Teen Arranges Relief Fund for Tornado Victims

Friday, October 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Okla. (AP) _ A teen-ager who watched a twister rage near his home last week has organized a relief effort for tornado victims.

Kyle Eastwood, student council president for Mountain View-Gotebo High, found volunteers at 14 schools in three counties.

Students are collecting supplies until Oct. 29, then sending them to those affected by the Oct. 9 twisters that swept across western Oklahoma.

Eastwood, 16, signed up 14 schools within a few days for the relief drive in Washita, Caddo and Kiowa counties.

``It seems like a big effort,'' he said. ``But everyone is so willing to cooperate.''

Participating schools are Snyder, Carnegie, Fort Cobb-Broxton, Hinton, Hydro-Eakly, Gracemont, Boone-Apache, Cyril, Lone Wolf, Cement, Washita Heights, Lookeba-Sickles, Binger-Oney and Anadarko. Hobart, another school in the area, has its own drive to support tornado victims.

Representatives from each school agreed to collect items in certain categories, such as baby supplies, bathroom items or food.

Eastwood, a junior, said his inspiration to organize the drive came as he watched a twister roar a half-mile from his rural Mountain View home.

``A lot of people don't realize we (the town) lost four homes,'' Eastwood said. ``My neighbors were hit, and as soon as it cleared up, we all saw the devastation of the homes and the devastation of the people who lived there.

``Right away, I thought we could do something in our school to help. Then I thought if our school could help, how much more could we do if we pulled in other area schools?''

Educators said they were impressed by Eastwood's determination.

``He's awesome,'' Anadarko teacher Katy Dawes said.

``It is hard to organize something like this. It would be hard to simply talk to all the people he had to talk to. That's a big job, but he's a very bright young man.''

Mountain View-Gotebo Principal Darrell Nightingale said he was surprised Eastwood organized the relief effort as quickly as he did.

``I am astonished he was able to do so much in such a short time,'' he said.