After the death of their mother, the Kutztown area community has united to help the Delp children in Greenwich Township.
Heather Delp, 39, died Friday, Aug. 14, as the result of a vehicle accident on Interstate 78 in Weisenberg Township, Lehigh County. The single mother of six was a daughter of Thomas and Dolores Young, Greenwich Township.
“Heather, she was always smiling, which is something she seems to have passed along to her children. She was very dedicated to them,” said Kutztown Superintendent Kathy Metrick. “Once we knew each other, every time she saw me, she made an effort to go out of her way to have a conversation, as opposed to just waving and moving on. I think she was very friendly to everyone.”
Her children are Kutztown students Dean, 16, a junior at Kutztown High School; Trenton, 12, a 7th grader at Kutztown Middle School, and quadruplets Aspen, Noah, Avery and Savannah, age 9, who attend Greenwich Elementary.
A memorial fund has been established in her name, and contributions can be made through Ludwick Funeral Home. Any money profited from fundraisers, including a car wash and bake sale, will be put into funds for the six children. Also there is a Twitter campaign to get NBA professional basketball player LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers to give a shout out to Dean Delp to cheer him up.
The Delp Family Benefit Car Wash will be held Sept. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kutztown Fire Company. All proceeds will go to the Delp family. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 8 a.m. to help set up. Visit facebook.com/events/835848169844015 for more information.
“I was so upset when I found out about Heather Delp’s passing,” said Alyssa Wentzel, who coordinated the Delp Family Benefit Car Wash event.
Wentzel said she coached Heather’s girls in twirling and became very close with them.
“Heather contacted me after I was accepted to Temple University saying how proud she was of me and how much the girls loved me. I have been so tempted to do something since I heard of the news,” she said. “That family deserves everything for being so kind and having very big hearts. It is my pleasure to introduce this car wash to the public.”
Wentzel said she has been receiving many messages from the community asking how they can help, “Because we are all hurting and grieving with the Delp family,” she said. “I hope those kids know how much they are loved. I cannot put into words how hard it was for me to leave Kutztown to go to college because of how my perspective changed toward the community. I am very excited to come home on Sept. 5 and see what this community can do. I hope the Delp family knows that they are invited, too.”
Wentzel said the Delp family asked for all contributions to be made to the Heather A. Delp memorial fund for the children’s education.
“I know the girls really want to be just like their mom (being a nurse),” said Wentzel. “People can get in contact with me and stay updated with our Facebook page on what we will be needing and when to volunteer.”
There will also be a Delp Family Benefit Bake Sale at the Kutztown Fire Company on Sept. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“The community is really coming together to support these kids, it’s amazing!” said Tammy Haring, who is organizing the Bake Sale.
To get involved, visit the link http://vols.pt/8EepHj, set up via a website called VolunteerSpot where people can sign up for any baked goods and refreshments that they’d like to donate. Food donations should be packaged to sell. For those who don’t have Internet access or are unable to get into the site contact Haring directly via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 484-225-8518. There is also a link via the Facebook page “Delp Benefit Car Wash.”
Haring said all proceeds will go to the children’s’ education fund.
“I knew Heather as a parent,” said Haring, who has been a substitute teacher in the Kutztown School District for many years. “These past couple of years I have gotten to interact and work with the five youngest ones a lot. The kids loved her! They loved having her come to have lunch with them at school.”
Heather was involved in the community also.
“Heather did what she could as a single mother. She stepped up and became the girls’ cheerleading coach, otherwise they may not of had a coach for the girls to cheer,” she said.
Haring wanted to do something to support the Delp children.
“As an educator one of my first thoughts was what these kids are going to face in the future and how in the world will six kids be able to go on to further their educational endeavors,” she said. “Then Alyssa Wentzel took it upon herself to create the car wash event and put it out on Facebook. That’s when I knew I could still support these wonderful kids. I’m an avid baker of cupcakes that I make as a side business (for friends and family) so I asked Alyssa if she had thought of adding a bake sale as well so people could purchase refreshments while they waited for their vehicles to be washed. I told her I was willing to “take charge” of this portion. It took off from there. I don’t know if I would have thought about having a bake sale had Alyssa not come up with the car wash. A remarkable young lady!”
Kutztown senior Emma Oroxom wrote to The Patriot wanting to help Dean Delp.
“Tragedy struck a member of the Kutztown community, Dean Delp. His mother, Heather Delp, passed away in a car accident on I-78 and four of his siblings were injured,” said Oroxom. “She was all they had. In addition, Dean has been dealing with a concussion he sustained 2-3 years ago that put him out of football and even school. The community is looking to bring him some happiness in these dark times by helping him meet his favorite athlete, LeBron James. There’s a hashtag on Twitter called #LeBronMeetDean, that also tags LeBron James himself, that we’re all hoping can make this come true.”
Kutztown student Beckham Sibiski started the Twitter campaign #LebronMeetDean, hoping that the effort will catch the NBA star’s attention and that he might agree to meet Dean.
“Dean is one of my best friends and a classmate of mine at Kutztown Area High School in the class of 2017,” said Sibiski. “I had seen other campaigns like this go viral for someone in need, and I knew Dean had been through a lot, not only with his mother passing, but also a concussion that kept him out of school for about three years.”
Sibiski said Dean plans on making a full return to school this year.
“I wanted to try and lift Dean’s spirits as high as possible and I knew sports had a huge impact on his life,” said Sibiski. “I made sure LeBron was his favorite athlete by texting him, and then I got busy on Twitter.”
Sibiski tried to tell as many friends as possible to start tweeting it. Six days later, the campaign was nearing somewhere around 1,000 tweets.
“Although it’s a long shot to get LeBron to Kutztown to meet Dean, Dean really appreciates the support everybody has shown him through the hashtag on all social media,” said Sibiski. “I want to make him happy again, with his naturally big smile because he’s undoubtedly one of the nicest, smartest, and coolest people I know. I’m blessed to call him one of my best friends, and I want him to know that we’re all here for him through anything.”
Other benefits include a 31 fundraiser held by Sherry Wentzel. Profits benefit the children.
Jessica Renee Greiss from Once Again Thrift Store also is donating 10 percent of her sales from between Aug. 18 to 22.
People can donate money directly to the Heather Ann Delp Memorial Fund c/o Ludwick Funeral Home, Inc. P.O. Box 292 Kutztown PA 19530.