Area businesses hold fundraiser for West Liberty tornado victims

By: Gabriel Roxas Email
By: Gabriel Roxas Email

They lost everything when a tornado tore through their town, but a family from West Liberty is about to get a whole lot of help thanks to a group of businesses. Orange Leaf, some Qdoba stores, and Suff's Furniture will give part of their sales to the family Tuesday.

It's been more than a month since tornadoes left a trail of destruction across the region. For families like Scott Kemplin's, their West Liberty home never stood a chance. "I looked out the front window area, and coming across this area here, I seen the tornado actually coming at
us," Scott Kemplin recalled shortly after the storms, "and I told my wife, I said, it's going to be a direct hit."

The Kemplins considered themselves fortunate to escape with their lives, but they were left with little else. "We stepped outside, stepped out of the room and immediately noticed the roof of our home had been taken off, and the home had collapsed around us," Kemplin said.

The family's story inspired local business owners like Bryce Anderson to come together for a special fundraiser that would concentrate its efforts to see how much good they could do in one shot. "Sometimes when devastation happens to a whole town, it seems a little ominous to try to help the whole town."

That's why Tuesday's fundraiser has adopted the Kemplin family. "Right now they're living in temporary housing," Anderson said, "and really they need everything."

Anderson hopes the project will encourage additional businesses and individuals to find others in need, and that the future success of the Kemplins will inspire an ongoing movement to help West Liberty one family at a time.

Suff's Furniture's Nicholasville Road location and Georgetown location; Q'doba's Palomar and Tiverton locations; and all eight Orange Leaf locations in Kentucky will contribute 10% of the day's sales to help the Kemplin family rebuild their home.

Late Monday, Kentucky State Police announced an arrest after Scott Kemplin spotted two women trespassing on his property earlier in the afternoon. Police investigated and say they found some of the Kemplin family's few remaining possessions had been stolen and sold for scrap. Police later arrested 35-year-old Marsha J. Risner of Ezel and charged her with Burglary 2nd Degree, Possession of Burglary Tools, and Public Intoxication. Police say more arrests are possible in the case.

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