The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Hurley area Texas relief effort enters final stretch


Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

ABOVE LAVERNE MORELLO, left, and Kathy Koski on Wednesday prepare personal care packages for a Gogebic Range-supported relief effort to Texas storm victims.


Hurley - The donations were pouring in Wednesday for Donna and Skip Bessen's trip to assist Hurricane victims in Texas, but there was still room for more contributions.

The Bessens, from Hurley, will head for Texas on Friday, as today was the last day to contribute to the cause at the Memorial Building in Hurley.

In addition to filling a U-Haul truck and trailer in the parking lot, volunteers were putting together personal care packages inside the Memorial Building.

"The waiting lines in Texas have been really bad, so we're putting several assorted items together into bags," Kathy Koski said, pointing out a sample bag of about a dozen necessities.

LaVerne Morello was also coordinating the packaging of the bags, including some with children's clothing, while outside Skip Bessen and Jim "Coyote" Anderson were unloading a vehicle packed with donations from the Super One Foods store in Ironwood.

The Bessens will head for Dickinson, Texas, with the Gogebic Range's contributions.

"People have been stopping by and asking what they can do to help. Some are purchasing items off the store shelves and bringing them here," Donna Bessen said.

The truck and trailer were half-filled Wednesday, but more items had been pledged and were arriving.

Donna Bessen said school districts from Ashland to Ontonagon had collected items.

The volunteers unloaded supplies in the rain in the parking lot on a cool summer day.

Koski lost her husband, Mitch, in the flooding at Saxon Harbor in July of 2016. He drowned when his pickup truck was swept away in swollen Oronto Creek as he was trying to save people during the storm that dumped 12 inches of rain there in four hours.

Donna Bessen said through a Rhinelander television station, the Bessens were notified of a young couple from Tomahawk who have ties to the Dickinson area and the effort got rolling.

Churches have supplied quilts and collected donations for the effort and the response from area businesses, such as Extreme Tool, which supplied the truck, has been "excellent," Donna Bessen said.

"We thank all of the businesses, organizations and individuals for their support," she said. "It shows we really are a caring community."


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