Our view: Storm is over but work just beginning
While raising money to aid residents devastated by Hurricane Katrina immediately after the storm came easy, as time goes by fundraising becomes more difficult. Yet the need remains.That’s what Jane Loomis and Margie Meyer from Sierra High School are discovering. Along with students at the school, the two have spurred an effort that saw the Town of Truckee on Sept. 15 pass resolution 2005-51, which adopted the town of Bayou Le Batre, Alabama as our sister city. The shrimping and fishing town of 2,323 on the Gulf of Mexico was flooded by water 20-feet deep during the height of Katrina, destroying 1,000 homes and 100 businesses.While the town’s initial needs were met by the Red Cross and other agencies, full recovery, including re-establishing the economic base of the area, is estimated to take from 18 months to two years.That’s where we in Truckee can help – and some already have. Teichert Aggregates has donated $1,000, the first significant amount of money placed into a fund designated solely for Bayou Le Batre. The Town of Truckee, in partnership with the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, will be coordinating the financial transactions to Bayou Le Batre and will oversee the financial accountability.Loomis is working hard to get our community together to help one that is in need. But getting the word out is proving a challenge, she says.”It’s a matter of getting people together,” Loomis says. “But it’s not easy.”To pool local talent, Loomis is working with Assistant Town Manager Alex Terrazas to form an advisory committee on ways, beyond individual donations, to raise money for the men, women and children of Bayou Le Batre. One suggestion, which salutes Bayou Le Batre’s Cajun heritage, is to hold a gumbo festival.In the meantime, people interested in donating money should make checks payable to the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation and write “Sister City Katrina Fund” on the memo line of the check. They can be mailed to TTCF, P.O. Box 366 Truckee, Ca 96160.