Los Alamos reaches out to tornado victims

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Rebuild > Aid goes to humans, animals impacted by storms

By Tris DeRoma

For the past couple of months, the residents of Los Alamos have been pitching in to help Oklahomans, impacted by the wave of deadly tornadoes that swept their state.
They’ve helped out in a variety of ways; bake sales, donation drives, pledging money.
Among the more unique drives have been the Charger Aquatics’ swim team holding a drive for pets who have been impacted by the tornadoes, a Red Cross donation drive held by Cpl. Pat Massara of the Los Alamos Police Department and a trailer wash orchestrated by the Los Alamos Pony Club.
Though the swim team drive and the LAPD/Red Cross Drive is over, the Los Alamos Pony Club’s fundraising effort is still going on.
To get your trailer washed, contact LAPC member Lisa Reader at lisaandgarth@cs.com.
“If they have a horse trailer or a car they want washed, we will be happy to do that,” Reader said, adding that they will come to you, all you have to do is get your trailer or car ready.
The LAPC has raised $250 so far, and for now, is continuing to take appointments. The money will be used to take care of animals, especially horses that have been impacted by the tornadoes.
Apparently, the tornadoes tore through not just residences, but farms as well, injuring many animals, including horses. While area veterinarians are willing to lend their medical expertise for free, they need help purchasing medical supplies and prescription drugs.
Three of the main organizations that are involved in the operation are, the Equi-Center in Norman, Okla; Interstate Equine in Washington, Okla. and Equine Medical Associates in Edmond, Okla.
The money raised will go to Reader’s connection in Kansas City who buys medical supplies with the funds, then ships them out to Oklahoma to help local organizations involved in the care and rescue of the animals. You can also donate directly to the cause by writing a check to the Los Alamos Pony Club, which is a 501 c (3) organization.
Last month, the Charger Aquatics swim team completed its drive to help injured and displaced pets in the tornado zone, sending cans of pet food and other supplies to Oklahoma to help in the relief effort.
Local businesses got involved in tornado relief fundraising too, which was a big help to Massara.
Massara was out on Trinity Drive and 20th Street in late May, handing out water bottles, gift certificates and Daylight Donuts from Morning Glory Bakery in exchange for a donation or two, which he gave to the Red Cross to help tornado victims.
“I’d like to say ‘thank you’ so much to Morning Glory, they supplied us with donuts, gift certificates and gave us lunch, so I would like to say thanks to them,” he said. Also helping him out were his friends from the dispatch center as well as the Los Alamos Fire Department.
Many of them held up signs on Trinity Drive to help get noticed while others did the collecting.
“I know Pat has family from there so I figured I’d come out and support that. It’s for a good cause,” said Andy McHenry, a dispatcher with the Los Alamos Police Department.
Massara said one of the reasons that inspired him to raise funds was that his mother lived about a mile and a half from where the Moore, Okla. tornado touched down.
“This one is for the people in Oklahoma,” he said. “She lives a mile and a half from Moore, and all her friends and co-workers work at the nearby Air Force base, so I decided I’d put this on for her,” he said.
When asked if she was OK, he said she is, “but she’s ready to move out of there,” he said.
Massara raised about $2,000, mainly from people who were curious about Massara’s water bottle juggling act and the fire engines parked in the lot.
The boy in the picture putting money in the can is Izick Salazar, son of Moses Salazar.
‘I noticed the fire truck and the police here, and he really likes fire trucks, so we decided to check it out,” Salazar said.
The money was donated to the Red Cross, according to Massara.
“I’d like to personally thank the fire department and the community,” Massara said. Everyone really contributed to this big time.”