CR2CR Raises Funds for Flood Ravaged Czech Republic

By Heather Hubbs, Reporter

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By Heather Hubbs

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa-- Cedar Rapids has always had strong ties to the Czech Republic.

At one time nearly all those who lived in the Czech Village Neighborhood, were immigrants or directs descendent. Today, we are tied in a different way, through tragedy.

In June much of the Czech Republic was devastated by flooding. Now there is a local effort underway to help with recovery efforts across the Atlantic.

In 2008, flood waters damaged or destroyed much of the Czech Village neighborhood, including St. Wenceslaus Church.

"We were totally flooded, destruction like you wouldn't believe," said Bob Kazimour, Parish Council Chairman at St. Wenceslaus Church.

Half a million dollars in damage was incurred. They needed to begin work right away but insurance money takes time...Their prayers were answered.

"The Czech Republic walked up unannounced, unsoliced, gave us $50,000. That was a week after the flood. It was a real Godsent to have that money to use for materials and repairs we needed to do immediatly," said Kazimour.

In all the Czech government gave $600,000 to organizations in Cedar Rapids, a big chunk went to the Czech and Slovak Museum and Library. Now that the Czech Republic is cleaning up from a similar disaster, a grassroots organization called CR2CR is trying to raise money, to return the favor.

"This shows that we as Americans, as Cedar Rapidians are grateful for the help the Czech Republic gave in our time of need, shows our willingness to help them in their time of need," said Steve Groner, Co-Chair CR2CR

All the funds raised will go to help rebuild a library in Decin.

"It's saying thank you and also, we know what you're going through," said Groaner.

Donations for CR2CR must be made by October 11th. Checks can be mailed to the following address:

National Czech and Solvak Museum and Library
1400 Inspiration Place SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

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