LAKE BARKLEY CHAMBER

Mike Stagner created the Lake Barkley Area Chamber of Commerce Tornado Donation and Relief Center to alleviate other distribution sites’ outpouring of donations. Support from business owners, community members, local government and external organizers helped in establishing the center.

By MATTHEW CARNERO MACIAS

The Lake Barkley Area Chamber of Commerce Tornado Donation and Relief Center fills a void in Lyon County by serving as an alternative distribution site.

Mike Stagner of Regional Doors & Glass said he could not have established the center without Sandy Joslyn’s cooperation. Joslyn owns the Lakeway Plaza in Eddyville, which serves as the site for the center.

“Half of who I am comes from Dawson Springs,” Stagner said. “On my dad’s side of the family, that is where everybody comes from.”

His initial mutual aid efforts started in Dawson Springs. Afterward, Stagner began connecting with organizers in Lyon County.

Stagner noted Wade White, Krista Griggs, Paul Akridge and Deb Domke were instrumental in coordinating donations and volunteers.

Several folks are indirectly involved, he said. Regional Doors & Glass suppliers got involved and donated numerous items to the center.

The three suppliers assisted Stagner in establishing the center at the old Cash Express location in the Lakeway Plaza.

“They all sent multiple trucks,” he said. “They helped us bring things into Dawson Springs, and then helped us set up the facility as the CashZExpress in Eddyville.”

Stagner said the center functions as a second distribution site for Lyon County residents. The primary distribution site in Lyon County is Macedonia Baptist Church in Kuttawa.

“The tornadoes that came through the area and brought death and destruction have given way to the winds of goodness and love,” Stagner said.

“Our facility is providing a place for individuals who want to donate, and who can’t bring things elsewhere, and for individuals to come and get things they need,” he said.

The center opened to the public during Christmas. Stagner said more than 30 individuals and families visited and picked up donations and Christmas gifts.

Items available at the center include canned goods, beverages, baby products, toys, pet supplies, clothing, and other essential household items.

Stagner foresees the center to remain open through February. He noted other communities that are not well-served during their recuperation are welcome to visit and access the center’s resources.

The center is operating without official hours, he said. It is run daily by volunteers.

Stagner is still seeking volunteers. For volunteer or donation information, call 773-557-5216. The center’s address is 111 Newman Drive, Eddyville.