William Paine/The Patriot
From left: Pulaski County Director of Emergency Services Brad Wright, Vladimir Tamashiro-Loma of Team Rubicon, Lara Reeves, Co-chair of UAW local 2069’s Community Services Committee and Matthew Blondino UAW 2069 President.
By WILLIAM PAINE
On September 28, one of the most devastating hurricanes to make landfall in recent times brought destruction on a grand scale to Florida’s west coast. Knowing that residents in the area could use all the help that they could find, Brad Wright, Director of Pulaski County Emergency Services, coordinated a donation drive to assist with recovery from the storm’s aftermath.
“Because of Hurricane Ian that struck Florida, I put out an outreach to any organization that would like to donate to an agency that was going to be on the ground,” said Wright.
Soon after making this request known, Lara Reeves, Co-chair of UAW Local 2069’s Community Services Committee, reached out to Wright and asked how the union could help.
Wright replied that a cash donation from the union at Volvo Trucks would be the best way to assist in the recovery effort. The UAW 2069 then agreed to donate $1,500 toward the cleanup effort of Hurricane Ian.
To carry out the recovery effort, Wright chose a veteran-led nonprofit organization known as Team Rubicon, as the group has worked in Pulaski County on previous occasions carrying out “wildlife mitigation work.”
Team Rubicon came to Florida in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ian and has remained there since. The initial focus of Team Rubicon was to clear the mountains of debris that the storm had deposited throughout the region. This was done primarily through chainsaw operations.
Team Rubicon’s other focus is making storm ravaged residences fit for habitation, until permanent repairs can be made. This involves clearing flooded structures of mud and debris and affixing tarps to damaged roofs until long-term repairs can be made.
The presentation of a $1,500 check from UAW 2069 to Team Rubicon took place last Friday, Oct. 14 at the Pulaski County Administration Building.