Columbiana businessman aiding tornado victims

COLUMBIANA – A local businessman is doing what he can to help the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes.

Dave Kissinger, owner of Hometown Self Storage, has received City Council’s approval to hold a fundraiser in the city June 15.

Kissinger recently held a similar fundraiser in Rogers that generated about $700, which he put toward the purchase of 13 $50 gift cards to give to children in Oklahoma.

He explained the gift cards are easier to get to victims in the Southern state than hauling items in a truck that far.

He is expecting the Columbiana fundraiser to generate more aid.

“I thought as a city we could get together and show that we are going to help someone we don’t even know,” he said.

All proceeds raised will be given to Heart 4 Children Ministries, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Bartlesville, Okla.

He said he selected the organization because there are no administrative costs. “All money goes toward the kids.”

Kissinger plans to hold the event at the Sparkle Market parking lot from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A Chinese auction, outdoor tents for local merchants to offer their items and live musical entertainment is planned.

So far eight people have already volunteered to sing throughout the day, he said.

He added he has been working alongside former Mayor Dick Simpson who has offered to help organize the event. He is also working with the local Boy Scouts on a possible canned food drive.

Donations for the Chinese auction have already come in through some area businesses and organizations, he added.

He recalled when a small tornado ripped through the south side of town in 1985.

Although certainly not as massive as the 2.5-mile wide EF 5 tornado in Oklahoma, the one through town was enough to cause some damage.

“I was in the towing business you get to see how it affects all the people,” he said.

“I think it’s very nice of you to step up like this and take on a large task like this. I think it would be a great thing for the community and those people to do something like this,” Mayor Dave Spatholt said.

More information about Heart 4 Children Ministries can be found online at

In other business at its recent meeting, council approved:

– A request from Carol Kulka of the Little Clipper Football Association to hold a tag day in the city from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 10.

– A request from 4Wheel Drive to hold the annual Jeep Jamboree event in the city Sept. 27-28, and to have the presence of the police auxiliary force. Also, a request to use garbage drums and barricades from the city and the water truck from the fire department to wash off the jeeps after they have gone through the mud pit. The business will make a donation to the fire department for $1,200.

– A second reading of an ordinance adopting the 2011 edition of the national electric code.

– A first reading of legislation creating a street superintendent position. City Manager Lance Willard said the department has only ever had a street supervisor.

Rick Burt was the supervisor until his retirement this year. Jesse Wilson is currently the supervisor. The legislation was presented as an emergency but was changed to a first reading due to council members James King and Tom Ferguson being absent.

Willard announced during the meeting the water treatment plant project will be going out to bid soon.