The Love Fund of Wyckoff was founded in memory of Robert Ralyea Bach (1973-1991). Robert grew up in Wyckoff. He attended Washington Elementary School, Eisenhower Middle School and Ramapo High School, graduating as a member of the National Honor Society. During his junior and senior years in high school, while being treated for cancer, Robert received great strength both from his friends in Wyckoff and Camp Brookwoods in New Hampshire. He was very grateful for their amazing and thoughtful support. Likewise, everyone who knew Robert were inspired by his inspiring courage and faith. A very spiritual person, Robert found strength in the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote:

“So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 16-18).

Robert was concerned about the well-being of children. While in high school he participated in service projects benefitting children in Paterson, Wyckoff and New Hampshire. He also thought deeply about the relationship between helping others and his faith. This led to his being awarded the prestigious A.J. Gordon Presidential Scholarship from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. Robert received this award after appearing before the college’s faculty discussing what people learn about God and themselves when helping others. His views were similar to those of theologian Ilia Delio who has written: “When we hermetically seal ourselves off from the undesired ‘other,’ the stranger, we seal ourselves off from God. By rejecting God in the neighbor, we reject the love that can heal us.”

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