Wednesday, March 5, 1997
Helpers descend
on areas in need

The Cincinnati Enquirer

FORT THOMAS - Flooding in the region has brought out a wave of relief efforts from across Northern Kentucky.

Businesses, radio stations, schools, hospitals, churches and area governments are working with disaster relief agencies like the American Red Cross to try and provide aid, comfort and hope to those victimized by the high waters.

''People here just got together and tried to see what we could do to help,'' said Kathy Henderson of Fort Thomas, a nurse at St. Luke Hospital-East in Campbell County, an area hit hard by the flooding. St. Luke employees have put out a plea for new socks and underwear, toys and games for kids as well used gym shoes and boots.

''We want the shoes and boots so once the water starts to go down flood victims can go to and from their houses without ruining their good shoes,'' Mrs. Henderson said.

She said donations can be dropped off at the Fort Thomas City Building, 130 N. Fort Thomas Ave., where the city's fire and public works departments are helping out in the relief effort.

Since Monday, there has been ''a steady flow'' of people dropping off clothes, groceries, toys and other items, said Firefighter Jim Specht.

By late Tuesday morning the public works department had taken two truck loads of relief supplies to shelters to flooded areas.

Some other examples of relief efforts:

WUBE radio's morning team of Jim Fox and Eric ''Bubba Bo'' Boulanger collected more than $10,000 during a Tuesday morning live remote broadcast from the Wal-Mart store in Florence.

The money was used to buy cleaning supplies, clothing, blankets, canned goods, personal hygiene products and items for babies and small children, said Cindy Bath, the station's promotions director.

Chancellor Broadcasting, which owns WUBE, will be collecting items all week at Wal-Marts in Florence and Eastgate, as well as in the lobby of its corporate headquarters at the Baldwin Towers on Gilbert Avenue in Cincinnati, said general manager John Rohm.

On Monday, ''Fox and Bubba'', as they are known on the air, drove a van full of donated items to flooded areas.

Students and parents at St. Bernard School in Dayton collected enough food and clothing Monday and Tuesday to fill ''a good-sized truck'' said teacher Sharon King.

Marilyn Fussinger and Charles ''Donut'' Fuchs worked with Ms. King to organize the drive, which included donations from Riverside IGA in Dayton and Thriftway in Newport. The truck was donated by Advertiser-Printers Inc. in Dayton.

Ms. King's father, Ben King, is a retired food salesmen who according to his daughter ''called in some old favors and markers and came up with 11 cases of donated groceries from all over the area.''

The Cold Spring-Crestview Fire Department, 4113 Alexandria Pike in Cold Spring, and the Plum Creek Christian Church on U.S. 27 near the Campbell/Pendleton county line are serving as emergency shelters and collection points for donated items, such as food, clothing and furniture.

Plum Creek elder Jeff Sallee said several companies, including IGA, Thriftway, Revco and Procter & Gamble donated items, and Kahn's, which operates a plant in southern Campbell County, donated a refrigerated truck full of meat.

A semi-trailer, provided by VG Express, will be available at Florence Mall over the next two days for donations of non-perishable items for flood victims. The mall is working with the St. Vincent DePaul Society to distribute the items.

The trailer is in parking lot 'D' on the Mall Road side of the mall between the Sears store and the Lazarus Home Store.

The seven Tristate Bigg's stores are serving as drop-off points for donated items, which are being distributed by the Red Cross.

Fifth Third Bank and the Red Cross have established an account for donations to flood victims. Donations can be made at any local Fifth Third branch in account number 728-74698.

Grant County Disaster and Emergency Services is coordinating relief efforts in Falmouth and Pendleton County out of a Williamstown distribution center.

Director Richard Willoby said the following items are needed: Soft drinks, drink mix, milk, water, juices, lunch meat, cheese, potato chips, hamburger, salad dressing, spaghetti and sauce, coffee and creamer, sweetener, plastic wrap, sandwich bags, utensils, Styrofoam bowls, underwear, toothbrushes, soap and coloring books or other activities for children.

Several offices in the Kenton County Courthouse are collecting non-perishable food, clothes, diapers, toothpaste, bottled water, personal grooming items, cleaning supplies, blankets and baby bottles.

Northern Kentucky University's radio station, WNKU, made an announcement Monday for people to give donations for the flood victims, said David Arnold, general manager.

''Our front office is now filled with stuff. We've got piles four-feet high that fill up a room,'' Mr. Arnold said Tuesday.

Reporters Cindy Schroeder, Darrell S. Pressley and Terry Flynn contributed to this report.