News Staff Report
Poarch Band of Creek Indians will donate a total of $184,000 to cover the cost of funerals for the 23 people, many of them children, who lost their lives last week when a series of more than three dozen tornadoes, including two that struck less than an hour apart, ripped a path across eastern Alabama and into western Georgia.
“The Tribe is making a $184,000 donation to the East Alabama Medical Center Foundation to assist in the burial of the victims from last Sunday’s devastating tornado in Lee County,” Tribal Chair and CEO Stephanie A. Bryan posted on the PCI Facebook page last week. “It is at times of greatest need that we often see our communities coming together to help one another. This is one of those times. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected.”
Lee County coroner Bill Harris reported last week that the tribe, which had initially committed $50,000 to the cause, agreed to increase its donation after another donor backed out of the arrangement.
The money from the tribe will be donated to East Alabama Medical Center Foundation to make sure none of it is spent on administrative costs.
PCI also offered money to help in the wake of an EF-2 tornado that ravaged Wetumpka earlier this year, including a $25,000 gift from Wind Creek Casino-Wetumpka to help rebuild the heavily damaged First Baptist Church in the central Alabama community. That church’s congregation refused the money because it was derived from gambling.
President Donald Trump visited the Lee County area, which was declared a federal disaster zone, last week.