Indian Lake Tornado Relief Fund

Relief Fund

At 7:44 PM on Thursday March 14, an EF3 tornado ripped through the Indian Lake region, killing three people, destroying 239 homes, and causing widespread damage to over 1,500 properties and businesses. 

The following morning, the United Way Board met in emergency session and established the Indian Lake Tornado Relief Fund with the goal of supporting immediate and long-term recovery efforts, with an emphasis to be placed on identifying and fulfilling unmet needs.  100 percent of all donations to the Relief Fund have gone directly to this purpose.  

More than 3,000 donors gave $1,625,842 to the Indian Lake Tornado Relief Fund. Donations poured into our community from 40 states coast-to-coast, including California, Maine, Washington, and Florida!  Businesses, schools, churches, and groups around Ohio conducted special fundraisers. Several donors have written letters expressing fond memories of growing up here. One women reminisced about meeting her husband one summer at Indian Lake.

THANK YOU for entrusting United Way of Logan County with your gift to help tornado victims. YOUR gift has been a difference-making bridge in the gap between the storm and long-awaited government assistance and insurance claims. You've helped hundreds of survivors start the rebuilding process, move to new homes, or make down payments on new cars. We've been the recipient of dozens of grateful hugs as victims thank donors from afar whom they will never meet.

In addition, United Way provided $100,000 to be used in a 1st phase of funding for agencies directly involved in providing immediate response, taking the fund to $1,725,842. 

Donor Recognition Page



$1,441,378.98 was provided in direct support to 548 affected households (1,231 individuals) of the March 14 tornado.  Affected families began meeting with United Way's team of case workers on Wednesday April 10.  Through Friday May 31, here is the breakdown in how tornado victims are choosing to use their United Way help:

  • 277 home insurance deductibles - $390,765.72
  • 204 home repairs - $368,944.82
  • 137 rents for new or existing housing - $195,762.22
  • 89 utility bills - $32,688.21
  • 76 mortgage payments - $82,878.14
  • 68 auto insurance deductibles - $48,600.17
  • 52 car repairs - $53,924.77
  • 43 security deposits for new housing - $65,716.42
  • 43 car payments - $38,547.72
  • 35 down payments on a new car - $71,685.05
  • 29 hotel stays - $17,537.21
  • 9 student hardship fees - $1,117.46
  • 9 pet cares - $2,520.71
  • 7 prescription medications - $1,314.43
  • 100 "other" expenses, such as storage, generators, food, furniture, appliances, etc.  - $69,375.93

United Way is no longer providing day-to-day direct help on-site at the Lake.  Remaining funds are being turned over to the Logan County EMA's Long-Term Recovery Team, which is working to identify and fulfill unmet needs after insurance, government, and charitable support.  Those still in need of support, please CLICK HERE for detailed information about how to apply for help from FEMA or get in touch with Long-Term Recovery.

Tornado victims from each affected neighborhood and leaders from the Indian Lake community met on April 3 to determine the criteria for how the Relief Funds would be spent.  

"On behalf of the Indian Lake Tornado Relief Committee, we thank all the outside donors for your support to create this opportunity," said Brenda Moots, owner of Indian Lake Outfitters & The Depot in Lakeview.  "Our goal is to assist as many families as possible with full transparency, representation, and immediate need to our Indian Lake area residents.  We know this isn’t a fix all answer to everyone's situation. It won’t completely address the large number of displaced families or their wide spread needs. But it is certainly a good start that offers hope and assists with more immediate need while the community works through avenues of other funding possibilities."

Committee members included:

  • Dave Coburn – Indian Lake Schools
  • Pastor Jim Ellington – Indian Lake Community Church
  • Dale Frymeyer – Choice Properties Real Estate / Indian Lake Development Corporation
  • Suzanne Gillespie – Shoreline Construction
  • Cynthia Heffner – Logan County Department of Job & Family Services
  • Rachel Kubic – Hanna Howard Real Estate / Indian Lake Development Corporation
  • Missy Johnson - Team Johnson Sewing
  • Scott Mohler – Lift Delivery
  • Brenda Moots – Indian Lake Outfitters
  • Amy Musil – LuLu’s at the Lake
  • Tim O’Rielley – CoverLink Insurance / United Way Allocations Chair
  • Rick Powers – NX Automotive Logistics / United Way Board Member
  • Katie Rychener – Unit-Ten / United Way Board Member
  • Corey VanHoose – CenterPoint Energy / United Way Board Member

Also present were

  • Dave Bezusko- United Way of Logan County
  • Ashley Spence – United Way of Logan County
  • Bobbi Jo Trittschuh – Honda  

On March 15, the morning after the storm, the United Way Board issued up to $100,000 from its reserves to support a Phase 1 of funding for agencies providing immediate response to the disaster.  Funds were used or dispersed to the following:

  • Aries Pharmacy - $483.24 to cover cost of 21 prescriptions for seven tornado victims.
  • Liberty Roofing - $30,000 to provide roofing materials and repairs for six uninsured victims.
  • Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities - have spent $8,315.66 of a $10,000 allocation to cover basic needs of nine of their affected clients with developmental disabilities.
  • Logan County Cancer Society - $2,574.60 to cover cost of lost medication / supplies for cancer patients.
  • Mary Rutan Foundation - $9,337.78 - to purchase and deliver generators for use in the immediate aftermath in the Indian Lake region. 
  • Mary Rutan Foundation - $2,839.58 to cover cost of prescription medication and copays for victims.
  • Peak of Hope Homeless Shelter - have spent $16,764.65 of a $25,000 allocation for temporary hotel stays for 30 medically fragile victims unable to utilize community emergency shelters.
  • RTC Services - $1,715.38 to provide 45 free rides of transportation for victims who lost their cars.  
  • TCN Behavioral Health - $5,000 to cover basic needs for their affected mental health clients.
  • United Way - $1,636.16 - to purchase equipment and supplies to set up two Multi-Agency Resource Centers in Lakeview and Russells Point.
  • United Way - $300 - Gas cards for generators.
  • United Way - $233.81 - to rent and deliver portable storage units to downtown Lakeview.
  • United Way - $139.41 - a floodlight for a materials distribution point in downtown Lakeview.

Following the recommendation of the Indian Lake Tornado Committee, the United Way Board moved on May 28 to end the Phase 2 funding period.  Remaining money from the Indian Lake Tornado Relief Fund has been turned over to the Logan County EMA's Long-Term Recovery Committee.  This team works with case managers to individually address unmet needs of families after they have been through the insurance and FEMA process.  Help is coordinated on a case-by-case basis.  Please call (937) 450-0404 if you are in need of further tornado assistance.

United Way participated in a similar process after the 2019 flooding that occurred in West Liberty and Russells Point.