Local Red Cross drive raises $75,000 for Oklahoma tornado victims

A fundraiser organized by the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross and promoted through several local media companies raised $75,000 Wednesday for Oklahoma tornado victims, according to the disaster-relief organization.

"We were amazed by the generosity of so many people," said chapter CEO Terry Burkhart in a written press release. "When the day began we didn’t know what to anticipate. To say this exceeded our expectations would be an understatement."

The money raised during Wednesday's 12-hour drive will be used to provide temporary shelter, food, counseling and basic health care for survivors of the massive tornado that struck Moore, Okla., Monday, the Red Cross chapter said.

The EF5 tornado killed at least 24 people, including nine children, injured hundreds and left many more homeless.

People and groups can still donate by calling 859-253-1331 or 1-800-733-2767. Online gifts can be made at Redcross.org. Donations are also being accepted at all area Kroger and Central Bank locations. Donations also can be taken to Fayette Mall in Lexington from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

The Bluegrass Red Cross had sent two volunteers to help with recovery efforts, with more volunteers scheduled to go in the coming days.

Media partners include the Herald-Leader, WLEX (Channel 18), WKYT (Channel 27), WTVQ (Channel 36), WDKY (Channel 56), Clear Channel Communications, Cumulus Broadcasting, LM Communications and Smiley Pete Publishing.

YOU CAN HELP Donations can be made by calling the Kentucky Cares hotline at (859) 977-5366 from noon to midnight Wednesday. After Wednesday, donations can be made by calling (859) 253-1331 or 1-800-733-2767. Online gifts can be donated at Redcross.org. Donations can be made at all Kroger and Central Bank locations, and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m on Thursday and Friday at Fayette Mall.

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