Tuesday, May 28, 2013

STPR® to host fundraiser to benefit Oklahoma tornado victims

Wellsboro, Pa. (May 28)— With the sport of performance rally being such a family sport, the participants and fans in the 37th Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally®, presented by Citizens and Northern Bank, taking place this weekend in Wellsboro, Pa., will be banding together to help the victims of a tornado in Oklahoma that killed 24 people, 10 of them children, injuring hundreds and leaving thousands with nothing.

Spearheaded by competitor Amanda Skelly, from Rochester Hills, Mich., of Noble Star Rally Racing, and with the support of the organizing committee of STPR, the rally will be accepting donations in an effort to raise funds, which will be channeled through the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army to aid the displaced families and victims.

“It was one of the most devastating tornadoes in over half a century, similar to one in 1953 that occurred just miles from where NSR headquarters is located here in Michigan,” Skelly said. “After seeing the damage and the devastated survivors on the news that night, my heart ached deeply for their losses.  I felt the need to somehow contribute and since we cannot donate items, supporting the cause financially is our next best option.”

People should look for the donation cans in the main building at the Tioga County Fairgrounds and at the ticket booths at the Super Special on Friday and Saturday evenings at the fairgrounds.  Donations of cash or check will be accepted; checks can be made out to either the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, with “OK Disaster Relief” in the memo field.

There will also be a 50/50 Raffle at the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. Guest can donate $1, plus their ticket stub and half will go to the lucky winner and other half toward the relief fund donation.

“This is a fund that is dear to my heart,” said STPR chair Meridith Croucher. “My cousin and his son rode out the storm in their safe room in Moore.”

Although Croucher’s family was not directly in the path, they are witnesses to the extensive damage and devastation suffered by friends and neighbors.

“There is great need to help the families rebuild their lives. My thanks, in advance, to those who donate,” she added.

The sirens began to wail in Moore, Okla, at 2:40 p.m. on Monday, May 20, giving the residents only about 30 minutes warning to seek shelter before an EF-5 tornado carved a 17-mile swath of destruction, including the suburbs of Oklahoma City. The bedroom community of Moore has a population just under 50,000.

With sustained winds over 200 mph, the 1.3-mile-wide tornado was on the ground for more than 40 minutes, chewing up and spitting out everything in its path. It leveled two elementary schools, killing seven students when a wall collapsed, and severally damaged a hospital. Entire blocks of homes were flattened, with debris scattered for miles as the tornado ravaged the area. Overall, insurance claims related to last week's storm will probably top $2 billion, Kelly Collins from the Oklahoma Insurance Department told CNN.

However, insurance won’t cover it all, so any financial donation will be greatly appreciated, no matter how big or small.