Two Lehigh Valley Residents Donate $10,000 in Food & Beverage Tickets to Emergency Services Team After Musikfest Flooding

Featured Image: Jim Stocklas and ArtsQuest Vice President of Finance Rhonda Gillespie with the Musikfest Food & Beverage Tickets donation.

BETHLEHEM, PA – In response to the flooding that impacted Musikfest and ensuing efforts by city emergency services personnel to clean up the sites impacted by high waters, two community members have made a major donation to support the men and women working on the ground at the festival.

Jim Stocklas, an original volunteer at the first Musikfest, and Barry Bartakovits have donated $10,000 in Musikfest Food & Beverage Tickets to the City of Bethlehem’s Emergency Response Management division to provide water and other beverages to the first responders working at Musikfest.

“Once we heard about the incredible efforts of the city’s emergency services personnel, we knew we needed to do something to support these men and women, many of whom have been working nonstop since yesterday,” says Stocklas. “The fact that one of the venues is already set to reopen is simply amazing. This is just a small thank you for everything they do, not only during Musikfest but throughout the year.”

The tickets will be used to keep police, fire, health and emergency response personnel well hydrated as they continue the clean-up efforts at the Familienplatz, Handwerkplatz and Volksplatz venues, all of which were closed yesterday due to flooding. While Volksplatz will reopen at 5 p.m. today, Handwerkplatz and Familienplatz remain closed at this time.

Wade Haubert Jr., Deputy Director of Emergency Management/9-1-1 for the city, says the generous donation by Stocklas and Bartakovits is greatly appreciated by everyone working on the cleanup efforts.

“As you can imagine, the cost to provide water and other beverages for this many people can grow quickly,” Haubert says. “These food & beverage tickets will help us to ensure our many employees on site remain hydrated, allowing them to continue the important task of getting Musikfest’s Handwerkplatz and Familienplatz venues back up and operational as soon as possible.”

Curt Mosel, ArtsQuest’s Chief Operating Officer, says the efforts of Stocklas and Bartakovits are just another example of the incredible support the community has for Musikfest.

“Since 1984, this festival has received tremendous backing from our community, from the 1,500 volunteers and 160 corporate partners who lend a hand, to the many patrons who attend the festival,” Mosel says. “Every time we’ve had a major issue such as flooding, we’ve seen our community rally around us to help us keep the festival going. We thank Jim and Barry for taking a lead role in supporting our city services during this challenging time.”

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Information and image provided to TVL by:
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest