Keene Community Trust Partners with Adirondack Community Trust To Create the Keene Flood Recovery Fund
Here's How You can Support the Residents of Keene, Keene Valley, and St. Huberts and Help our Community Recover from the Devastation of Tropical Storm Irene
National touring artist, singer, songwriter and harper Martha Gallagher has released a CD to benefit flood recovery efforts in the region!
Check out the image gallery donated by Carl Heilman II and Nathan Farb!
The people of Keene, Keene Valley and St Huberts need your help. They have been hit hard by two catastrophes this year. 4 months ago a "once in a hundred year" flood resulted in the largest landslide on record in New York State, and cost several families in Keene Valley their homes and savings, Rivermede Farm lost its maple syrup equipment and many families and businesses suffered from flooding. The damage, severe though it was, resulted in no FEMA support for individuals. It was a terrible financial blow in this tough economy.
Then came Irene.
On Sunday, September 4, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene dumped over 9 inches of rain in the Ausable River Valley resulting in flash floods that turned tiny streams within minutes to raging torrents filled with rocks and trees that ripped apart everything in their path. The Ausable River was more than 11 feet over flood stage. Five bridges were destroyed, homes were washed away, the Keene Fire Department torn in half, and almost all roads made impassible. The area from the Mountaineer in Keene Valley to the bottom of Spruce Hill was turned into one large lake covering the Rivermede Farm's fields with two feet of water and silt, trapping residents in flooded homes and resulting in the loss of over $100,000 in merchandise at the Valley Hardware alone.
As I write Route 73 from Keene Valley south to the Northway/I87 remains closed cutting us off from our economic lifeline – tourists. The normally bustling stores over Labor Day Weekend are near empty of customers as traffic is now diverted elsewhere. What is not shut down is the spirit of the people of Keene. People are out helping each other cleanup. Basements are being pumped out. Mud is being scraped off floors. Merchandise and shelves are being washed. Those who lost houses are staying with friends or in local B&Bs.
The reality is, sweat equity alone can't help our town recover. Many had no flood insurance. Many lost their savings trying to rebuild their properties after the first flood. Jobs are at risk and with it the people who serve in our fire departments, emergency services, arts and educational programs, church vestry, libraries and so much more.
People need help right now. Here is what you can do:
The Keene Community Trust has established a Keene Flood Recovery Fund with Adirondack Community Trust (ACT) and is putting together a 5-person Allocation Committee that includes civic leaders representing seasonal and year round residents from both hamlets who have personally not sustained losses. People who know the town well, and are honest and fair minded. The funds raised will be allocated out in grants to address those needs not covered by insurance or FEMA. The application process will quick, easy and transparent. Our town supervisor, school superintendent and clergy will help us identify those whose needs are great, but may be shy about applying. All grants will be kept confidential.
Please be generous. Check to see if your employer has matching fund programs, and to consider what other doors and contacts you can open for us. Your contributions are tax-deductible. I cannot stress enough how important your help is and that it is needed now. Every bit helps. And, please take a little extra time to purchase a meal, a pie or clothing to take home. That too matters.
Jim Herman, President
Keene Community Trust
Please make checks payable to: ACT/ Keene Flood Recovery Fund, c/o Melissa Eisinger Adirondack Community Trust, PO Box 288, Lake Placid, NY 12946
You can also donate online using a credit card by way of the ACT's online donation portal which is managed by the Network for Good. Donating in this manner is safe and secure. Please note that when donating to the Keene Flood Recovery Fund via the Network for Good, you must fill in the line about designation to say Keene Flood Recovery Fund.
We can accept all kinds of financial gifts, including stock, mailed to the same address. For stock transfers, see the instructions for securities transfers.
All gifts are tax deductible.
Please check for updates regularly here at this site.
The Keene Community Trust (KCT) is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) formed in 1999 to preserve, maintain and enhance the natural ecology, built environment, heritage, culture and aesthetic pleasures of the Town of Keene. ACT has been encouraging philanthropy to benefit Adirondack communities since 1997.
KCT Board: Jim Herman, President, Dave Mason, Vice President, Henrietta Jordan, Treasurer, Phyllis Buchanan, Secretary, Paul Martin, Tom Both, Mike Buchanan Gerald Bunn, Louise Gregg and Larry House. Flood Recovery Committee: Mike Carr, Bob Biesemeyer, Sam Fisk, Marcy Neville, and Naj Wikoff, Photos courtesy of Henrietta Jordan, Naj Wikoff, and Larry Master (aerials masterimages.org). Web site work & Keene Business Association (KBA) logo courtesy of Jan Cohen at High Peaks Publishing. Images & Gallery courtesy of Carl Heilman II and Nathan Farb.