The night was perfect, and there wasn't a dry eye to be seen. More than 200 community members watched as their story of resilience and recovery played out against the night sky.
In a first-of-its-kind video tribute that projected larger than life on the side of the local community center, Channel brand celebrated the area's achievements of the past year.
People in and around Mount Vernon and Lisbon, Iowa, know exactly where they were when the derecho windstorm blew through southeastern Iowa on Aug. 10, 2020. What they could not have known is how significant the devastation would be and what it would take to restore their community.
Marking the one-year anniversary of the storm, Channel brand hosted a community event and shared a tribute video celebrating the farmers, first responders and everyday people who stepped up to help with the cleanup and rebuilding efforts after the storm ravaged the community.
"This is the perfect opportunity to reflect and recognize the inspiring way these communities came together in the face of adversity," said Beth Lincoln, Channel's local field sales representative. "The local heroes featured in the tribute video are just a few of the stories showcasing what it means to put service into action — one of Channel brand's core beliefs."
The community members in the video include:
- Dan Stoner, local farmer, Channel seedsman
- Alan Bausch, local farmer, Channel seedsman
- Stephanie West, Mount Vernon City Council member
- Deb Siggins, Lisbon farmer
- Matt Thede, Mount Vernon High School assistant principal and activities director
- Tommy Rhomberg, "The Great Derecho" baseball bat creator
- Doug Shannon, Mount Vernon-Lisbon police chief
- Michele Grudzinski, vice president of M & K Dust Control
They worked alongside their community to recover and rebuild, modeling why service matters and how big a difference even small details make.
"Last year brought many unpredictable challenges, but none as catastrophic as the derecho that hit Iowa in August," Lincoln said. "While this powerful storm was devastating, it wasn't as powerful as the resilience of Iowa farming communities."
In addition to the severe damage the derecho brought to buildings and crops, estimates speculate that at least half of the trees in the storm footprint were damaged from the high winds. To further recognize the community's dedication to service, Channel will sponsor the Mount Vernon Lisbon Community Development Group's annual Clean Up Days and is committing $20,000 to help replace the tree cover lost to the derecho.
With the need focused on replacing larger, established trees, it is expected that each community will receive more than 30 mature trees.
"At Channel, service is in our nature, from supporting farming communities when Mother Nature hits hard to providing year-round, hands-on, customized service for our Channel farmers," Lincoln said.
View the video and additional resources at Channel.com/ChannelingGood.