GETTING IT TOGETHER:
University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and Auburn University head coach Gene Chizik will serve as spokesmen for Project Rebound, a federal initiative designed to provide emotional support to people in Alabama affected by the April tornadoes, according to press accounts. The coaches’ message—”We’re all in this together”—will be disseminated through radio, TV, the web and print media, as well as brochures and posters, according to an August 15 staff report in The Times-Journal in Ft. Payne (times-journal.com). Project Rebound has been in existence since Hurricane Ivan, offering help to survivors of that event, as well as Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill, according to The Times-Journal. For more information on the program, visit www.projectrebound.org.
PRATT CITY RISING:
A plan for rebuilding storm-pounded Pratt City is finally beginning to come together, according to an August 15 report by Chris Womack of WIAT-TV 42. The American Institute of Architects has been in town touring the damage, meeting community leaders and finding out what the people in Pratt City want to see in the area. “I would love for Pratt City to be built as a home where people can go in and out it’s pleasant to live, it’s peaceful, it’s quiet and there’s harmony,” longtime resident Charlotte Gray told Womack. There’s no time table for rebuilding, but one of the first goals is to rebuild the Pratt City Library, Womack reports. Check out his story, “Pratt City’s Future Coming into Focus,” at www.cbs42.com.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced August 16 that his agency will help families affected by horrible tornadoes in Alabama and Joplin, Mo., by entering into “an unprecedented” purchase agreement to sell real-estate owned properties (REO) to public housing authorities in affected areas. As part of a pilot program, HUD will sell nearly 90 “move-in ready” REO properties in both Missouri and Alabama to public housing authorities at a discount in an effort to quickly provide housing for families displaced by the storms. The housing authorities will make the properties available for lease or sale to impacted people within two months. To read the entire release, “HUD Announces Unprecedented Assistance for Alabama, Missouri Storm Victims,” look under “Featured News” at www.hud.com.
TIME TO SUIT UP:
Alabama Forever, a non-profit group which seeks to aid storm recovery in the state, has provided the Pleasant Grove Youth Football Association with equipment in time for football season, according to a news release from the nonprofit received August 11. Pleasant Grove was hit hard by the April tornadoes, and much of the players’ equipment was dam aged or destroyed at the youth football facility and in the homes of some players and coaches. Alabama Forever has provided enough gear, including helmets and shoulder pads, for four Pleasant Grove teams with 86 players total. This donation makes it possible for the youth football season to take place as scheduled, according to an official with the Pleasant Grove Park Board quoted in the release. For more information on Alabama Forever, go to www.alabamaforever.org.
THE MATCH GAME:
The Patterson Foundation of Sarasota, Fla., will match each donation made to the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama’s Tornado Recovery Fund, up to a total of $100,000. The gift will be used to rebuild some of the hundreds of homes that were destroyed by the April tornadoes in that part of the state, according to a news release from The Patterson Foundation received August 12. The matching challenge was announced during a recent benefit at the Cherokee Center and Arena in Centre, Ala. For more information, visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org.