To the Valley News:
It was a joy to see an article in this paper on Dec. 31 that tells the story of creative generosity behind Martha Gallagher's CD “The Water is Wide.” Her story, of raising funds to help other victims of Tropical Storm Irene in Jay and Keene by creating and selling a disc of her own music, is inspirational and points to the incredible community spirit that is pulling own towns out of the jaws of disaster.
It is also an opportunity to thank the more than one thousand open-hearted people from all over who have been giving to the funds established to support the storm's victims--the Jay Irene Flood Relief Fund and the Keene Flood Recovery Fund--both administered by the Adirondack Community Trust. The uncounted volunteers who helped dig muck out of basements and clear debris from yards deserve recognition as well.
Generosity has been the name of the game since Aug. 28. The Keene Community Trust, the town's nonprofit foundation, sprang into action immediately following the flood. We established the recovery fund at the Adirondack Community Trust and got the word out pronto, so people who wanted to help, could. The Town of Jay also began receiving gifts from generous people as soon as news of the storm spread. Two small groups of dedicated and tireless committee members designated by the Keene Community Trust and the Town of Jay to review applications for assistance from the funds are still working to be sure everyone's needs are addressed. They are among the unsung heros.
Our communities have each pulled together in a way that I hope will give us all a lasting sense of unity. There is a great deal more recovery work to do under the leadership of our supervisors Bill Ferebee and Randy Douglas, and plenty of needs not being fully met by government assistance. As Martha Gallagher said, we are still hoping to raise more money.
Please accept our thanks for all you have done to support Irene's victims and keep them in your hearts through the winter.
Keene Community Trust