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Businesses find ways to give

As area businesses are taking cash donations for the American Red Cross in response to Hurricane Katrina, some of them are pitching in to give relief in other ways.

Farragut Rotarian business leaders sold 200 tickets to a wine-tasting event to be held tonight, Thursday, Sept. 29, in which one-third of all money raised from the $35 tickets will be donated to hurricane relief.

Local hotels have given goods and services to hurricane relief.

Tracy Hicks of Homewood Suite said, “The hotels have all tried to be very helpful.”

She added, the American Red Cross placed 10 families at the Residence Inn, 10 families at Townplace Suites, three families at Courtyard by Marriott and 17 families at Homewood Suites.

Hicks said the longest one family stayed was 18 days, as Federal Emergency Manage-ment Agency only reimbursed through Sept. 25.

Hicks added, “Hotels had an outpouring of generosity.”

She said many hotels donated pillows, blankets, toiletries and cases of lotions, shampoos and conditioners.

While hotels are providing temporary homes, Lenoir City Utilities Board provided water and is on standby to assist as Gulf Coast companies restore power.

LCUB general manager Fred Nelson said LCUB donated about 1,500 bottles of water to hurricane relief.

He added, LCUB has its name “in the pool” with the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association to send workers down to help restore power in affected areas.

For now, “we’re on standby,” Nelson said.

Rural Metro Fire Department also responded to the hurricane relief emergency.

Ranee Ramby, public relations director, said Rural Metro worked with Knox Area Rescue Ministries and a Tennessee Wesleyan school nurse to provide hygiene kits — one-gallon “baggies” filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, combs and other personal items.

Ramby said Rural Metro met American Red Cross needs and will distribute leftovers to people in need in Knoxville.

The project was “very, very successful,” Ramby added.

Dixie Lee Storage is offering storage space to hurricane evacuees.

Dixie Lee Storage manager Lynn Willis said it is offering $100 credits, that way no matter what evacuees’ storage needs are, “everybody gets the same benefit.”

Willis said a $100 credit is virtually three months worth of free storage and the offer is available until the first of November.

Willis added Parkway Storage on Lovell Road is offering the same discount.

U-Haul is also offering storage space to hurricane evacuees.

Joanne Fried, U-Haul public relations and media director, said the company is donating 30 days of free storage nationwide.

She added, U-Haul is assisting the American Red Cross, military, police and fire departments in getting supplies to affected areas.


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