Great article by Karen Best!
They want to help
Posted By KAREN BEST , CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Posted 17 hours ago
The need is great and people in Dunnville are moving ahead to fill it because they want to help. After Grand River flood levels dropped, home and business owners surveyed damage and began to clean up efforts. In many cases, relatives, neighbours and friends were at their side.
Soon there was an up swelling of support from the Dunnville Chamber of Commerce, Coun. Lorne Boyko, real estate agents, service clubs, contractors and individuals.
Boyko, Dunnville chamber president Carolyn Chymko and Royal LePage Niagara realtors Mike Dilse, Allan Judson and Ken Robertson will volunteer at fundraisers.
On behalf of the realtors, Boyko mailed out Brick discount coupons to people living in flood zones. In the same package was a Laverty Home Furnishings coupon.
The realtors felt compelled to help and were glad to do so because they are part of the community.
"People are coming out of the woodwork," said Sandy Passmore of the chamber. "People are tired of waiting."
"The chamber definitely wants to help out our community," said Chymko.
So do many others. They want to help and they are and will even though Municipal Affairs Minister Jim Watson had not yet declared a disaster along the river from Cayuga to Port Maitland. Haldimand County council expected to hear from him by March 13.
After contacted by The Chronicle, flood assistance was discussed at a Dunnville Royal Canadian Legion Branch 142 meeting.
Members decided to host a May 2 benefit dance with entertainment provided by True Country. The legion will donate the hall and all event proceeds will go toward flood assistance, said legion president Lionel Ford. A few more ideas including raffles and draws are in the works.
"We're going to work on it. We jumped right in on that," he said.
Dunnville Optimist Club members will pitch in with personal and club donations, said club president Jim Smreker. After the Dunnville Lioness meeting on March 11, president Pat Merritt said, "We're on board," said president Pat Merritt. "We'll help anyway we can."
On March 12, Dunnville Rotary president Kim Tamburri raised flood assistance at a club meeting. She hoped that services clubs will work together on an event that can make a great impact.
Other examples of empathy and generosity surfaced.
Senior citizens living across from Lynn and Blair White took up a collection for them. They are among a larger group stepping forward to help the couple who have no insurance. Their Main Street home, which is in the flood zone and is not insurable, severely damaged by the flood.
Ron Speer and Amanda Lane paid for tipping fees for dumpsters donated free by Ed Passmore.
When flooding eased off last month, Jeff Carpenter went door to door in Cayuga and Dunnville to let people know he can renovate damaged homes. When he and his spouse Tammy Carpenter went to the White's door, Lynn was in tears dumping out her furniture.
So she and Jeff working with Ed Timmerman and Chymko decided to host this family and are in the process of making repairs happen.
"That's what people do - help your neighbour," said Tammy.
Jeff has enjoyed business success as has Tammy so both want to give back to the community. It's as simple as pulling together to help people get their lives back to normal, he added.
Industrial dehumidifiers have been running in the home since Feb. 16. When the wooden slats resting on a concrete pad are dry enough to prevent mould, a new sub-floor will be rebuilt.
Donating his time and labour for free, Jeff is seeking material and financial assistance. This week, Timmerman distributed letters in town to ask for essential materials. This includes insulation, drywall, wall receptacles, laminate flooring, drywall screws, tuck tape, sheet rock 90, vinyl flooring, vapour barrier and six gallons of paint of three different colours. Jeff can be reached at 905-961-9912.
Jeff also said St. Paul Anglican Church is also helping the White family. Wendy Legendre said that several members of Jubilee Faith Centre have volunteered their time to assist the Whites in getting their home back in good order.
A working bee is expected this weekend.
In the mean time, the chamber had arranged for temporary accommodations in a Lake Erie cottage. Due to work and transportation issues, the location was not suitable for the White family, said Passmore. The chamber then began to look for a trailer that can be parked on the White property.
Seeing made a difference for Ruth Swann and Donna Pitcher.
Swann and her spouse John Upshall arrived in Dunnville on Feb. 14, turned on the heat in their Lake Erie cottage and came back to town to survey flood activity. On Sunday, she left a message offering a donation of a month's accommodations at a few local real estate offices.
After hearing the Whites could not use a cottage, Swann said the offer stood for anyone else who needed it.
On Feb. 13, Donna and Ted Pitcher spent the day in Cayuga and Dunnville.
"This was a disaster. I saw it happen," she said. "I can't imagine being in the position of leaving my house with just my clothes on my back and then coming back to see my personal items destroyed."
"The only thing we can do as a community is to help out," Donna added.
Willing to volunteer and experienced in fundraising, she wanted to become a member of the disaster relief assistance committee if a provincial disaster is declared in the county.
"Fundraising activities, whether or not the county is eligible for a disaster declaration, can be underway now," said Roger Moyer.
"If and when the minister declares a disaster, those funds will be eligible to be matched up to a 2 to 1 ratio," added the manager of local government in the ministry's London office.
If an announcement is not made by March 13, Boyko encouraged all groups and individuals who want to hold fundraising events to go ahead.
To ensure raised money will qualify for twice as much in provincial funds, he asked groups to open separate flood relief bank accounts and record amounts collected. Council has already made arrangements to hold a special council meeting if a designation is granted.
Article ID# 1476258
Friday, March 13, 2009
Great article by Karen Best!