Fundraiser seeks to buy bottled water for Duluth

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Time is of the essence for a local effort to provide truckloads of water to the flood-ravaged citizens of Duluth.

“The need is immediate,” said Hy-Vee store manager Al Weisert.

The effort hopes to raise $7,560 for two semitrailers loaded with Hy-Vee bottled water. That would be 1,512 cases of half-liter bottles per truck, Weisert calculated. There are 24 bottles in a case. The normal price for a case is $4.99, but Weisert is providing them for $2.50 a case.

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As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the effort, which began Monday, had $900. The cost for one truckload of bottled water is $3,780. The organizers of the effort request people donate $25 each.

“We’re hoping to help our neighbors to the north,” he said.

People can donate to the effort at the Hy-Vee stores in Albert Lea and Austin. The effort is coordinating with the Salvation Army. Donations also are accepted at the Salvation Army offices in Albert Lea.

The effort is the brainchild of Todd Kriewall, part owner of Crossroads Trailer and a friend of Weisert. He had read a news story about the Salvation Army’s need for water in Duluth, called Weisert and proposed providing the trailers. Dan DeBoer of Pro Truckiing offered to provide the tractor and to drive the trailers to where the Salvation Army needs it.

Weisert said Hy-Vee’s distribution center in Chariton, Iowa, is ready to send water to Albert Lea once the funds are raised.

“We are hoping to get it done by Wednesday or Thursday,” he said.

Capt. Jim Brickson of the Salvation Army said bottled water is always in high demand in any disaster. He said this is a special situation because the Salvation Army didn’t have to request the assistance.

“It’s neat when someone steps in and does that for you,” he said.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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