On Friday, March 30, 2012, Peebles Fire Department and Lions Club are holding their fourth consecutive Fish Fry to raise money for the March 2, 2012, tornado victims in southern Ohio. The event is 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Peebles Lions Building, 175 Wendell Avenue, Peebles, Ohio. There will be a meet and greet with Smokey the Bear and Sparky the Firedog mascots during the Fish Fry, if weather permits.
Volunteers are making freshly battered Alaskan Pollock, or corndogs, French fries, a side of cole slaw with a choice of beverage all for a donation. Each week they have a 50/50 drawing that will split the pot between one winner and charity.
“Individuals and families are asked to make a donation to help the victims recover. We have to take care of our own, especially when the government refuses aid these smaller communities”, says a Peebles volunteer.
All the communities involved are still numb and in shock days and weeks after the tornadoes; however, what is more shocking is the lack of government support. President Obama refused to sign a disaster declaration for the areas affected in the State of Ohio and FEMA have refused to give assistance to these people because there wasn’t enough population area affected. This does not make their tragedy any less than Moscow or any other town destroyed.
The Moore family lost their home, farm and many livestock in the tornado; this will affect them greatly next season. Rick Barnett just completed the final construction of his new home the day before the tornado struck, his insurance was pending approval and he lost everything. The Baldwin family perhaps lost the most, they were in the tornado when it flipped their mobile home over injuring both occupants. A week later, 99-year-old Bessie Baldwin of West Union died from her injuries.
This is a rural farming area in the Appalachian hills of southern Ohio in Adams County. Additionally, nearby Otway Fire Station was destroyed along with several damaged buildings and houses, Otway fire station is important to this rural community being far from any large city; making a fast emergency response unlikely.
Although the population area where these twisters affected may be condisered low, the need is just as great. Funds raised by the Peebles Fire Department and Lions Club will give much needed assistance to these communities.
This reporter will be there assisting the community at each Fish Fry and I’ve met each tornado victim and can tell you first hand these people need help rebuilding their lives. Please plan to attend and support their cause or send a donation to the Peebles Lions Club, P.O. Box 243, Peebles, Ohio 45660.
Resources: Peebles Lions Club, WLWT, Scioto County Storm Chasers, National Weather Service (NWS) photos