Telethon, contributions bring in nearly $27,000 for downtown businesses

Hank Hayes • Jul 24, 2013 at 9:08 PM

KINGSPORT — Nearly $27,000 has been raised for downtown businesses affected by last week’s sudden flood, Downtown Kingsport Association Executive Director Sherri Mosley reported Wednesday.

A telethon, held Tuesday by WKPT-TV, received a $10,000 contribution from Sharon and Pal Barger, plus a $5,000 check from Eastman Chemical Co. and $1,000 from Burger King, according to Mosley.

The United Way of Greater Kingsport gave DKA a $5,000 check on Monday.

DKA estimates downtown’s top 12 businesses lost an estimated $210,000 in cleanup and other damage from the flood. Those businesses include Variety Printing and Gifts, POSH Spa & Salon, Bear N Friends Toy Shoppe, Suzanne Barrett Justis Fine Art, Dirtwerks Clay Studio & Gallery, Kingsport Stained Glass, Gazebo Party Shop, Charmed Southern, Little Cake, The Haggle Shop, Shakar Antiques and Morrell Music.

An estimated 65 businesses were affected in some way by the flood, according to DKA.

DKA has formed a three-person panel to review relief requests submitted by businesses. The requests will primarily consist of emergency cleanup expenses. The committee will then look at claims on a case-by-case basis based on how much money is left, according to DKA.

“We have not set a deadline when the money will be distributed,” Mosley noted.

The public can still donate to the flood relief effort by going to www.downtownkingsport.org. Checks should be made payable to Downtown Kingsport Association, which is located on Broad Street.

Mosley reiterated downtown businesses are planning an after-the-flood sale on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I would say 10 percent of our businesses are in cleanup mode and still needing volunteers in a bad, bad way, especially the antique stores,” Mosley said. “But we cannot thank the volunteers enough for their generosity.”

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