Fundraiser Held For Veteran Who Lost Home In May Tornado

Saturday, August 3rd 2019, 9:23 pm
By: Erick Payne

A Broken Arrow group held a fundraiser to help a veteran after his home was destroyed by a tornado in May.

They had a fish fry at the Broken Arrow Elks Lodge.

It was to help Harold Sutton — a U.S. Navy Vietnam War veteran.

Sutton is trying to put his life back together after an EF1 tornado moved through Haskell in May, destroying his home. 

“It was kind of surprising, never expected it, the trees are all twisted,” Sutton said.

Sutton remembers coming back to his home and realizing there was nothing left.

“My house is missing, it was totally gone,” Sutton said.

The Claremore, Okmulgee, Wagoner and Broken Arrow Elks Lodges all pitched in to help raise money for him.

BA Elks Lodge Chairman Mike Inman said they’re just trying to help out a fellow veteran.

“This is phenomenal, great turnout,” Inman said.

Hundreds of people dropped by the fish fry to help Sutton get back on his feet.

“In my heart I knew how our community is here, so yeah I thought it would be big,” Inman said.

An event so big — they needed more than 250 pounds of local fileted catfish to feed everyone. It’s an amount that’s simply staggering to Sutton.

“I guess we get a fish dinner, I can’t ever catch something for a whole meal, I don’t know where they get theirs,” Sutton said.

Sutton said dinner aside — he appreciates the support the community has shown him.

“You’ve got to give them credit I didn’t expect this,” Sutton said. “You don’t expect this many people to get together to help, it really surprised me.”

Inman said they raised more than their $20,000 goal before the fish fry had ended.