Atkins woman raising money for town’s legion hall damaged by derecho

Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 4:01 PM CDT
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With damage so widespread across eastern Iowa following the August 10th derecho, many homes and buildings still sit exposed to the elements. From the outside, the Atkins Memorial Hall appears to have gotten lucky during the August 10th derecho, but just a step inside paints another picture.

“Devastating, again and I don’t think many people, even in Atkins knew about the damage to the Legion Hall,” Tonya Lyle of Atkins said.

The storm, took the hall’s entire roof with it in the wind, leaving a mess inside. {=

“I don’t think I have ever seen all the insulation from the roof, standing water, water in the lights,” Lyle said.

Lyle said the Legion Hall is close to her heart.

“My husband and I had our wedding reception and dance here back in 2000 and our son had his graduation party here,” she said.

The building is owned by Freemont Township Trustees, the legion has use of the building. Volunteers who help run the legion said the owners are looking into insurance and roofing options, but in the meantime, Lyle said she wanted to help.

Lyle, who is a fitness instructor is planning a fundraiser, a 5K run through town. The route passing by other damaged areas, reminding runners why they are there.

“It will start at the City Hall/Library which was heavily damaged, which is right next to our gas station and car wash in town, which had its roof taken off,” she said.

Lyle said she doesn’t want places like the Memorial Hall to be forgotten. The hall hosts many community events and creates a space for veterans and others to gather.

“Hopefully it’s a good event and we can raise a lot of money for that Aktins Memorial Hall,” she said.

The run/walk is planned for Saturday, October 17th, 2020.

More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page here.

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