County gets help in responding to disasters


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Thanks to the efforts of some community-minded individuals, residents in Darke County will not only continue to be able to help those around the nation, but also those at home. On Thursday, June 22, volunteers unveiled the Darke County Disaster Relief truck and thanked the volunteers and sponsors.

Eric Fee, who has spearheaded disaster relief for hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc. throughout the country, was approached by a couple of individuals who wanted to find a truck dedicated to carrying essentials to areas ravaged by natural disasters. Fee pointed out the group previously had to borrow trucks and find drivers to carry out the mission. “We’ve begged, stole and borrowed trailers,” he said.

“It’s really a blessing to Darke County. Ryan (Riffle) and Jim (Mann) – these two had the brain child, found the truck and got it donated. They coordinated everything. I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you,” Fee said. He added they will get a lot of use out of the truck, “but hopefully not. Sadly, we have disasters.”

The truck was donated but was in bad condition. Rowland Truck & Equipment, Inc. volunteered their services to get it running, Dave Knapp Ford gave new tires for the truck, the box on the back of the truck was donated and is larger than what was previously on the truck. Wintrow Signs donated the wrap and CNR Detailing detailed the vehicle.

The truck is under the EUM banner, which means that it will not only respond to disasters in other communities, but it will be used to help the Darke County community. “We don’t want to leave it just sitting there,” said Fee.

Darke County’s response to natural disasters has been tremendous. After the first couple of pleas to help in certain areas were made, Fee said he now gets people asking him if he is going to do something before he can get anything posted on social media. The group has been to Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee and the list continues to grow.

Mann was one of the people instrumental in getting the truck. He said, “Me, Ryan Riffle, and Pat Rosenbeck – the three of us always noticed Eric was doing something for disaster relief. The opportunity fell into our hands of getting this truck. We went to Eric and said, ‘We got this. What do you think?’ He said won’t you go ahead and get it. We’ll get you sponsors and see what we can do.” Mann is thrilled with how the truck turned out, but he was quick to give credit to the donors and sponsors. “There was a lot of elbow grease and a lot of donations from a lot of good people that has made this happen. Those are the ones that need the recognition – the ones on the side of the truck.”

Darke County Commissioner Matt Aultman said, “We (commissioners) just showed up to say thank you. It takes a vision. It takes donors to make it all happen and it’s the community.” Commissioner Marshall Combs added that this is a big deal. “You guys came together. This is awesome,” he said.

In addition to Rowland Truck & Equipment, Inc., Wintrow Signs, Dave Knapp Ford, CNR Detailing and EUM, sponsors of the truck also include Keith’s Truck and Trailer, Inc., Tribute Funeral Homes, Drew’s Automotive, and Treaty City Automotive.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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