Here’s a roundup of the latest information on various tornado relief and cleanup efforts in Northeast Nebraska.

Wisner to host tornado benefit event

River Park in Wisner will be the site for the Journey2Recovery benefit fundraiser set for Saturday, August 23. Proceeds from the event will be used to provide financial assistance to Northeast Nebraskans whose homes and businesses sustained losses from the tornadoes and storms that tore through the region last month.  

What started out originally as a benefit auction has expanded a group from Omaha has stepped forward to join local volunteers for the event. Live bands will be providing music throughout the day and into the night while food and refreshments will be served by Nic McCarthy and his volunteer staff.

Brandon Deyo of Omaha said he hopes to bring five or six bands to the event, including a national touring band.

It is expected that over 100 items will be up for bid during the live and silent auction that will take place in the evening.

Among the nearly 30 items received so far are a dinner for eight with Gov. Dave Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem at the Governor’s Mansion; and Nebraska football, basketball, and volleyball game tickets.

To learn more about the event, people can contact the Journey2Recovery committee at 208-9242. Wisner residents helping to coordinate the event are Tom Feller, Dave Fox, Nic McCarthy and Dan Bossow.

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Updates from Pilger:

— Staff members with the Nebraska Department of Insurance will be on hand Wednesday, July 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. at 400 W. Second St., in Pilger to provide information and response to insurance-related questions and concerns.

— Trash may be placed in alleys for Tuesday garbage pickup as of Tuesday, July 22.

— Pilger’s message board has been relocated next to the clerk’s new temporary office at 400 W. Second St., just south of the swimming pool’s parking lot.

— The Pilger pool committee is in need of five- and 10-gallon drink containers for the annual sweet corn and hamburger dinner set for Aug. 6. Drop off containers at the village clerk’s office.

— The Village of Pilger is asking that remaining residents place their home’s street number somewhere on their residence to ensure that the appropriate address is found for emergency purposes.

— Village Clerk Kim Neiman said Pilger is still accepting small quantities of walk-in volunteers during the next couple of weeks, but no walk-in volunteers will be accepted on Sundays.

— Pilger remains in need of heavy equipment (excavators, bobcats and dump trucks) for cleanup and recover efforts. Persons can call the help line, 468-8005, with questions or to volunteer.

— Due to the demobilization of AmeriCorps volunteers, the donations center in Wisner has reduced its hours of operation. It now will be open 1 to 7 p.m. weekdays; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed on Sundays.

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A Northeast Nebraska tornado relief fundraiser is set for Sunday, July 20, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Norfolk. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fund raiser will feature a raffle, bake sale and a food drive. Entry fee is a free will donation or a canned food item. All proceeds will be donated to affected communities.

For more information, contact Tracee Larson at 750-1807 or Shawn Parks at 372-7151.

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On Tuesday, July 29, the Nebraska high school speech and drama community will come together for the first time to raise money for the tornado victims with a Nebraska All-Star Speech Festival to take place at Wisner-Pilger High School. Performances will begin at 9 a.m.

Performers will range from current high school and collegiate speech team members to former alumni speech team competitors from across Nebraska.  Tentative plans also are for a special "coaches' category” so that student speakers can turn the tables on their coaches and judge them.

Hastings College plans to send performers to participate as well as those from Humphrey, Kearney Catholic, Leigh, Pawnee City, Twin River, Verdigre, Wisner-Pilger and others.

Greg Moeller of Wisner and Justin Aaberg of Stanton are coordinating the event. They are hoping for donations of baked goods and other items that could be sold during the event.

Performers and coaches, as well as Nebraska speech judges wishing to perform, may contact Gregg Moeller at 529-3405, or gmoeller@esu2.org.

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How to donate

Monetary donations continue to be the best way to help citizens affected by the storm. Multiple funds have been established.

Pilger financial donations can be made at any Midwest Bank branch, referencing the “Pilger Emergency Fund.” Checks may be mailed to: Pilger Emergency Fund, Midwest Bank, Norfolk Branch, Box 886, Norfolk, 68702.

Donations for six rural Stanton families can be made at the Stanton State Bank, referencing the “Stanton Tornado Relief Fund.” Checks may be mailed to: Stanton Tornado Relief Fund, Stanton State Bank, Box 437, Stanton, 68779.

For Pilger and Stanton survivors, financial donations can be made at the Stanton State Bank, referencing the “Pilger/Stanton Tornado Relief Fund.” Checks may be mailed to: Pilger/Stanton Tornado Relief Fund, Stanton State Bank, Box 437, Stanton, 68779.

Contributions to the Laurel Tornado Relief Fund can be made at Security Bank, 202 E. Second St., Laurel, 68745, during regular business hours.

Contributions to the Coleridge Tornado Relief can be made at Security Bank – Coleridge, 101 W Broadway, Coleridge, 68727, during regular business hours.

Funds are being accepted at Wayne banks to help with relief efforts for the recent tornadoes in Northeast Nebraska. The following banks will accept donations for the Northeast Nebraska Tornado Relief Fund for distribution by the Wayne United Way: F&M Bank, 321 Main St., 375-2043; First National Bank, 411 E. 7th St., 375-2525; and State Nebraska Bank & Trust, 122 Main St., 375-1130.

Those who would like to help by making a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief can do so by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 800-RED CROSS.

The Wakefield Ministerium Tornado Relief Fund is available to receive donations at the Wakefield branch of the Iowa/Nebraska State Bank or at any of the Wakefield Ministerium Churches. Make checks payable to the “Wakefield Ministerium Tornado Relief Fund.”

The Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership — formerly Goldenrod Hills Community Action — has established a fund to support emergency relief for Northeast Nebraskans who are homeless due to the recent tornadoes. The fund will help with housing assistance that would include rent deposit, utility deposit, first month’s rent, food vouchers or transportation vouchers. Contributions may be made by sending donations to NENCAP Emergency Relief Fund, in care of the partnership at Box 667, Pender, NE 68047. Officials said 100 percent of the donations would go to the relief fund.

The Norfolk-based Orphan Grain Train has set up a disaster relief fund for Pilger and Northeast Nebraska's tornado-affected areas. Donations can be sent to Box 1466, Norfolk, 68702, or dropped off at the office located at 601 West Phillip Ave. Individuals may also donate online at www.ogt.org.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has launched a Tornado Disaster Relief Fund to provide emergency and residual help to farmers and ranchers in Northeast Nebraska and other areas across the state affected by recent tornadoes. Donations may be sent to: NFB-Foundation for Agriculture, Attn: Tornado Relief Fund, Box 80299, Lincoln, NE 68501. The website for donations is: www.nefb.org, click on the “Donate” button.

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