Vandemere hosts big ‘THANK YOU’ for hard-working disaster re-builders!

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TOWN OF VANDEMERE – This small waterfront Pamlico County community opened its brightly decorated Town Hall on March 23 to show appreciation for those who contributed their time and talents to the Hurricane Florence victims. 

These volunteers often slip in and out without being properly thanked for the difference they make in our town and county!

Maryland-based “Brethren Disaster Ministry Group,” under coordinator Steve Keim; and Massachusetts-based  “Fuller Disaster Ministry Group,” under coordinator Rusty Cready, are just two of these groups that come from other states to share their compassion and talents. 

But what many of us do not realize, is that without our locally-based Pamlico County Disaster Recovery Coalition — and our County officials – this would not be possible.

This time Vandemere Town officials decided to turn things around!  For one night, at least, they became servers instead of being recipients of good will.  Yellow and blue tablecloths with nautical table arrangements helped to set a relaxed coastal mood.  

The absence of a head table encouraged mingling for the 35 guests.  Soon after being greeted at the door by Vandemere resident Wendy Lacy, the room was buzzing with “conversation and laughter.” Mayor Judy Thaanum got their attention and announced that Commissioner Carolyn Jones would give thanks for our guests and a blessing on the food. Town Clerk Sue Britt kept the buffet style dinner flowing and guests settled down to enjoy their meal.

After dinner, Beth Bucksot, who serves as the county’s Economic Development Director, and Disaster Recovery Coalition Chairman Bob Fuller, took the podium! The two shared stories of achievements and of concerns – over access to varoious resources in order to complete ongoing efforts.  Bucksot and Fuller also explained that the housing of these groups is crucial!  Fortunately, both Mount Zion OFWB Church and Camp Caroline graciously stepped up to the plate in providing these ongoing services.

Coordinators of the two disaster groups were asked to come and share their experiences.  The “resounding theme”  over and over, was that the “abundant local hospitality and partnership had greatly helped them carry out their mission to help disaster victims!” 

Most of these people will soon be leaving our area, but local recruiting will continue.  Needless to say, Vandemere’s appreciation of what has been accomplished in our town and county, will not be forgotten. So we say good-bye to these friends and pray blessings on their future endeavors.