October 4, 2018
By Ed Byrne The Brillion News
REEDSVILLE – The tears are still there and they come pretty easily for Carrie Holton, whose son, Jevon Lemke, drowned in a Gulf Coast beach swimming accident last April.
But something else comes pretty easily for Holton, who moved here after she retired from the U.S. Air Force.
Holton is helping to support a group called “Geaux Rescue,” a volunteer rescue group in Alabama that was started by George Ruiz, a retired member of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Ruiz and his friends helped in the search for Lemke in the weeks after he disappeared in a rip current and is presumed drowned.
Ruiz and the Geaux Rescue organization, which is in the process of becoming a tax-exempt charitable group, mobilized and headed for North Carolina after Hurricane Florence struck, and started rescuing people trapped by the storm and flood waters.
Holton is working on a local effort to collect and ship relief supplies.
“We are looking for gas cards, money cards and ice,” Holton said. She said people in the disaster zone have bottled water, but many need non perishable food.
The next shipments will focus on secondary needs.
“Mostly they need hygiene and household goods, because people were rescued with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Holton said. “These are the things we use in everyday life.”
We take them for granted, but for hurricane victims, they are a luxury. Water supplies are contaminated, and so people can’t take showers. Things like body wipes are a great gift.
Holton hopes to get community groups, businesses, churches and others here to collect relief supplies, and then pack them up and ship them to Geaux Rescue in River Bend, N.C.
“If we could get schools or businesses to compete in making donations, that would be great,” she said.
Holton said people here are generous, and get things done when there is a need.
She cited the example of a Kiel woman who bought out a store’s stock of toilet paper and is paying to ship it to North Carolina.
Holton and Adrianne Helberg are working on getting donations of relief supplies here. People who want to donate, or become a part of the effort, can contact Holton at 806-789-4975 or Helberg at 920-629-0241. Holton can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the complete story in the October 4, 2018 print edition of The Brillion News.