The destruction caused by the December 2021 tornadoes is a historic moment for thousands of Kentuckians. While this winter brought darkness and devastation, communities are looking to spring as a season of blooming, hope and recovery.
The people of Graves County, Kentucky, one of the many areas affected by the storm, decided not to be defeated by this severe weather event. With the support of neighbors near and far, Mayfield residents continue to show their strength and resilience to the rest of the world by pushing through many obstacles.
The surge of news coverage reached groups and individuals nationwide sparking donations of time and treasure to residents of ruin throughout western Kentucky. Travelers arrived to help clear debris that were once homes, businesses and local attractions.
In the hours following the catastrophe, members of Graves County began working to create the Mayfield Graves Tornado Relief Fund, Inc. for those wishing to donate monetarily with a safe and secure deposit. The 501c3 officially established itself with a board including Darvin Towery, Chairman; Tim Stark, Vice Chair; and Cynthia Cash, Secretary/Treasurer.
“This tornado was such a destructive event that continues to significantly impact our community,” shares Darvin Towery, Chairman of the non-profit and Independence Bank Graves County President. “We knew we had a team behind us ready to help at any time. But, we also wanted somewhere people felt confident donating and know the money was put to good use.”
To assist in rebuilding, Bunge Limited, an agribusiness and food company based in Missouri, with several customer relationships in Graves County started gathering funds to donate. Due to its connection to Mayfield, members of the organization knew they needed to be involved in the recovery of the city.
“When the tornado hit Mayfield, the first thing we all thought of was the people. We have a strong relationship with our community of farmers, customers and neighbors there. In the few months since, we’ve witnessed not just the agriculture community but the whole country rally behind the city to support them. We’re incredibly proud to be a part of that as Mayfield continues to rebuild,” said Kevin Glauber, Bunge’s Commercial Merchandising Manager.
Mayfield Mayor, Kathy O’Nan alongside company representatives and relief board members came together for the gracious $100,000 check presentation.
“We are grateful to know we are not alone in rebuilding our home.” Towery added. “This check and all other donations are the reason we started our Fund and will continue to do good here in Graves County.”
To donate or learn more about the Mayfield Graves Tornado Relief Fund, Inc., please visit mayfieldgravesstrong.org or reach out to your nearest Independence Bank location to see how you can get involved.