News from Pearlington
Yesterday, in a packed Community Center, County Supervisor Rocky Pullman officiated as that beautiful new building was dedicated to the good people of Pearlington. Spear-headed by Building Goodness Foundation - the very same people who built 125 large sheds in Pearlington after the storm - it stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people of this coastal community in staying put and rebuilding their town in the wake of the third most damaging hurricane in American history.
Officially named the Pearlington Recovery Center (for funding reasons), Rocky pointed out its real purpose and folks here will call it what they will; that's just their nature [*Jon smiles*]. Regardless, it's a beautiful building, built to last by Martin Horn, Inc., it is the product of a vast amount of volunteer labor and the generosity of many, including the city of Weston, Mass. It is just what Pearlington needs and it has already hosted weddings, family reunions and town hall meetings since it actually opened a few months ago.
It was also an opportunity to honour the volunteers who came to Pearlington to leave their blood, tears and sweat equity on virtually every aspect of the recovery of Pearlington. Paula Buhr reminded all present of the early days after the storm and some volunteer representatives - including yours truly - will be honoured on behalf of the tens of thousands of volunteers who helped in Pearlington, with the locating of a plaque on the side of the new building.
Following the presentation, Paula, Tom Dalessandri of Mountains to Mississippi, myself representing the Coalition of Disaster Relief Agencies (C.O.D.R.A.) and others gathered in the formation of an exciting new initiative in the preparation and first response in the event of another strong hurricane.
There will be more to come on this in the next few days, of particular interest to those volunteer groups who have been members of C.O.D.R.A. and who choose and are able to be a part of this venture, fully blessed and logistically supported by the EOC for Hancock County.
Watch this blog for developing information on MMERT, the Mississippi Medical Emergency Response Team.
****IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS IN PEARLINGTON****
Hancock County yesterday announced a $2.5 million Job Regeneration Fund for small business owners who existed at least six months prior to Katrina and who experienced loss due to the storm. It is a one-time forgiveable loan for those who continued after the storm and who meet the criteria.
Meetings concerning this will be held throughout the County. In Pearlington, there will be meetings at the new Community Center on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009 at both 12:00 and 5:30 p.m.
Come on out and see if you qualify!