Community rallies behind nation’s loss | SierraSun.com

Community rallies behind nation’s loss

Jeff Clemetson, Sierra Sun

Truckee residents and organizations continued to show support for victims of the Sept. 11 “Attack on America” throughout the week, holding gatherings, candlelight vigils and offering donations for relief.

On Friday, Mayor Don McCormack, three local pastors and other community members spoke to a gathering at the Truckee River Regional Park to honor those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks.

“This is a town with a heart and we are close to one another and we do feel for those that are so far away and are in such extreme pain and anguish,” McCormack said. “And this anguish will continue for a very long time.”

The gathering, which drew about 500 people, was planned the day before and was mostly publicized by word of mouth and e-mail.

City Council member Maia Schneider told the gathering that she comforted herself after the attack by going through old newspaper clippings of Truckee residents “doing what locals do – sticking together.”

“These days call for extra comfort,” she said. “We need to demonstrate even more compassion, even more love, even more patience that we normally do. Small acts of kindness will go a very long way.”

On Friday night, a town-wide candlelight vigil mirrored others held throughout the country. Residents and businesses in Truckee were encouraged to light a candle at 7 p.m.

Local groups and individuals helped in the recovery efforts of New York and Washington by setting up donations to give to charities.

The Parent Teacher Organization at Glenshire Elementary vowed Monday at a school assembly to match monies donated into a “spare change” container set up at the school. PTO officers said they hoped to match $500 by Friday.

The Tahoe-Truckee Community Foundation is accepting donations on behalf of sister foundations in New York and Washington D.C., said foundation President Lisa Dobey.

US Bank set up a fund to aid the American Red Cross’ efforts in New York and Washington, D.C. US Bank of Truckee’s business development officer Sherilyn Laughlin said donations have already been made by members of Truckee’s Noon Rotary Club. Donations to the Red Cross can also be made at Truckee Fire District stations.

The National Association of Realtors set up the Realtor Housing Relief fund to help pay mortgage costs of victims of the Sept. 11 attack. Local NAR member Tamara Perlman of Caldwell Banker said she is donating 10 percent of her commission from the months of September and October to the fund.

In another act of charitable donation, Truckee resident Terri Bergstrom lent the Truckee Fire District Station 91 a flag sent to her by her son Keith, who is serving aboard the USS Vincennes. The giant U.S. flag was flown aboard the naval ship and is now hung on the front of the station in honor of the firefighters who gave their lives at the World Trade Center.

“It’s a sad day for fire service officers,” said Capt. Greg Burch while hanging the giant flag on Friday. “Even though we don’t know each other personally, we still do the same job – it hurts.”

In a letter to the Sierra Sun, Truckee Sunrise Rotarian Brent Collinson said he received many calls from people wanting to donate blood. Because the nation’s blood banks are currently full, an immediate blood drive in Truckee isn’t necessary, he said. A regularly scheduled blood drive will be held Oct. 16 at the Veteran’s Hall.

On Sunday, local musicians will perform a “Peace Concert” at Regional Park from 1 to 4 p.m. Donations to the American Cross Relief Fund will be accepted. (See additional story, page B7.)

“We’re getting together as a community in harmony,” said event organizer Nancy O’Connell.

For disaster assistance: Call FEMA 1-800-462-9029

To volunteer or make donations: Call FEMA 1-800-801-8092

Emergency response/relief efforts

American Red Cross, blood supply:

— The American Red Cross is in need of blood to replenish the nation’s supply. Call 1-800-HELP-NOW to schedule an appointment near where you live.

American Red Cross, cash donations:

— (800) HELP-NOW

Helping.org:

— For more information on helping victims of the U.S. attacks, visit Helping.org

United Way, donations:

— The United Way of New York and the New York Community Trust have established a fund to help the victims of the attacks and their families. The September 11th Fund will provide immediate support to established emergency assistance agencies. Anyone wishing to contribute may send their donations in care of United Way, 2 Park Ave, New York, New York, 10016 or call: (212) 251-4035. Donations are also being accepted on United Way of New York City’s Web site: http://www.uwnyc. org.

Feed The Children, donations:

— Donations are being accepted at Feed The Children

Salvation Army, cash donations:

— (800) SAL-ARMY

World Vision

— Donations are being accepted for World Vision’s American Relief Fund at the organization’s Web site or by calling 1-888-511-6593.

*information courtesy of cnn.com