Polk County businesses join forces to help tornado victims - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Polk County businesses join forces to help tornado victims

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Bar owner Michael Powers wanted to get involved when he noticed how quickly people helped after last week's tornado.

"Within a couple hours of that tornado, people were out with chain saws, out there bringing food and passing it out," recalls Powers.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Two killed in EF-3 tornado in Polk County

He decided to offer his establishment, Dumpy's Bar in Benton, as a place to hold a benefit concert. He understood the need to help people who lost homes and property and thought what better way to bring people together than with music.

"100% of the proceeds through the auction and for the $5 entry at the door, or canned goods, will be going to a church we're partnering with," adds Powers. "They will distribute it to the tornado victims."

That's right! A nominal cover or donated canned goods gets you in the door.

At least five bands will play on this stage during the two-night event. Many businesses have already donated gift certificates and other items for the auction Saturday night. One of those businesses is the Old Sawmill Market, owned by Powers' wife, Ginny. She's the main organizer and her market is the main sponsor.

A benefit concert was hosted by Powers at Dumpy's just after the tornadoes five years ago. They raised $6,000 that time.

"During that benefit we brought in about 400-450 people. We would like to see more than that, of course," says Powers.

Another sponsor is the Benton IGA super market. Melvin Bell and his staff have been involved in the community for many years and have been giving food and water to the latest tornado victims since day one.

"People lost their homes. They don't have anywhere to stay. Lost lives. We just wanted to get together and have a benefit, help people raise money," says Bell. "This is our community. We just take care of it. It's what we do."

Barbara Craig has lived in the same house in Ocoee, where the tornado struck, for 45 years. Her roof and car port were damaged. She's always impressed by how Polk County pulls together in times of need.

"No, it doesn't surprise me at all. There's a lot of good people who live around here," says Craig.

The benefit is a combined effort among the following businesses and organizations: Old Sawmill Market, Benton IGA, Dumpy's, Ocoee Dam Deli, Ocoee Gondolier, Bradley Rentals, The Wellness Collective, Ocoee Outdoors, Benton Food Bank, Shiloh Baptist Church, and People Helping People.

Friday's concert start at 7 p.m. ($3 entry or canned goods), Saturday's at 3 p.m. ($5 entry or canned goods). For information about the concert or how you can help the Polk County tornado victims, contact Ginny Powers, by clicking here to send her an email. Or, visit the Facebook page for Old Sawmill Market and look for the Ocoee Tornado Relief Benefit event.

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