To Americans, the Memorial Day holiday represents a time a remembrance, a day off of work, and the start of the summer festivities. Families pack up and go to the lake, hold poolside cookouts in their backyards, or purchase vinyl flowers from the local Wal-Mart to rest on the grave of their loved ones who have already passed.
For many Oklahomans, however, Memorial Day 2011 was a day spent rummaging through the remains of their homes and belongings after a series of deadly tornadoes ripped through the Midwest the week before. Twisters popped up all across the state of Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon and while the Bethany area was not heavily impacted by the severe storms, a local community 15 miles due northwest known Piedmont was hit hard.
After the realization had set in and the claims adjusters had visited the affected areas, it was time for the clean-up process, and the SCU bowling team stepped in to help.
The team set up camp in Piedmont for seven hours on Monday, May 30th, cooking food for those victims that had lost everything. Head Coach Shaun Koonce borrowed some tables and chairs from the school and Wal-Mart donated 27 pounds of hamburger meat as the bowlers fired up the grill for the huge cookout. The Eagles also took an 18-wheeler full of clothes, toys, furniture, and hygiene products.
“I found out about this opportunity to help and asked my bowlers if they wanted to help,” said Head Coach Shaun Koonce. “I did not make this mandatory but my great athletes just stepped up and helped.”
The bowlers were not the only group from SCU to lend a hand. On Friday, May 27th, a group of 10 staff members, faculty members, and students from SCU, headed by Director of Property Management Jeff Patterson, traveled to Piedmont to hand out bottles of water and help sort through the debris.
Even though it was not the traditional Memorial Day cookout held by the bowlers, both groups from SCU were glad to have the opportunity to step up and help the victims of the horrible storms.
Piedmont house affected by the tornado on 5/24/2011
SCU Bowler Christie Koonce assists in storm relief
Posted on Wed, June 1, 2011
by Kasey Gardner