grade students’ return to campus. For parents in these grades, we have enlisted the help of our room parents in collecting questions about the transition period. Please keep an eye out for communication from them, and feel free to send them your questions. We will use these to create an FAQ document that we will share with you.

We hope to see you Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. service outside the main church doors. A nursery will be available for children two years and younger, and afterwards your whole family is invited to join us for lunch and tours of the campus.

May God continue to bless our community.

Michael F. Cusack, Jr.

(The Rev’d) David O. Browder