In times of extreme need, local communities pitch in to help neighboring communities overcome damages caused by Mother Nature.
In late May, Middletown stepped up with 34 other communities in southwest Ohio to help Beavercreek get back on its feet following the Memorial Day tornadoes.
“Middletown came to our aid and helped us recover from the devastation from the tornadoes,” said Mike Thonnerieux, Beavercreek’s director of the public administrative services department. “There was no way we could clean up on our own. There was no way we’d be done picking up all that brush without all of our neighbors coming to help us.”
Thonnerieux and other Beavercreek officials have spent five days travelling to all of the communities that helped Beavercreek out during the post-tornadoes clean up. He was in Middletown to recognize the city and its public works employees for its assistance and efforts in the clean up.
“‘Neighbors helping neighbors,’ that really was our entire message,” Thonnerieux said.
Several Middletown public works employees were presented a challenge coin for their efforts from Thonnerieux on behalf of Beavercreek. In addition, a framed photo of a Beavercreek street with Middletown’s city logo superimposed and the signatures of Beavercreek’s public works employees and photo of a street Middletown employees helped to clear that was autographed by Beavercreek’s public works employees. A proclamation from the city of Beavercreek was also presented to Middletown city officials.
“We were there to help,” said Mark Horrall, Middletown street department leadman. “Those are the people who really suffered. What I saw there was quite a bit of a disaster. To realize what they’re going through, they’re really the heroes.”
Horall said the Middletown public works crews appreciated Beavercreek officials coming down to recognize them for their efforts.
“It means a lot to us and we’re being appreciated,” he said. “But they’re the victims, they’re the heroes, and they’re the ones who survived that tragedy.”
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