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Tornado reliefKansas City, Kan., firefighters today presented a check for $40,000 for tornado relief for Oklahoma victims to the American Red Cross, Eastern Kansas Chapter. From left to right were Heather Handlin, board chairwoman, American Red Cross, Eastern Kansas Chapter, Tony Coleman, board member, American Red Cross, Eastern Kansas Chapter, Steve Littlefield, IAFF Local 64, Eric Scruggs, driver - EMT, Joe Masters, firefighter - EMT, and Jason Kimm, firefighter - medic. (Staff photo)
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Tornado reliefHeather Handlin wrote out the $40,000 check used in a check presentation today at the American Red Cross, Eastern Kansas Chapter, offices at 1600 Washington Blvd. Handlin is chairwoman of the board for the Eastern Kansas Chapter. The check from Kansas City, Kan., firefighters is for Oklahoma tornado relief. (Staff photo)
Kansas City, Kan., firefighters today presented a $40,000 check to the American Red Cross, Eastern Kansas Chapter, to help tornado relief in Oklahoma.
Firefighters collected the funds in intersections in Kansas City, Kan., during the three-day Memorial Day weekend, said Steve Littlefield, representing the International Association of Firefighters Local 64 and Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department.
Firefighters wanted to do something to help the victims after the devastating tornadoes struck Oklahoma, he said.
They found that Kansas City, Kan., residents were more than generous.
People gave $1 or $2 at first, but when they found out what the firefighters were collecting for, they reached back into their wallets and starting giving $20 bills, he said. Some even gave $50 or $100, he added.
Patrick Sallee, chief development officer with the American Red Cross, Greater Kansas City, said it was a significant amount, and that the Fire Department is always one of the first to help whenever there is a disaster.
He said the funds would be used to provide clothing and food, and to help families who are victims of the recent Oklahoma tornadoes.
He added he wasn’t very surprised by the generosity of Kansas City residents.
“I think they topped it with this event,” he said.
The American Red Cross, Eastern Kansas Chapter, also sent volunteers to help in the Oklahoma disaster, according to Jennifer Tarwater, disaster services director.
One of the five volunteers from the Eastern Kansas Chapter was Tom Dailey, former Kansas City, Kan., police chief, who also was deployed to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.