Moore, OK -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/21/2013 -- Several members of the Tennessee Hospitality Association staff and leadership are heading to Oklahoma today to spend the week volunteering with disaster relief efforts after tornadoes ravaged the state last month. The team is partnering with the Oklahoma Hotel Lodging and Restaurant Association to help victims of the deadly tornadoes get back on their feet in the aftermath of these devastating storms.
On the afternoon of May 20, 2013, an EF5 tornado, with peak winds estimated at 210 miles per hour, struck Moore, Oklahoma and adjacent areas, killing 24 people and injuring 377 others. The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management reported an estimated 1,150 homes were destroyed, and an estimated $2 billion in damages. Most areas in the path of the storm suffered catastrophic damage. Entire subdivisions were obliterated, and houses were flattened in a large swath of the city. In light of the sever devastation of these communities, the staff and leadership of TnHA jumped at the opportunity to help.
President and CEO, Greg Adkins felt compelled to help after watching a news segment on the aftermath of the tornadoes. “After talking to our leadership and staff we felt like it was the right thing to do to help fellow hospitality association out”
Martha Axford, the current TnHA Board Chair, immediately started to raise money for the trip. Axford stated that “she felt it was important to help those in need after such a tragedy. I’ve been a Tennessee volunteer my whole life and wanted to give back.” The association has raised approximately $7,000 dollars from the hospitality industry in Tennessee. The money raised is being used to purchase supplies such as hammers, drills, and crowbars to assist in the cleanup. Money will also be given to a local Oklahoma charity as well.
Amy Grace Dunsire, TnHA’s Director of Finance & Administration, made the ten hour drive and said “it was the greatest feeling to help others in desperate need. Giving back to folks who have lost everything they ever had is the right thing to do. It’s important to give back”
Lisa Bass, TnHA’s Director of Membership Development added, “I was excited about the opportunity to go and I believe it encompasses the true sense of hospitality.”
Throughout the week of June 24 the TnHA team will be doing a variety of volunteer activities including:
1. Serving food at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
2. Volunteering at “Serve Moore” a collaboration of Churches helping clean up and build back Moore Oklahoma.
Follow the TnHA team’s relief efforts on facebook (Tennessee Hospitality Association).
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