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home : news : local   May 25, 2016

11/26/2013 6:38:00 AM
Walnut couple seeks volunteers for work trip to tornado zone

Disaster assessment officials see a tree painted “Washington Srong” in tornado-damaged Washington, Ill.AP photo/Journal Star, Ron Johnson
+ click to enlarge

Disaster assessment officials see a tree painted “Washington Srong” in tornado-damaged Washington, Ill.
AP photo/Journal Star, Ron Johnson

To help
The bus will leave Citizens First State Bank parking lot in Walnut promptly at 7 a.m. Dec. 2 and return later that day.

To donate money or reserve space on the bus, call Don or Sandy Watson at (815) 379-2505 or (815) 228-1566.

Katlyn Rumbold
Princeton Bureau Chief

Help is once again on its way from Bureau County to Washington, Ill. But this time it’s in the form of volunteers instead of donations.

Don and Sandy Watson of Walnut are organizing a work trip to take place  Monday, Dec. 2 for men and women over the age of 18 to assist with cleanup in the tornado-devastated areas of Washington.

“My wife and I were going down the road the other day near Washington and we felt the need to help,” said Don, who works for Green River Lines, Peru. “I have some connections for a 56-passenger tour bus.”

Both Don and Sandy hope to fill the bus with people who want to help clean up debris. Workers will be supervised by Washington’s coordinators and volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants prepared for cold weather, gloves, cap and hard-soled shoes. They’re also encouraged to bring their own rakes and shovels as this is a work trip. Backhoes are needed as well.

“We’re just hoping we get a good group to go,” Sandra said. “We’re very fortunate to have what we have and they (tornado victims) have nothing. They don’t have a home to go home to and we want to help. It’s rewarding for us to get people to go.”

If more than 56 people would like to go, Don said he may have connections to a second tour bus. However cash donations are welcome and will be donated through the American Red Cross and Washington disaster recovery efforts.

Grade school students collect donations
PRINCETON — During the Princeton Elementary School board meeting, Robert Bima, principal at Lincoln Elementary and Reagan Middle School, announced the students in those buildings will be collecting donations for Washington tornado relief. He said many teachers are having dress-up days for students who bring in donations. Donations will then be given to the American Red Cross.

Also Monday, the board learned state revenue due totals $374,751 with most of that late funding due to the education fund at $270,003 and $104,748 to the transportation fund.

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