Over sixty HC volunteers provide relief after Van Wert tornado

FOR RELEASE
2002-11-15
Huntington, Ind.— Over sixty volunteers from Huntington College will spend Saturday morning in Van Wert, Ohio, helping in the clean-up effort after an F-4 tornado struck the area last Sunday. Huntington College’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service has organized the effort through the United Way of Van Wert and has worked to offer many local businesses an opportunity to support the relief work in Van Wert.

Joanne Miller, advisor to the Joe Mertz Center, has reported that work gloves are being donated from various businesses in Huntington including Ace Hardware, Juergens Do-It Center, Homier Distributing, Inc., and Builder’s Mart. Enterprise Leasing Company is donating two vans to transport the students, faculty and staff. Sodexho is sending drinks and snacks, Marsh is donating three dozen donuts for breakfast and Owen’s grocery is providing a $10 gift certificate.

Nathan Perry, assistant director of enrollment at Huntington College, grew up in Van Wert. He is one of the volunteers to work this Saturday. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to go back to my hometown in order to help out with the clean-up efforts after such a disaster. Part of that excitement comes from seeing the willingness of our students and staff members volunteer to help. It doesn’t surprise me though, because this is something that I think is very unique to HC— the eagerness of our campus community to help those in need.

“Many of our students were indirectly affected by this disaster because they more than likely know someone from Van Wert,” Perry continued. “Many of our alumni and current students come from this great town.”

A rash of storms swept through the Huntington area last Sunday, November 10. When they reached Van Wert, Ohio, a town approximately 50 miles east of Huntington, tornado warnings were in effect. At 3:10 p.m., a tornado was spotted near the Indiana-Ohio state line. At 3:15 p.m., spotters reported four tornados on the ground. At 3:25 p.m., three tornados dissipated with the fourth said to be 1,000 feet across. At 3:30 p.m., the tornado hit Van Wert, killing two and injuring 19 while destroying many homes and businesses. Officials said that the F-4 tornado, only one degree short of the worst possible storm, was the most devastating to hit the area since 1965.

Huntington College is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 60 academic concentrations. US News & World Report ranks Huntington among the Top 10 comprehensive colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana.

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Ashley C. Smith
Associate Director for Media Relations
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Joanne Green
Sports Information Director
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