The Norman Transcript

May 21, 2013

Tornado briefs: Jazz bands plan benefit concert


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Transcript Staff

Representatives from Knipplemeir Chevrolet, Patriot Ford and Kelsey Buick GMC got together on Tuesday and decided to cast aside competition and get together to make a difference.

Larry Knipplemeir, Kurt Kelsey and Ben Hayes have put together a donation of $30,000 to the Oklahoma Chapter of the Red Cross. And they don’t want to stop there. They are urging all local businesses donate to the local division of the Red Cross.

Checks can be made to Oklahoma Relief-Red Cross. Individuals can deliver them locally to KWTV or any media entity.

Other tornado related news items:

· The Norman High and Norman North jazz bands and choirs will host a Norman Jazz benefit concert/cookout at 6 p.m. Wednesday on the front lawn of NHS to raise money for the Moore tornado recovery effort.

A concert scheduled Tuesday evening was canceled due to the weather.

· A tornado disaster relief and donation center has been established at Beth Haven Baptist Church, 12400 S Western, in Oklahoma City. All items will be accepted. This includes food, water, clothing, diapers, toiletry items, etc.

Drop-off times are 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

· BancFirst, in association with the Moore Ministerial Alliance, has established a relief fund for the tornado victims. BancFirst has contributed $25,000 to the effort. Kevin Clarkson, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Moore, will administer the fund.

“We encourage anyone who can to donate to the Moore Tornado Relief Fund,” said Craig Turner, BancFirst Moore president. Deposits will be accepted statewide at all BancFirst locations.

“Moore Ministerial alliance was a key entity in reaching Moore families during the May 3, 1999 tornado and we are proud to be able to work together with this group to assist the people affected by this current tragedy,” Turner said.

· The Norman Arts Council will partner with Chipotle at 1641 24th Ave. NW from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today to raise funds for tornado recovery relief. Allied Arts plans to partner with S&B’s Burger Joint on 9th Street today to raise money for the Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma.

· A Norman Chamber Lunch & Learn scheduled Wednesday in Oklahoma City has been postponed and will be rescheduled.

· The OGE Energy Corp. Foundation on Tuesday announced it will commit $500,000 to storm relief efforts in the wake of the destructive tornado that struck the city of Moore.

The Foundation will work with various local non-profit agencies, including the United Way, to determine the areas of greatest need.

OGE Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Pete Delaney offered thoughts and prayers for all who were affected.

“On behalf of our 3,500 employees, I want to offer our deepest condolences to families who have been affected by the storm. We are deeply saddened by the enormous loss of life,” he said.

· The University of Oklahoma housed approximately 100 storm victims Monday night in Walker Tower.

University employees are collecting diapers, adult and children’s clothing, shoes, new underwear, flip-flops, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, games, toys and stuffed animals for children. Local alumni wanting to help on campus can call OU’s volunteer office at 325-4020 or drop off items at Walker Center for displaced families.

Additionally OU has established the Help OUr Neighbor Fund to benefit OU faculty, staff and students who lost homes or personal property in the recent tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area. Any and all donations received in this fund will go directly to those students or employees whose homes and property were lost.

Donations can be made at http://tinyurl.com/oufoundation. Contributions also can be mailed made payable to the OU Foundation and designate “Help OUr Neighbor Fund” in the memo line. The University of Oklahoma, Office of Development, 339 W. Boyd Street, Norman, OK 73019-3202.

All gifts will be tax-deductible. An anonymous donor has agreed to match the first $10,000 in gifts donated to the fund in an effort to further aid these OU families.

· In the wake of Sunday and Monday’s devastating storms, Primrose Funeral Service and Sunset Memorial Park are offering all services for a funeral or a memorial service and a burial plot at no cost to those that lost a loved one. Many of the survivors will have to worry about replacing their damaged homes, belongings, and cars.  In this time of grief, the cost of a funeral should not be a concern. 

“We want to do all we can to bring these families some peace.  If we can be even a small part of that healing we feel compelled to help,” said John Davenport, General Manager.  “It is simply the Oklahoma way.”

For more information, please call Primrose Funeral Service at 321-6000. 

· Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Oklahoma residents and business owners as a result of President Obama’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen G. Mills announced.

The declaration covers the Oklahoma counties of Cleveland, Lincoln, McClain, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie as a result of the severe storms and tornadoes that began May 18, 2013.

“The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing Oklahoma with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help residents and businesses affected by the severe storms and tornadoes,” said Mills. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Businesses of any size and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. SBA also can lend additional funds to homeowners and business owners to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private, nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, victims must first call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers are opened throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

· The Oklahoma athletics department is advising all fans that the best way to help with the Moore tornado relief effort is to text RED CROSS to 90999 to give $10 or go online to make a donation at RedCross.org.

The OU Athletics Department is working in conjunction with local agencies to lend support to the many Oklahomans who have been affected by the recent tragic weather events.

“Our prayers go out to the many families devastated by this tragedy,” OU football coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “Any loss of life is terrible, but it’s even more heartbreaking any time you know that children were among those who perished or were seriously injured.

“It’s going to be a long-term effort to get everyone back on their feet in all of the communities that have been impacted across Oklahoma. We have to do all that we can to help our neighbors in this time of need. The easiest way to help is through the Red Cross, who has resources in places to help the people who need it most. Make sure to designate your gift for the Oklahoma disaster relief efforts.”

For individuals who have continuing shelter needs, the emergency housing hotline is 325-2511.

For those individuals wishing to help or volunteer in other ways, visit http://leadandvolunteer.ou.edu or call the volunteer hotline at 325-4020.

For those individuals wishing to donate to the OU Foundation to assist OU faculty, staff and students impacted by tornadoes, visit http://tinyurl.com/oufoundation.

· Devon Energy today announced it has made an initial commitment of $2.5 million toward relief efforts for the recent Oklahoma tornadoes. Devon will assess related needs in the future and determine if additional contributions are warranted.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of these tragic storms,” said Devon President and Chief Executive Officer John Richels. “We are all saddened by the devastation, and as fellow Oklahomans, we want to do what we can to help our neighbors.”

Devon Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas.

· Gov. Mary Fallin, in coordination with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, has established the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund to assist with the long-term medical, emotional and educational needs of victims of the May 20 tornado in Moore and the May 19 tornado near Shawnee.

“We are appreciative and grateful for the outpouring of support for our state in the wake this week’s devastating tornadoes,” Fallin said. “The generosity of Oklahomans, Americans and people across the world is very encouraging and will help meet many of the short-term needs of victims. However, experience tells us there also will be long-term consequences to the challenges victims are facing. We hope the OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund can help meet those long-term needs. I very much appreciate the United Way of Central Oklahoma for their generosity and help in creating this fund.”

Donations for the long-term needs can be made by calling (405) 236-8441 or donating online at www.unitedwayokc.org.

· Rose State College is announcing that it is taking the following steps to assist those that were devastated by the tornado of May 20th.

 First, the college’s Office of Student Activities will be serving as a "drop off" location for items such as bottled water, canned goods, diapers, sports drinks, and nonperishable food items.  Donated items will be relayed by college personnel to Feed the Children and the Red Cross.  The drop off location is located in the Student Center on the campus mall. (Building 14 on the campus map, located at rose.edu/visitors.)  Once inside the Student Center, the student activities office can be found directly across from the Java Rose Café.

 Secondly, an account has been established for monetary donations that will also be accepted at the Office of Student Activities.  All donations will be provided to the Red Cross, earmarked for Oklahoma Disaster Relief.

 The thoughts and prayers of the entire college community are with those affected.  As needs evolve, the college will continue to seek ways that it can help the communities we serve.

· OG&E has established two walk-up stations in Moore, one at the First Baptist Church of Moore, 301 N.E. 27th, and the other at the Wal-mart Supercenter, 640 S.E. 4th St.

Walk-up stations will be open until 6 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 22. OG&E personnel will be there to answer customer questions and to hand out water and Gatorade.

 Customers can get additional information about OG&E’s storm restoration efforts at oge.com or on the company’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ogepower) and Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/OGandE).

· The Health Department will be in the Moore area with mobile vans giving tetnas shots for those with puncture wounds. With the loss of refridgeration and freezing due to power outages, people are reminded to throw out food if there is any doubt as to its safety.