- The Poarch Band of Creek Indians hand delivered a $US184,000 check to fund the funeral costs of the 23 victims killed by the tornado that hit Alabama earlier this month.
- The tornado – the deadliest to hit the US in nearly six years – had winds estimated at 170 mph and left a path of destruction nearly a mile wide and 24 miles long. Victims ranged in age from 6 to 89.
- “I am beyond grateful that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians stepped up and offered this generous donation,” Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told INSIDER.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the only federally recognised tribe in Alabama, hand delivered a $US184,000 check on Wednesday to fund the funeral costs of the 23 victims killed by a deadly tornado that tore through Lee County, Alabama earlier this month.
“I am beyond grateful that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians stepped up and offered this generous donation,” Lee County Coroner Bill Harris told INSIDER. “They reached out and asked what could they do to help and it was suggested to help with the funeral costs and they graciously offered to cover all the costs.”
Haris said the donated money will be spent through the East Alabama Medical Center Foundation.
The tornado – the deadliest to hit the US in nearly six years – had winds estimated at 170 mph and left a path of destruction nearly a mile wide and 24 miles long, the National Weather Service reported. Harris said during a news conference after the storm that victims ranged in age from 6 to 89, with one family losing 10 members. Four of the family’s children were aged 6, 8, 9, and 10.
President Trump and the first lady visited Alabama last week to survey damage and meet with survivors and volunteers.
At first, there were two anonymous corporations that had agreed to pay for the funeral costs. While the Native American tribe initially committed $US50,000, they later stepped up to cover all funeral and burial expenses after the other donor backed out of the arrangement.
In addition to the tribe, former NFL Super Bowl champion DeMarcus Ware also donated $US10,000 for grave markers, Harris confirmed to INSIDER. Ware was born and raised in Lee County and was quoted in a news release saying that “when I heard the news, I didn’t know where to start, I just knew I had to do something.”
“It is at times of greatest need that we often see our communities coming together to help one another, this is one of those times,” Stephanie A. Bryan, the Poarch Band of Creek Indian’s CEO, said in a Facebook post. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.”
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