Mount Airy flood-relief effort praised Steinberg offers a helping hand

September 23, 1993|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Staff Writer

Lt. Gov. Melvin Steinberg tipped his hat yesterday to the citizens of Mount Airy, who in six weeks have raised $10,000 for flood victims in a Missouri town.

In a visit to the Olde Town Restaurant on Main Street, Mr. Steinberg praised Mount Airy's flood relief committee and pledged to help in its efforts to assist the town of Alexandria, Mo.

Concerned about the victims of the devastating Midwest floods, Mount Airy adopted the town of about 500 people at the confluence of the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers.

"To me, it's a feather in the cap of the state of Maryland," Mr. Steinberg said of the town's flood-relief project. "It shows that Maryland is a place with a heart."

Sitting around a table at the restaurant, flood relief committee members briefed Mr. Steinberg on their plans to deliver Christmas presents to about 120 families in Alexandria.

Yesterday, committee member Suzanne Mead received a box of index cards from Alexandria bearing names of residents and their Christmas wishes.

Items on the lists ranged from blue jeans to a washer and dryer to the Fire Department's request for a 5,000-watt generator.

At the committee's request, Mr. Steinberg said he'd contact some trucking companies about transporting the gifts to Alexandria.

"I think it's important that you're successful. We don't have the luxury of being unsuccessful," he told the committee. "These people are counting on something now, and to get their hopes up and then be let down would be devastating."

Mount Airy has no intention of breaking its promise to Alexandria.

"Everybody is taking this idea and running with it," said Dottie Gosnell, who originated the idea of adopting an entire town instead of one family.

Since the campaign began, the committee has been sending weekly checks of $1,000 to Alexandria. Its fund-raising goal is $100,000.

Contributions have come from service groups, churches, residents and businesses, and donation jars have been placed in downtown businesses.

Based on discussions with the mayor of Alexandria, Mrs. Mead said that most of the money will probably go toward rebuilding. Mount Airy will receive a full accounting of how the money is spent, she said.

Mr. Steinberg told committee members he'll get back to them in early October with an update on his efforts in securing transportation for the Christmas gifts.

"I'll try to push every button around to push," said Mr. Steinberg, who is a gubernatorial candidate. "And if five out of 10 buttons come through, we're ahead of the game."

Donations to the Mount Airy Flood Relief effort can be sent to the Farmers and Mechanics National Bank, P.O. Box 37, Mount Airy, Md. 21771.

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