Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

May 2, 2013

$10,000 raised for flooding victims

Tipton businesses step up to provide additional relief.

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune staff writer

Tipton — More than $10,000 has been raised by the Tipton community to help victims of severe flooding.

Large portions of the city south of Ind. 28 were underwater when flood water inundated the city April 19. There also was some impact on the north side of the state highway.

Frank Giammarino, executive director of the Tipton County Foundation, said Wednesday a business provided $2,500 and several individuals have donated $1,000 to the community’s relief fund.

A committee consisting of representatives from the Tipton County Emergency Management Agency, the Tipton County Health Department and the Tipton County Ministerial Association will distribute the funds.

“The community response has been exciting,” Giammarino said. “It has been unusual. We have received over 50 gifts and more is still coming in.”

He said the contributions received are larger than anticipated.

Vicki Warner, executive director of the Tipton County Chamber of Commerce, said the fundraising efforts have been spearheaded by Marsh Supermarkets, Tipton Ford and Dan Young Chevrolet.

“Todd Jones from Marsh and Joe Brown with Dan Young wanted to raise funds for flood relief,” she said. “They asked the Chamber to determine if other businesses were willing to provide support.”

Warner said the group, which includes the Kohl’s store in Noblesville, is considering up to five events to raise funds.

“I’m not really surprised,” she said of the fundraising effort. “This is a tight-knit community. I’ve been here for a year-and-a-half and the people want to help each other. ... The perception is that the flooding is over and everything is alright. That is not the case, people still need assistance. The core group wanted to rally community support and keep the help available to those who need it.”

Rick Brown, owner of Dan Young Chevrolet, said Jones approached him about participating and then Tipton Ford and the manager of Kohl’s agreed to participate.

“We had to come together quickly,” he said. “We wanted the people to know that someone cares.”

Brown said five car clubs are participating in the Cruise-In and Marsh is providing all the food and drinks for the events.

“If it’s a nice day it will attract a lot of people,” he said.

Tipton Mayor Don Havens said the city is supportive and grateful of the efforts by the business community.

“I’m pleased to see the community pull together,” he said. It’s with heartfelt wonderment at how much the community believes in itself and wants to do for itself.”

Havens said the city’s focus is working with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to obtain government relief for those people impacted by the record flooding.

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