UPDATE: Hundreds come out to support victims of April 9th tornad - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATE: Hundreds come out to support victims of April 9th tornadoes


Fairdale resident Patrick Burgess holds a picture of his truck covered in rubble. It's one of the only possessions he still has after an EF-4 destroyed his home.

"The next few days I couldn't even eat, it was just hard. It was just hard going through the rubble of all of my stuff," says Burgess. "What was left and digging this out [points to his truck] and trying to get it running again."

Two months have gone by and still residents like Burgess have been unable to rebuild their homes. Burgess is planning to move, but for those staying there may be good news in sight.

July 1st the DeKalb County board will vote on rezoning the town. If approved residents can start to get life back to normal.

In the meantime the DeKalb County Long Term Recovery Committee has been collecting donations to help support the families who lost everything at fundraiser's like one Saturday night at a restaurant in Sycamore.

"People are giving in every way that they can and also there are people who are organizing such events, who are just giving their time because they know it is the right thing to do," says Bill Nicklas the DeKalb County Long Term Recovery Committee President.

The group's goal is to raise $1.4 million to rebuild the community of Fairdale. $800,000 has been raised so far towards that goal.

"It could have hit any part of DeKalb County, every corner of DeKalb County was under a watch or a warning that night and so we are all in this together," says Nicklas.

Signs and shirts that read 'Fairdale Strong' or 'We Stand Together' are constant reminders of a community trying to start over.

"This is going to be a long fight for all of us to get through it and get everybody somewhat back to normal," says Burgess.

For information on how to help check out the DeKalb County Long Term Recovery Committee Facebook page.

A fundraiser to help the residents affected by the April 9th tornadoes will be held Saturday, June 20.

Starting at 5 p.m. the public is welcomed to come out to Cabana Charley's Restaurant to enjoy live music from THE BEAUX, a silent auction and 50/50 drawings. The money raised will be used to help the residents of Fairdale and Kirkland after a devastating tornado struck the area.

The event will last until 11 p.m. and the restaurant is located at 1470 S. Peace Road in Sycamore. All proceeds raised will be donated to DeKalb County Long Term Recovery.

The DeKalb County Long Term Recovery Committee was formed to be the central point for identifying short & long term needs & match resources to those needs for families that were affected by the April 9, 2015 tornado. Helping those families become whole again is the central mission of the group.


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