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Looking for a way to be involved in tornado recovery work? Here are some weekend options

April 30 - may 1 tornado recovery events.png
Lily Burris
Lots of events are happening in tornado-impacted communities in western Kentucky.

Western Kentuckians are hard at work in the ongoing recovery process for the communities impacted by the December tornado outbreak.

For this upcoming weekend, there’s a few events happening in the region aimed at helping communities clean-up, recover and connect:


Down4Dawson is an all-day cleanup in the Hopkins County community of Dawson Springs featuring a nighttime concert fromCorey Layne and Anthony Nix on Saturday.

Liz Cruse, a photographer from Middle Tennessee, is coordinating the event and has family in Dawson Springs impacted by the tornado outbreak. She said plans for the concert fell through in January, but she took the setback as an opportunity to add a service element to the event.

“We just decided to take it upon ourselves to try to do this event instead,” Cruse said. “The event before was just going to be a concert, and we turned this into a day of volunteering and helping.”

Volunteers will meet up at the Dayspring Outreach Center between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. where they will split into groups to canvas the area to help with cleanup. The group will break for lunch and come back together for the concert starting sometime between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.. Cruse said people are more than welcome to just show up but online registration is available.

“Just bring some work gloves and some helping hands and just come help us clean up,” Cruse said.

Cruse said she hopes the group will organize other events to help tornado-impacted cities in the future.

For this event, there’s just under 50 people registered but Cruse said she’d love to see more people attend.

“We would just love to have you come help and volunteer, we'd really appreciate it,” Cruse said. “I know the town would and I feel like Dawson Springs got overlooked a little bit, as well as Barnsley and some other areas around there, so they definitely need some love.”

Walk for Dawson

An opportunity for the Dawson Springs community to walk through the path of the tornado and talk about their experiences is happening at 10 a.m. this Saturday starting at the Dawson Springs Primitive Baptist Church.

Walk for Dawson is an event organized by Donnie Dunbar, who also organizes the Dawson Springs BBQ 5K. Dunbar hopes it gives people a chance to walk through the city and see how much it has changed in the aftermath of the storm and five months of recovery efforts..

“It would give Dawson (Springs) a chance to move forward and give people from outside of town a reason to come to town and walk through some of the areas and just look and see,” Dunbar said. “Hopefully we'll have a social after, people just hang out and swap stories and and talk about where we've been and where Dawson is going hopefully.”

Dunbar said so far about 140 people have registered.

“People are just wanting to help,” Dunbar said “Dawson’s a giving community. We've got people coming from Nashville to Evansville to a few counties around.”

The walk has two-mile and one-mile options that start at Dawson Springs Primitive Baptist Church and goes to Planters Bank in Dawson Springs.

Princeton Church of Christ Homecoming Service

The Princeton Church of Christ is having a homecoming service Sunday to honor tornado survivors and those who have helped with the disaster relief effort.

The morning classes begin at 9:30 a.m. and the worship service begins at 10:30 a.m. There will be catered lunch after the service.

Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP by emailing the church at

Crochet Social and Yarn Giveaway

On Saturday in Mayfield, there’s a Crochet Social and Yarn Giveaway scheduled at the Blessed Hope Baptist Church.

Anyone interested in learning how to knit, crochet or craft or anyone who lost their craft supplies due to the December tornado outbreak is encouraged to attend. The event describes these hobbies as “a good way to relax your mind and body” and presents an opportunity to meet people and craft together.

The donations include hundreds of skeins of yarns in different sizes and supplies such as hooks, patterns and stitch markers. Beginners and experienced crafters are welcome to attend, the event description stated.

Lily Burris is a tornado recovery reporter for WKMS, Murray State's NPR Station. Her nine month reporting project is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
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