Ocean Ridge community raises nearly $150,000 for tornado victims
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Driving through Ocean Ridge, you don’t see a lot of damage leftover from last February’s tornado.
“More than 100 families in Ocean ridge had damage to their homes, or their home was destroyed,” Claudia Piccarelli, Ocean Ridge Charities Association (ORCA) treasurer, said.
ORCA president Maggy Schlink added, “you can see the progress that’s been made, and that people are getting back to, back to normal.”
ORCA has raised nearly $150,000 to help the tornado victims — enough to provide assistance to families outside Ocean Ridge. Duke Energy also donated $5,000.
“We were able to give money to 10 families on the other side of Route 17 and they were given checks as well as over $200 per family in gift cards that were collected by local businesses and donated to us. So, we were glad to be able to help outside of the community as well as inside,” Schlink said.
The group also found a way to remember the lives lost in the tornado.
“We have these benches near our walking paths and we wanted to do a permanent tribute that [every time] in the community would every time they drove by it they would think you know what we know families are still suffering. We’re there for you,” Donna Wald, Ocean Ridge Social Activities Committee chairperson, said.
Barry Glick, one of the residents who passed away, was a longtime educator, so the community also donated $2,200 to Twin Brook Elementary School. Glick was a substitute teacher there for 14 years.
Because first responders played such an important role in saving lives after the tornado touched down, the group has also endowed a new scholarship at Brunswick Community College.
“[We] started a scholarship fund for $8,500. So, future EMTs, will be able to get their certification. So, it’s a way of us giving back and saying thank you to all the people that helped us,” Wald said.
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