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By Echo Menges
The Baring Area Recovery Team (BART) is in the beginning stages of organizing to provide assistance to tornado survivors from the EF2 tornado that leveled much of the small town.
The team is comprised of Knox County citizens working to be of benefit to the Baring Community. They are: Raymond Burkholder Jr., Teresa Hunolt, Kelli Luthenauer, Katie Delaney, Leanne Mallet (Co-Chair), Tim Caldwell, Carolynn Snelling, Bill Whiles (Co-Chair), and Sue Chaffee.
“The mission of the Baring Area Recovery Team is to provide recovery services to community members affected by the August 4, 2023, tornado in the Baring community,” said BART Interim Co-Chair and Knox County Emergency Management Director Bill Whiles. “Services will be provided regardless of the community members’ race, creed, color, gender, disability, or religious preference. The goal of the Baring Area Recovery Team is to see all of our fellow community members fully recover from this disaster.”
The team is meeting often to get established with the help of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
“We are working diligently with great support and guidance from SEMA,” said Whiles. “We are planning on having a town hall meeting soon.
We are also exploring all possible options including grants, non profits, and all other opportunities to build Baring back better.”
The members of BART will determine the best and most fair uses for the funds raised by the Knox County Ministerial Alliance and the Knox County Chamber of Commerce. It is unknown when they will be able to accept the funds as they are still getting situated.
As of last week, over $50,000 was raised for Baring tornado relief.