Tornado Relief Efforts-UW Funds Available

Tornado Relief Efforts-UW Funds Available
Posted on 04/05/2024
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UPDATE 4/4/24


Logan County households impacted by the March 14 tornado that ripped through the Indian Lake region are invited to apply for financial assistance through United Way's Indian Lake Tornado Relief Fund. Intake will occur by appointment only at the Multi-Agency Resource Center established for tornado victims, which is moving to 431 Madison Avenue in Russells Point. Victims can schedule an appointment online at this link: or by calling (937) 592-2886.

Financial assistance is available for needs including: Housing expenses, including rent, mortgage, security deposit, hotel expenses Home repair, including insurance deductible Auto expenses, including car repair, car payment, down payment, insurance deductible, Prescription Medication, Utilities, Student hardship fees, Pet care, Other living expenses as deemed appropriate during in-take

Appointments will occur at the Multi-Agency Resource Center in conjunction with other state and local agencies so that victims can bundle and maximize the help they can receive.

Residents needing transportation to an appointment can call Lift Delivery at 937-722-1347 for a free ride. The financial assistance comes from donations made to United Way's Indian Lake Tornado Relief Fund, which has raised $1,130,337 in the three weeks since the devastating storm. That's more than United Way of Logan County raised all of last year. Pledges from individuals, corporations, and charitable organizations have poured in from 40 states coast to coast. 100 percent of all money donated to the Relief Fund will be used to support immediate and long-term recovery efforts, with an emphasis to be placed on identifying and fulfilling unmet needs.

"On behalf of the Indian Lake Tornado Relief Committee, we thank all the outside donors for your support to create this opportunity," said Brenda Moots, owner of Indian Lake Outfitters & The Depot in Lakeview. "Our goal is to assist as many families as possible with full transparency, representation, and immediate need to our Indian Lake area residents. We know this isn’t a fix all answer to everyone's situation. It won’t completely address the large number of displaced families or their wide spread needs. But it is certainly a good start that offers hope and assists with more immediate need while the community works through avenues of other funding possibilities."

Moots joined other tornado victims from each affected neighborhood and leaders from the Indian Lake community this week to determine the criteria for how the Relief Funds would be spent.

Committee members include: Dave Coburn – Indian Lake Schools Pastor Jim Ellington – Indian Lake Community Church Dale Frymeyer – Choice Properties Real Estate / Indian Lake Development Corporation Suzanne Gillespie – Shoreline Construction Cynthia Heffner – Logan County Department of Job & Family Services Rachel Kubic – Hanna Howard Real Estate / Indian Lake Development Corporation Scott Mohler – Lift Delivery Brenda Moots – Indian Lake Outfitters Amy Musil – LuLu’s at the Lake Tim O’Rielley – CoverLink Insurance / United Way Allocations Chair Rick Powers – NX Automotive Logistics / United Way Board Member Katie Rychener – Unit-Ten / United Way Board Member Corey VanHoose – CenterPoint Energy / United Way Board Member Also present were Dave Bezusko- United Way of Logan County Ashley Spence – United Way of Logan County Bobbi Jo Trittschuh – Honda

UPDATE 3/18/24

While classes are cancelled for Monday and Tuesday, Indian Lake School staff members returned to work today. 
They met for an all-staff meeting first thing in the morning. 
Indian Lake Board of Education President Gabe Wickline commended the efforts of so many staff members who volunteered over the past few days. He recounted that he and his family were at ILHS for a second grade music program when the sirens went off and school officials immediately sprang into action. 
"Mrs. Hall invited people to stay. We didn't know what was going on. We had about 150 people stay and shelter in locker rooms."
He continued about the outpouring of community response, "For me it's so special-I'm a lifelong Laker. We were delivering meals to friends, our students, our kids' friends. Every time we would go in and see something different, it just got more and more emotional for us."
Indian Lake Superintendent Dr. Rob Underwood talked about the effectiveness of using Indian Lake High School as a collection point. 
"If you haven't been out and seen it (the destruction) it's just devastating. When I came back from delivering, I walked into the gym and it was overwhelming.
Underwood continued, "I have already been contacted by the Ohio Department of Public Safety to study what we did to be able to replicate it. But I said there's two variables you can't replicate--you can't replicate our staff and you can't replicate our community."
Indian Lake staff member are spending the next days helping however they can in the community and contacting students and their families.
Communication efforts have been complicated by intermittent cell service at times. If you receive a call from a teacher or from an Indian Lake Schools phone number, please answer, if possible or return the call if you can. 

We are cancelling classes on Monday, March 18 and Tuesday, March 19. On those days, our principals and administrators will be contacting families of students who we know are displaced to assess their needs at this time. Members of our teaching staff will also be reaching out to their students. There will be no transportation services for Mac-A-Cheek, Discovery Center, or Ohio Hi Point on Monday and Tuesday. 

High school extracurricular practices and events will resume on Monday. Elementary and Middle School activities will resume on Wednesday. Please contact your coach if you have a situation that prevents you from participating. 

We plan to operate on a 2-hour delay and come back to school on Wednesday, March 20th. We will have mental health counselors available for students who are struggling. We understand that not all students will be ready to return right away, while other students need a sense of normalcy. Indian Lake Schools will be flexible on the return of all students. Please reach out to school personnel for assistance.

Kindergarten Registration is postponed. Once we have rescheduled, we will contact those families and inform the public. 


Lakers! Thank you again for all your hard work, donations and love for our neighbors! Here are important updates;

* Indian Lake High School is continuing to transition from a shelter back to a school building. We are no longer accepting donations. We are closing down for the night at 4 pm. The Red Cross Shelter is open at the First Church of God in Bellefontaine for families and pets. (We have had very few people needing to spend the night at school over the past two nights) Showers are available at the First Church of God, the Hilliker YMCA and 37 Adventures Campground. 

* ILHS will be open Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm. Showers will be available. In addition, limited needed supplies will be available in the gym. We are sending any food trucks that arrive into the communities so that they can more efficiently serve hot food to families first responders and folks affected. 

* We continue to move donated supplies, such as bedding, nonperishable foods, clothing, toiletries, water, etc. to community services and churches closer to the affected areas. Sunday is the last day to come to collect items at ILHS. Facilities with supplies will include the Indian Lake Community Church in Russells Point, the Galilee Lutheran Church in Russells Point, St. Mary of the Woods/St Vincent de Paul in Russells Point and the United Methodist Church in Lakeview. 

* We are cancelling school on Monday and Tuesday of this week. We hope to operate on a 2-hour delay and come back to school on Wednesday. 

* Our staff will be contacting families of students who we know are displaced to attempt to come up with a plan for transportation. Staff will also be reaching out to students in their classrooms to assess their needs

* We will host several precincts for the Primary Election on Tuesday in the ILHS Auxiliary Gym.


Now that roads are open to the affected areas, Indian Lake High School is transitioning its role in this disaster. Our teams of volunteers are now working to get collected supplies into Lakeview and Russells Point community service agencies and churches to distribute needed items faster and more easily. 

ILHS is open today until 4 pm for showers and to gather supplies. ILHS will no longer serve as an overnight shelter because of lack of usage for that purpose. We are working with the Red Cross at the First Church of God in Bellefontaine, which is now serving as a shelter for people and pets. We can help arrange transportation to that shelter. For help with that, please call Shawntell at 937-407-1851 or the First Church of God at 937-592-5400. 

We will publish a list of churches and agencies as soon as possible. For now they include: Indian Lake Community Church, St. Marys of the Woods/St Vincent de Paul and Galilee Lutheran Church.