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ECIS help, effort exceed expectations
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Dear Editor,

On behalf of the committee for the Effingham County Imperial Sugar Fund, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the citizens of Effingham County and beyond for their help in raising over $65,000.

The four men and their families in Effingham County affected by the Imperial Sugar explosion face a long road to recovery and I am overjoyed at the response from everyone to help make that road a little less bumpy.

Though it is an impossible task to thank everyone that helped — from the many that slaved over hot grills to cook Boston butts, to those who donated from their stock rooms, the people that sat in the silent auction, to the companies that disregarded their bottom line, to the many who volunteered on March 8, and those of you who dipped deep into your pockets — I sincerely thank each and every one of you for your contribution.

Many times during the past two months I have been brought to tears at the outpouring of support that our community has given to such a great cause. I was left speechless when the bank told me that we had surpassed our goal of $50,000, and again when I got the news that our committee had raised over $65,000.

I personally want to thank Nickey and Janis Bevill, Melissa Stone, Christy Kersey, Kevin and Julie Rahn, Kathy Zittrouer, Julie Gnann, Jamie Bevill, Gnann’s Fix-It Shop, and Patty and Walter Keith, owners of Kelly’s Tavern. These extraordinary people worked tirelessly throughout our fundraising efforts and without each and every one of them, we would not have reached our goal.

It is very hard to put into words the feelings I harbor for my neighbors and new friends after what I have witnessed since Feb. 7, when so many of us were affected by the events in Port Wentworth. I am very proud to be a resident of Effingham County, as so many of us should be. I truly would not want to live anywhere else in the world.

Please continue to pray for those who are still in Augusta recovering, and be thankful that we live in a county as awesome as Effingham.

Melissa Reagan
Committee member
Effingham County Imperial Sugar Fund 


Following is a letter from Gov. Sonny Perdue to the ECIS committee 


It is my honor to send greetings to you as you gather to help three of your native sons, Paul Seckinger, Justin Purnell and Troy Bacon, who were badly injured in the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion in Port Wentworth and as you mourn the tragic and untimely loss of a fourth, Michael Kelly Fields.

I am deeply saddened by this devastating disaster that has shaken our coastal community. Mary and I continue to pray for those who were lost or injured and for their families.

While I regret that I am unable to be with you today, I am heartened by the strength and support that you have all shown in the wake of this tragedy. I commend all of you on your efforts to help these men and their families in their time of need. Your spirit of community is something from which we would all do well to learn.

Thank you for your outstanding representation of Georgia’s greatest strength and our most precious resource: our people. Mary joins me in wishing you all the best for a successful event.

Sonny Perdue