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Gresham students, Jazzy Bagels support hurricane survivors

Jazzy Bagels offers 'Jersey Sub' through Jan. 27


When Daniel Eckhardt suggested hosting a benefit at Jazzy Bagels to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy, he had no idea his former neighbor and Jazzy Bagels Owner Kevin Conord had grown up in Warren, N.J.

As an International Baccaulareate student in Michael Lindblad’s History of the Americas course, Eckhardt and his classmates received an assignment to organize a humanitarian benefit.

Many were inspired to help East Coasters affected by Hurricane Sandy after witnessing chilling pictures and video clips of the destruction last October.

“I would’ve been really scared if I had family there,” Eckhardt said.

Conord had two sisters and a brother back home who were out of power for between about three weeks following the hurricane and saw the unthinkable happen to his home state.

“I really didn’t think it would be as bad as it was,” Conord said. “There’s this saying called ‘Jersey Strong’ now.”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - From left, Daniel Eckhardt, Cole Lindhorst, Jerry Letendre, Kevin Conord and Hugo Martinez (along with Ryan Heath and Jacob Sailing who are not pictured) are holding the No. 1 Jersey Sub benefit at Jazzy Bagels this week, with all proceeds benefiting Hurricane Sandy survivors through the American Red Cross.

Conord challenged Eckhardt and his four other Gresham High School classmates — Hugo Martinez, Cole Lindhorst, Ryan Heath and Jacob Sailing — to do something more than putting a change jar on the countertop.

“He told us to make it our own,” Eckhardt said.

Through Sunday, Jazzy Bagels is offering a $5 “Jersey Sub” with all proceeds benefitting Hurricane Sandy survivors through American Red Cross. During the Adventures in Jazz series Saturday, Jan. 26, Jazzy Bagels will serve the signature sub as its sole food item.

“I’m hoping it helps some of the communities Kevin lived in and knows,” Eckhardt said.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Daniel Eckhardt grew up down the street from Jazzy Bagels owner Kevin Conord and presented the idea of a humanitarian benefit for Hurricane Sandy survivors as part of his class project.

The No. 1 Jersey Sub — ham, salami, provolone, lettuce, tomato, vinegar and oregano on a hoagie roll — came at the recommendation of Jerry Letendre of Thumann’s, a national deli company based out of Carlstadt, N.J.

Conord was Letendre’s first regional customer and Thumann’s has agreed to donate cheese and meats for the subs. Jazzy Bagels is receiving the hoagies at a significant discount from Franz Bakery, and Conord is donating the rest of the ingredients.

The Gresham High students plan to be at Jazzy Bagels this week when they’re not in class, encouraging folks to try the Jersey Sub.

“My hope is these guys realize “Wow, look what we did,” Conord said.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Jazzy Bagels Owner Kevin Conord grew up in Warren, N.J. and saw Hurricane Sandy affect family members and friends last fall.

THUMANN'S CONNECTION

When Letendre told Frank Elefante, a national sales representative at Thumann’s, about the Gresham High students trying to help Hurricane Sandy survivors with Conord, he was impressed.

“I was flabbergasted people would show interest,” Elefante said. “There’s this stereotype that we’re like the ‘Sopranos’ or the ‘Jersey Shore’ broads.”

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, before Hurricane Sandy struck, Elefante took down his patios, secured his bushes to railings and bought a $300 generator at the Christmas Tree Store. He planned to ride out the storm at his house in North Jersey, about eight miles inland.

“There was this proverbial freight train sound,” Elefante said. “I had never been so scared in my life, and I’m an ex-Eagle Scout. It was just me, the flashlight, a generator and a couple candles.”

Sleepless, Elefante stayed in the living room until he saw people coming out of their homes Wednesday. There was no water damage but the neighborhood received severe wind and tree damage. Gas stations, businesses, restaurants and grocery stores were all closed.

“If you didn’t’ get it in your house, you weren’t getting it,” Elefante said.

Elefante is thankful his two homes received minimal damage, but he thinks of his many friends, a cousin and coworkers who were not so lucky. When he came back to Thumann’s, there was eight inches of water in the 250,000-square-foot building, and thousands of dollars worth of office equipment was lost.

“Nobody got out unscathed,” Elefante said. “You just can’t comprehend how much damage there is.

“It’s going to be a while. I want to express my appreciation for the people out in Gresham,” Elefante said. “At the end of the day, we’re all Americans. There’s something about people from Jersey — we’ll get through anything.”

Buy a Jersey Sub

WHAT: The “Jersey Sub” special, a benefit for survivors of Hurricane Sandy organized by Gresham High School students in the International Baccalaureate History of the Americas class.

WHEN: The benefit began Monday, Jan. 21, and continues through Sunday, Jan. 27, with the “Jersey Sub” offered Saturday, Jan. 26, as the sole food item during the Adventures in Jazz series.

WHERE: Jazzy Bagels, 5 E. Powell Blvd., Gresham. The bagel shop is open 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (with later hours for the jazz festival Jan. 26); and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

INFO: 503-665-9191.




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