Pontiac, MI. -- A convoy led by 51st District Court Judge Jodi Debbrecht and Main Street Oakland County Program Coordinator Bob Donohue departed at 2:00 p.m. today to deliver supplies donated by southeast Michigan residents to the victims of the tornado that destroyed most of Joplin, Missouri. They will arrive in Joplin late morning on Friday, June 17, to drop off the supplies that will help ease the suffering of Joplin residents.
In a news conference that preceded the convoy’s departure, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, joined by Instar Principal Frank Torre, thanked all who came to Joplin’s aid. “Oakland County and southeast Michigan answered the call. We are sending four semi-trucks and a van full of donated supplies to help our fellow Americans in Joplin rebuild,” Patterson said.
“When this project started, our goal was to take two semi truckloads down to Joplin - we have four!” Debbrecht said. “I am very proud to be a Michigander. Southeast Michigan has again shown its true colors.”
When the convoy arrives in Joplin, it will make multiple stops to deliver the much needed supplies. First, they will meet with Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston and his staff, who will accept the hundreds of children’s books collected for the youngest victims of the Joplin tornado. Then the convoy will drop off the donated pet food at the local Humane Society. Finally, they will unload the dozens of pallets of needed supplies at the Americorps warehouse at Missouri Southern State University.
After the last item is unloaded, those who rode in the convoy will get a tour of the devastation zone from Woolston. The convoy will leave Missouri early Saturday morning with plans to return by midnight. The drive is 850 miles each way.
Southeast Michigan residents donated nearly every item on the request list. (For that complete list, go to OaklandCountyHelpsJoplin.com.) Sponsors came through in a big way too. Frank Torre of Instar donated two trucks, 100 wheelbarrows, 100 shovels and 100 rakes. Aristeo donated wheelbarrows, vests, shovels, ropes, rakes, rags, gloves, garbage bags and extension cords. Two additional tractor-trailer trucks were donated – one by Manuel “Matty” Moroun’s Central Transport and the other by Roger Penske.
More than $10,000 was donated to the Oakland County Helps Joplin fund at the Oakland County Credit Union, which made the first donation of $1,000. A portion of that money was used to purchase additional supplies to be delivered to Joplin. The remainder of the money will be donated directly to a Joplin relief fund in Missouri.
A complete list of sponsors who donated items or money or volunteered time is below:
• Above & Beyond Travels, Micki & Dave Sigmon
• CAM Logic in Oxford
• Central Transport
• Instar National Disaster Team, Frank Torre
• Jodi Debbrecht, 51st District Court Judge
• Lowe’s in Bloomfield Township
• Main Street Oakland County Advisory Board
• Main Street Oakland County Program and its 11 communities
• Michigan Tether
• Oakland County Credit Union
• Oakland County Executive
• Oakland County Facilities, Maintenance & Operations Division
• Oakland County Information Technology
• Oakland County International Airport
• Roger Penske
• Simply Self Storage in Ferndale
MEDIA ONLY: If you wish to conduct phone interviews with Jodi Debbrecht or Bob Donohue while they are on the road or in Joplin, Missouri, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at (248) 858-1048.