The Norman Transcript

News Features

June 2, 2013

Glenn Beck nonprofit donates $720k to tornado relief effort

NORMAN — Emotions ran high on Saturday when eight Cleveland County deputies received checks from Joe Kerry, the head of Glenn Beck’s nonprofit organization Mercury One.

Five of those deputies’ homes were completely destroyed during the May tornadoes while the other three deputies’ homes sustained damage. As Kerry handed each of them their check and shook each of their hands, he made a decision.

“I’m so moved by what I’m seeing in the room we’re going to double that money that we just gave you,” Kerry said.

The money was collected after Glenn Beck asked audience members to contribute and help raise funds for families impacted by the May 20 tornado, he said. Kerry also gave donations to the sheriff’s office and Shelter Oklahoma Schools, totaling somewhere near $720,000.

Kerry gave a $250,000 donation on behalf of Mercury One to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office after hearing about the need for a better mobile command center to aide with the next disaster.

“He sent me pictures of what you have now which looks like a Wonder Bread truck,” Kerry said. “And I think that’s great, I think that’s ingenuity.”

Sheriff Joe Lester also said he had been in contact with the Associated Builders and Contractors in Oklahoma, who said they were going to match Kerry’s donation.

“Fox has been great and I just love you guys. Tell Glenn thank you and I’ll be sending him a letter,” Lester said.

The eight deputies also received donations from citizens of St. Louis on Saturday. Vadon Willis of St. Louis, was originally from Moore and wanted to help out somehow when he heard about the devastating tornado.

Willis created a Facebook page to organize donations in St. Louis. Then asked a friend who works at a trucking company if they could borrow one to get the donations to Oklahoma.

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