Altogether, volunteers of the East Kentucky Tornado Relief Telethon raised $185,557.00 on Mar. 13, 2012. The studios were packed with people answering phones, presenting checks and doing what they could to help with the telethon.
Donations from Pine Branch Coal totaled more than $60,000.
“I have seen what the tornados can do not only to property but injuries and this is just a drop in the bucket for what they need,” said Jim Sidwell, treasurer for Pine Branch Coal Company.
Employees of the company raised around $5,000 which was matched by the company and other donations came from the higher-ups.
Musicians Halfway to Hazard and Coy Taylor entertained while others did whatever they could to help.
“It is really sad and traumatizing to know that there are people that don't have places to sleep as an artist this is why we want to do music to help people and take their minds off of their life and their work week and their problems,” said Taylor, a Dry Ridge native.
Taylor said he knew some people affected but would have helped anyway.
David Tolliver and Chad Warrix not only performed, they also assisted in answering phones.
“People were hurting and we thought if somehow we could use the little bit of notoriety and celebrity that we have gotten through the years by doing what we love to do God gave us the talent to do that,” said Warrix.
“We thought we could actually use that to raise money and be able to give back to the community that has given us so much through the years in support,” added the Jackson, Breathitt County native.
“It was the way we were brought up,” said Tolliver, who is originally from Hindman in Knott County.
All musicians who helped live in Nashville, TN, but said they have not forgotten their Eastern Kentucky roots. Viewers heard heartbreaking and uplifting stories during the broadcast... including how one East Bernstadt family survived the storm.
Anyone wanting to give immediate help can visit www.appalachianky.org. Donations can still be dropped off at any Community Trust or Citizens Bank or can be mailed to:
East Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund
P.O. Box 310
Chavies, KY 41727