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Since state-mandated shutdowns, stories of suffering businesses have been prevalent, prompting communities to rally together to help.
Last week, the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce announced it made grants to ten local businesses through its Hardship Fund. While doing so, it also praised the support from future leaders planning to graduate high school later in June.
Bethlehem Central High School’s senior class donated $4,000 towards the chamber’s fund. The money was raised during the Homecoming Dance and through spirit wear sales.
“The district’s mission is built around four core values: academics, character, community and wellness,” said Superintendent Jody Monroe. “This class has consistently demonstrated that they have embraced all four, and most memorably, in the way they giving back to others and supporting their community.”
The class’s generosity also extended to the South End Children’s Cafe, to which the class’ Senior Councils donated $6,000.
“The class of 2020 continues to amaze me with their selfless acts and understanding of what is truly important,” said high school principal David Doemel. “They are models for us all and deserve to be celebrated for all they have done in their time at BCHS.”
Class president Taylor Roddy explained how the extraordinary events of the past few months have changed plans for everyone in the community. Because her classmates were not able to use the funds for traditional end-of-year celebrations such as their senior ball, she said they looked to how they could help the community.
“These are the same businesses that have supported our Turkey Trots and athletic competitions, fundraisers and small clubs,” Taylor said. “By donating to the Chamber’s fund, we are showing a token of our appreciation for their generosity and services that they have provided us. The Hardship Fund is a reminder that our small, local businesses need us just as much as we need them.”
For more information about the Hardship Fund grant program or to apply visit https://www.bethlehemchamber.com/ or call 518-439-0512.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.