40,000 pounds of goods collected in hurricane relief effort

Submitted Photo Donated goods for Texas and Florida were recently collected throughout Chautauqua County.

An estimated 40,000 pounds of goods were collected at the Chautauqua County sites for hurricane relief in Texas and Florida.

Michael Ferguson, Chautauqua County executive candidate led a group of volunteers that recently sent a truckload of locally gathered hurricane relief items to places in dire need. Ferguson organized volunteers and drop-off sites within days of the devastation due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

“This is an example of what a community can do when asked,” he said. “I believe this spirit can transcend this event and shows how true collaboration brings out the greatness in all of us.”

He thanked Agricultural Transport and the Sam family, who donated the truck, driver and staff to sort, prep and load the collected items; the Shaw and Bertges families for use of their warehouse; Paper Factory for donating banners; Fredonia Place for use of a truck and for serving as a drop-off center; and the Chautauqua Mall for serving as a drop-off center. Special thanks also go to Edwin Ramos for securing Agricultural Transport, as well as Mayors Willie Rosas, Athanasia Landis and Sam Teresi for their support and effort, and for all of the volunteers who collected and sorted donations.

Ferguson has experience in this type of leadership. When Silver Creek was affected by devastating flooding, he rallied people in the Jamestown area and three truckloads of items were delivered.

“We need to be prepared to act quickly and seize the moment. Whether it is disaster relief, economic development, combating the drug crisis or addressing any concern in our county, I am ready, willing and experienced to take action and effect positive change,” he said.

Campaign and relief effort volunteer organizer, Dianne Ferguson, was instrumental in coordinating the team and also spent countless hours herself on this project. “We work as a family unit when there is good work to be done,” he said.