Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Friends of Dean Park in the Trenches

Friends of Dean Park, Inc. (FODP) was immediately in the trenches
L to R: Elmetra Patterson, V. President of 
Friends of Dean Park, Inc. with Danny Rush, 
longtime volunteer and resident of Center
 Ridge Community. 
(photo courtesy of Martha Sanders)
with the residents of the Center Ridge Community after the tornado which practically destroyed the entire community - including its beloved historical Dean Park. The FODP with Supervisor Gloria Turnipseed were instrumental in helping to set up a Disaster Relief Site in the Center Ridge Community along with Center Ridge Baptist Church, Rev. William Haynes, pastor and the Mt. Olive Bethel Harmony District Association president, Rev. David Harris, Sr., also pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. The site is at Center Ridge Baptist Church, 4019 Hwy. 15 South, Louisville, MS 39339. Supervisor Turnipseed immediately had donations sent to the Center Ridge Baptist Church from various places throughout the state.

Rev. William Haynes and members have allowed the entire church to be used for disaster relief. He stated that the church is a place to provide services to the community in any way that it can. The Salvation Army has been at the site providing food for the residents of Center Ridge. The American Red Cross set-up at the church on Sunday, May 3, 2014 to provide services. Volunteers from the coliseum have been in constant contact with Friends of Dean Park coordinating efforts to get supplies to the church daily - sometimes hourly, according to President Elder Richard Moncrief of FODP. FODP volunteers have been delivering hot meals from Salvation Army, Tyson, and the American Red Cross directly to the victims homes in Center Ridge. According to Elmetra Patterson, "We (FODP) wanted to comfort the victims, to assess their needs and to disseminate information to them by going door-to-door in Center Ridge Community, when it was safe enough, immediately after the tornado. Most of the residents know us from our work at Dean Park and welcomed us as we approached them to offer our assistance. We are appreciative of our employees, Jerome Moncrief, Florence Thompson, and Michelle Foster for all of their help in unloading, organizing and distributing to victims. We thank Annie Hudson and Ollie Haynes for managing the site; Madie Moncrief and her husband John Smith, from South Carolina, for working tirelessly since the site opened; Elder RichardMoncrief, Eddie Littleton, Jr. and Rev. Willie Goss, Jr. for hauling goods to the site from the coliseum; Deacon Cornelius, Wendy Harris and family for their daily work, Deacons Howard Henley, Christopher Coburn and Rev. William Haynes for opening and closing the site and thanks to all who have been encouraging and made donations."

Supervisor Gloria Turnipseed is a history maker being the first woman to be elected to the Winston County Board of Supervisors. At her request, the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, delivered food to

Donations to FODP may be sent to:
Disaster Relief Fund
Friends of Dean Park, Inc.
P. O. Box
Louisville, MS 39339

All donations will be used: 1) to benefit families, especially those with children in the Center Ridge Community, near Dean Park who are victims of the tornado of April 28, 2014;
2) to assist in the restoration of Dean Park, also damaged by the tornado of April 28, 2014 and the Friends of Dean Park's Special Projects.
Contact Information: Friends of Dean Park, Inc., Elder Richard Moncrief, 662.736-3323, Elmetra Patterson, 510.672-2106; Supervisor Gloria Turnipseed, 662.803-0258; for Center Ridge Baptist Church: Rev. William Haynes, 705-9307