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  • Diane Smith

Westminster congregants pitch in on disaster recovery in Kentucky


Forrest Craig and Peter Sayers cut siding while helping to rebuild a house in Dawson Springs, Ky. The two men were part of a group of about a dozen current and former parishioners of Westminster Presbyterian Church who traveled to the state in September to help with recovery efforts in the wake of a tornado that swept through the area in December 2021.

In December 2021, a violent tornado tore through western Kentucky, including Dawson Springs, a town of 2,400 or so people that sits about 160 miles west of Louisville. The damage caused by the tornado was catastrophic: entire blocks of homes were leveled or pulled off their foundations, numerous cars flew into the air and hundreds of trees were uprooted.


Carol Coffman, a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tiburon, was especially horrified at the destruction. Though she has lived in Mill Valley for nearly three decades, she grew up in Madisonville, Ky., about 15 miles from Dawson Springs, and still has close friends and former classmates in the area.


The 68-year-old began to spread the word among Westminster’s congregation, asking for volunteers to go with her on a mission to help rebuild the destroyed homes. In September, a group of 12 headed to the area to assist with the recovery efforts.


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