Post 1052 in Chicago raises money for Kentucky tornado victims
Downtown Mayfield, Ky., is a collection of damaged buildings, shuffled bricks and busted street poles. (Photo by Henry Howard.)

Post 1052 in Chicago raises money for Kentucky tornado victims

It didn’t take long for the Legion Family at Wayne-Wright Post 1052 in Chicago to step up when they found out their ties to Mayfield, Ky.

Shortly after Mayfield was struck by a devastating tornado on Dec. 10, the commander of Post 1052’s SAL squadron, Brian Dziemiela, noted that his wife, Susan Lofton, was born in Mayfield.

“So we discussed it and we said, why don’t we do something sooner than later (to help),” Squadron 1052 member Dave Grzenia said.

With a holiday party already planned, post members set about to collect donations there as well as from neighbors in the community around Post 1052. The effort collected $2,200.

But where exactly to send the money?

“We didn’t want to just send it to the Red Cross or to any of the national organizations; we wanted to make sure it really got down to the people that were there,” Grzenia said.

A news report on a Chicago TV station highlighted St. Jerome Catholic Church in Fancy Farm, Ky., just east of Mayfield.

“Even though they were so close to Mayfield, the tornado jumped right over them,” Grzenia said. “It was unbelievable how they didn’t get any devastation.”

Grzenia sent a check for the $2,200 to the church for its tornado relief fund. In the letter, he wrote, “I know it is a small token given the scope of recovery, but we hope it will assist where it is most needed.”

In a response thanking the post for its donation, Father Darrell Venters wrote, “We are humbled by the outpouring of generosity to those in need.”

Grzenia said the cash donation likely won’t be the last effort Post 1052 makes to help those impacted by the tornado.

“We were going to connect again with St. Jerome to see if there’s any specific needs (we can help with),” he said.