SOMERSET, KY ― Donations are being accepted for The Kentucky Wildlands Flood Relief Grant program to assist families impacted by the historic flooding that devasted Eastern Kentucky in late July.
The program will award up to $500 per household to cover immediate needs resulting from the floods. Grant applications will be available starting Sept. 21 at www.exploreKYwildlands.com.
The nonprofit organization Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc., established the grant program. PRIDE promotes environmental cleanup and education, as well as economic development through tourism, in 42 counties. The grant program is named for PRIDE’s tourism initiative, The Kentucky Wildlands.
The grant program was made possible by Torch Technologies’ sizable donation to PRIDE for flood recovery and relief. Based in Huntsville, Ala., the research, development and engineering company was co-founded by Bill Roark, who grew up in Eastern Kentucky.
Forcht Broadcasting, which is headquartered in Corbin and Somerset and operates stations across Kentucky, including six stations in Eastern Kentucky, is a partner in the grant program. The radio and digital group is collecting donations through its radio stations and will match those donations up to $5,000.
“PRIDE has worked in these communities for 25 years, so our hearts were broken to see the suffering caused by the floods,” said Tammie Nazario, PRIDE President/CEO and The Kentucky Wildlands Director. “We immediately put out a call for donations and were overwhelmed by the response. We were able to deliver many supplies to the five hardest-hit counties less than a week after the floods.”
“We are setting up this grant program now because direct assistance to families is the greatest need we’ve seen while working with our partners in the area. People need cash to take care of immediate expenses that can’t wait for insurance or FEMA assistance ― things like patching holes in roofs and walls, replacing refrigerators or making sure the kids have enough clothes for school,” she explained.
“We are grateful to Torch Technologies and Forcht Broadcasting for their generous investment in the program, and we invite others to donate so the grants can reach many families,” Nazario added.
“Forcht Broadcasting Radio and Digital is pleased to work with PRIDE and The Kentucky Wildlands and to match up to $5,000 in donations received. The people of Eastern Kentucky are our family, and we had radio stations and staff affected by the historic flooding. We are proud of the people of Eastern Kentucky for their continued resilience and strength,” said Amy Stroud, Senior Vice President of Forcht Broadcasting Radio and Digital.
“Our radio and digital group puts community first, and we have no greater communities than those in Eastern Kentucky,” said Mike Tarter, President/CEO of Forcht Broadcasting. “Serving our listeners and followers is what we do, and we can think of no better way to make flood relief donations go farther than to match up to $5,000 of donations received.”
“My wife Brenda and I grew up near the center of the flooded area,” said Bill Roark, Co-founder of Torch Technologies, CEO Starfish Holdings and Freedom Real Estate and Capitol. “I would like to offer words of comfort for families who lost loved ones and words of courage for those who are rebuilding.”
“Many of our employee owners come from rural areas, and we are keenly aware of the devastating impact of natural disasters on the people in those regions,” said John Watson, President and CEO of Torch Technologies. That’s why we have supported communities in multiple states during their recovery.”
To donate digitally to The Kentucky Wildlands Flood Relief Grant Fund, please use the options below:
- PayPal to PRIDE@centertech.com
- WYKY FM Somerset – somerset106.com
- WTLO AM/FM Somerset – wtloam.com
- WWEL FM London – sam1039.com
- WANV FM London – 967wanv.com
- WFTG AM/FM London – wftgam.com
- WXKQ FM Whitesburg – 1039thebulldog.com
- WTCW AM/FM – wtcwam.com
- WSIP FM – wsipfm.com
- WSIP AM – wsipam.com
- WKLW FM – wklw.com
- WKYH AM/FM – wkyham.com
Checks also will be accepted. Checks should be written to Eastern Kentucky PRIDE with “flood relief” in the memo line. Checks can be dropped off at the radio stations listed above or mailed to PRIDE, 2292 S. Hwy. 27, Somerset, KY 42503.
PRIDE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so all donations are tax deductible. Receipts will be provided.