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URGENT: Henryville Needs Help. You Can Do It!

Henryville High School after the tornado

One of the things that I’ve been fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your perspective) to have happen to me is to be from a town that is for the most part, largely unknown. As I have progressed throughout my career, people have actually been curious where I’m from, what it’s like, and how it differs from where they are from. I assume when you’re from a large city like Indy, Chicago, etc. people already have a pre-established notion about what to expect and can, for the most part, picture themselves spending time in your locale. Being from Henryville, Indiana, though, meant that each person that asked about my home was someone I could share the wonderful atmosphere, goings on, and character of perhaps the best little town you’ve never heard of, at least until recently.

On Friday of last week, that small little town became the epicenter of the current news cycle as Mother Nature again proved that no matter how much control, order, and plan we may have, it’s basically for nothing if the universe has other ideas. In just a few short minutes, Henryville was transformed from a sleepy Mayberry-esque existence to a series of images and videos that rival combat footage of war zones thanks to a string of tornadoes that left damage, destruction, and even death in its path. Henryville was not the only town hit, but many of the most heartbreaking stories, shocking footage, and attention has been focused on this area. School buses thrown through windows, houses completely leveled, gas stations destroyed, and Henryville High School nearly unrecognizable.

It’s staggering, heart breaking, and a whole host of other adjectives. It’s not uncommon to see weather related tragedy on television or in print and feel a tinge of sadness at the destruction and devastation that mother nature can cause. From experience, now though, let me tell you that seeing those images and seeing shells of places you’ve been, roads you’ve driven on, or houses you’ve been in just makes it seem all the more unfathomable. This sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen to you or people you know. It’s supposed to be people in some faraway place that you have heard of, but have never been to. It isn’t supposed to be your neighbors who lose their homes or their lives. Its not supposed to be your town’s school that lays in shambles. It’s not supposed to be your town’s residents being interviewed and quoted by media organizations from Australia. I’ve wanted everyone to know about Henryville for a while now, but not like this.

Like many rural areas, the town and surrounding communities have rallied, helping tirelessly to clear debris, rebuild, replenish materials, and in general, assist their fellow man. The news cycle will eventually move on, and the eyes of the nation will find the next tragedy to focus on, Tweet about, and update their Facebook statuses regarding. But for Henryville, the work is just beginning. The destruction and┬ádevastation is┬áso complete and thorough that long after CNN clears Clark County there will still be people with little more than the clothes on their backs and the bags of donations that have poured in from all over the area. That’s where people, people like you and me, come into play.

As much as people would like to think otherwise, aside from the manual labor needed to tarp roofs, chainsaw trees, or go through piles of rubble, financial backing for organizations providing help on the ground is sometimes just as important. Especially so, if like me, you are almost half a day’s drive away and are simply unable to lend a strong back. For the readers of this blog or folks this may be forwarded to, there are several ways you can help. By texting 90999 a $10 donation will be added to your cell bill with the proceeds going directly to the American Red Cross. For those without the capability to text, or for those who would prefer a more direct way to help, donations will be accepted here at OverThePylon.net until I return home on March 23rd. 100% of donations made on the right hand sidebar via PayPal will be given directly to the victims as First Christian Church of Scottsburg is coordinating the financial help. Every little bit will help and could mean the difference between someone starting over with something or simply back at square one. There are few opportunities that come along where your efforts to help can be felt so immediately and so directly. This is one of those times.

Some Mid-Week Housekeeping, Linking, and Fundraising

It’s summer. You know that. You also know that news from the world of college football trickles out of the information spigot exceptionally slow, as we wait for fall practice to kick up and the preseason polls to be released. We’re only a couple months away from all that happening, but until it does, it’s slow going. Alas, today is more of a housekeeping day here at OTP and the day where we ask your help for the Cardinals.

With the recent ability of OTP to land top-level interviews, commentary, and expertise about the Cardinals, we feel some sense of responsibility to give back in some ways for the program we love and the University that allowed all of us to get somewhat educated, some more than others. In some ways, BSU is really the defining thing for a lot us who write this site, contribute to this site, and read this site. And frankly, BSU is doing a hell of a job raising its profile in terms of victories, but none of that really matters if the dollars being raised don’t increase. It’s because of that that OTP is asking our readership to help the Cardinals out, while helping OTP out at the same time.

This summer is a summer of potentially great transition for us, as we move to a new site interface, increase and better the nuts and bolts that run the place, and hopefully move away from Blogger. Unfortunately, that means moving away from free software and actually paying for site maintenance, creation, and hosting fees. So the need for OTP to move upward coupled with the need for BSU to receive some much needed funding has brought about the OTP Fund Drive 09. Over on the right hand side of this page, you’ll see a little “Donate” button that will link you to Paypal. What we’re asking for is donations that will go toward OTP’s improvement and also the Cardinal Varsity Club. 50% of all donations will go to CVC, and your contribution can help increase the profile of this site and our school. There isn’t any amount too small, as BSU needs all the help that it can get. We’ll have a running scoreboard over the next month as to who donates the most, and the Top 3 donators will receive some cool BSU prizes for their collection. Thanks in advance if you decide to help out!

And now for the linkage!

For the Cardinals:

  • The New York Times profiles Ball State in their preseason countdown. The Cardinals clock in at #85, and truthfully, this is one of the more accurate preseason pieces on the Cardinals, and I’ve read (and shared) almost all of them. Of special note to us is the mention of this here OTP wonderment in terms of coverage of the Cardinals. Giggity.
  • In the Bleachers is counting down their top 50 players not in the BCS, and one Briggs Orsbon makes their list at #47. Something tells me he will not be the last Cardinal in this list, as MiQuale Lewis has got to be up there. If he isn’t, then shame on them.
  • In alum news, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee responds to questions regarding Nate Davis and how the 49ers intend to use him. Quite frankly, Davis appears to be a project for the 9ers, and one they believe is worthy of spending time on. Time will of course prove me right or wrong, but I believe the 49ers got an absolute steal when they were able to pick Nate.

For the Wildcats:

  • CNNSI profiles Rich Brooks and insists he is ending the basketball monopoly in Lexington. This season will ultimately be the marker of Brooks’ success with Big Blue.
  • A Sea of Blue continues to be the one stop shop for Kentucky coolness, as former WR Dicky Lyons Jr. begins to blog for them. Great pick up for Glenn, Ken, and the gang over at ASoB.
  • Chip Cosby points to the news that incoming recruit Morgan Newton has been named the suburban athlete of the year for Indianapolis by the Indy Star. In reality, that’s not all that impressive an award, but knowing The Star, I’m sure they hated being positive about anyone affiliated with Kentucky.