Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

December 8, 2013

GOODNIGHT: A thanks to all who assisted our town

More than 15 mayors from around the state reached out to provide assistance

On Sunday, Nov. 17, two tornadoes ripped through the city of Kokomo, leaving extensive damage and devastation in their wake. Immediately, hundreds of volunteers within our community and throughout the state reached out to offer assistance to our residents. Cleanup began the following day when over 200 students, using their day off from school, organized efforts to aid in the recovery. Our city has been touched by the thousands of volunteers from across the Midwest who have extended their services to offer help in our time of need.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the countless elected officials from every level who offered their support. More than 15 mayors from around the state reached out to provide assistance to our community. A special thanks to Mayor Jim Walker of Peru, Mayor Andy Cook of Westfield, Mayor Randy Strasser of Delphi, and Mayor Dean Jessup of Lawrence for providing dump trucks, pay loaders and backhoes along with the crews required to operate this equipment. Our community also received support from the City of Crown Point and their residents, when Mayor David Uran delivered food, water and toiletry items to our citizens. I also wish to personally thank Gov. Mike Pence, the Indiana State Police and the Department of Homeland Security for providing their assistance at numerous levels.

The support from these cities, elected officials, organizations and individual volunteers have provided relief to many of our citizens as they begin the process of rebuilding. I cannot begin to put into words my appreciation for those who stood up for Kokomo. Their willingness to lend a hand to a community in need is truly valued and a prime example of our famed Hoosier Hospitality. It is remarkable to witness first hand so many people willing to help their fellow Hoosiers in this time of need.

The next few months are going to be quite difficult for many people in Kokomo, but it is made easier knowing we have friends from around the state and Midwest who will be there in our time of need. I can only hope that no one will endure the devastation that Kokomo has, but if they do, I am confident that our citizens and our city will be the first in line to ask, “How can we help?”

On behalf of the citizens of Kokomo, we wish to thank everyone who offered and provided help. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Greg Goodnight is the mayor of Kokomo. He can be reached at mayor@cityofkokomo.org or 765-456-7444.

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