SIKESTON - During the week when the country observed the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the nation, thousands of Sikeston residents and visitors paid their respects at the 9/11 Memorial Wall. Many left more than condolences and special memories.
"While Sept. 11 is now behind us, the needs being addressed by the Sikeston 9/11 Fund are not," said committee treasurer Jim Schwaninger. To date, contributions of more then $4,100 have been donated to the fund and organizers are anticipating more in the coming weeks.
Half of the fund received will be used to help with the purchase of a thermal imaging camera for the Sikeston Department of Public Safety. The equipment, which carries a price tag of between $12,000 and $15,000, depending on additional features, will be used at fire scenes to pinpoint hotspots and find victims who may be trapped in heavy smoke.
The other 50 percent of donations received will be sent to the Child and Family Recovery Program in New York City. Based at New York University, this program provides counseling and treatments to nearly 2,500 children who were affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy.
Schwaninger said that initial contributions included significant gifts from the Sikeston Jaycees, Sikeston Lions, Standard Democrat and hundreds of individuals. Responses are also expected from several civic clubs and other organizations in the community.
For more information about the Sikeston 9/11 Fund, contact Schwaninger at the Scott County Courthouse (573) 545-3549 or Tom Nunnelee at Nunnelee Funeral Chapel 471-2242.
Individuals, companies and organizations who would like to support the program can send donations to: Sikeston 9/11 Fund, P.O. Box 182, Sikeston, Mo. 63801. All contributions are tax deductible.