MAY 16, 2007

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OPSU assists community damaged by tornado

Photo of three basketball players and their coach load a car with boxes.
Members of the OPSU men's basketball team help load water for the relief effort in Cactus, Texas. From left, LaChawn Anderson, Fred Durr, Antoine Callum, and head men's coach Jerry Olson.

State lines mean little to those who live in the High Plains area that includes the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles, western New Mexico, southwestern Kansas, and southeastern Colorado. Spring weather is an equal opportunity adversary, and those in the area readily reach out to help neighbors when severe conditions strike.

In April, the town of Cactus, Texas was hit by a tornado and city officials estimated about one-third of the town was either damaged or destroyed, and many residents and businesses were left without water or electricity. The next week, coaches, staff, and students from Oklahoma Panhandle State University loaded 30 cases of water into vehicles and drove it to Cactus in order to help with the relief effort. The water, donated by First National Bank of Texhoma for use on the campus, played a small yet important part in the work to help affected citizens continue their clean-up.

Whether it’s wind and blowing dust, a late season freeze, or a May snowstorm, those who choose to live here shake off the dirt, replant the garden, shovel the sidewalk and soldier on. That adaptability also leads the resilient residents to care for their neighbors with the attitude “If it happened to them, it happened to us.” OPSU is pleased to be a part of such a caring community.

Contact: Laura Hays, OPSU, (580) 349-1354