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How to help with helping victims and their families
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Dear Business Colleagues:

I am writing to you today to ask your help in a very important mission involving three brave men who have a long, uphill battle ahead of them as they recover at the Augusta Burn Center, after the disaster at the Imperial Sugar Refinery. As many of you have heard, sadly, one of our own was also taken away from us already, as a result of this tragedy.

As you ponder the task I ask of you, please remember the four Effingham County residents I am writing about: 34-year-old Paul Seckinger is a mechanic at Imperial Sugar. He loves to fish and hunt, and spend time with his daughter, Morgan. Paul is described by most of his friends as a fun-loving man, who tells great jokes.

Justin Purnell, 23, Paul’s partner at the plant; they often spent time together on their days off hunting and fishing together. Justin also has a 2-year-old daughter and wife of four years, Jenny.

Life-long Effingham County resident Troy Bacon, 47, is also recovering at the burn center. He works on the third floor of the plant and is listed in serious condition. He lives with his sister on Fort Howard Road and graduated from Effingham County High School in 1978.

And lastly, let us remember the family of Michael “Kelly” Fields, a new resident to Effingham County, but a member of our community, nonetheless. Kelly was a contracted worker at the plant. He was recently married to his wife Betty, and they chose Effingham County as their home.

I believe the Fields family, as many of us have, chose Effingham County as their home because we are a county of hope, a county of giving, a county that takes care of our own.

Family and friends of these men are meeting unexpected costs in the form of travel, food and loss of wages and it is because of this, that I ask for your help to make this journey for them as painless as possible.

I am part of a group of amazing people who set a large task for themselves to raise $50,000 for these men and am now asking for your time, services, item donations and money to help those in need.

We need everything from raffle donations, silent auction donations, food donations and cash donations to volunteers to help sell Boston butt tickets, sell raffle tickets, cook food and other services the day of the fundraiser, March 8 at Kelly’s Tavern in Springfield. We also need places to set up jars to collect donations.

Please join myself and my husband Guerry, owners of Rahn’s Electric Service, Janis and Nickey Bevill, Walter and Patty Keith, owner’s of Kelly’s Tavern, Juli Gnann and Gnann’s Fix-It Shop, and Kevin and Julie Rahn to help these families.

You may contact me at the information listed below, or any of the people above for more information on how to help.

You may also make a cash donation to Citizen’s Bank. Ask for the Effingham County Imperial Sugar Recovery Fund and make checks out to ECIS Recovery Fund.

All money raised in Effingham County will stay in Effingham County and will go directly to the four Effingham County victims.

Through our selflessness and determination, we will continue to make Effingham County a great place to live and work, and help those Effingham County residents who need us most.

Melissa Reagan
General Manager
Rahn’s Electric Service
(912) 754-4443