“Army of volunteers” helping to rebuild Special Olympics training center

(Missourinet)  While structural engineers are still finishing their report, Jefferson City’s recent EF-3 tornado does not appear to have caused a total loss at the sprawling Special Olympics Training for Life campus.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt (left) speaks to American Red Cross representatives outside Special Olympics in Jefferson City on May 28, 2019 (Brian Hauswirth photo)

The May 22nd tornado caused enormous damage to the facility, blowing off part of the roof and blowing out numerous windows. The track was also damaged.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in St. Louis says the tornado’s estimated peak wind was 160 miles per hour.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt tells Missourinet he’s optimistic about the facility’s future.

“There’s a lot to be said for rebuilding,” Blunt says. “Rebuilding, I think it was (journalist and novelist Ernest) Hemingway said life breaks us all but afterwards we’re often strongest at the broken places.”

Senator Blunt toured the facility last week, noting he attended the November Training for Life campus’ opening with Governor Mike Parson (R) and former Governor Jay Nixon (D).

Special Olympics notes all building operations have been suspended. Special Olympics Missouri President Susan Stegeman tells Misourinet it does not appear to be a total loss.

There is still enormous damage, and Stegeman says they’ll rebuild.

“I would encourage everyone, if they want to donate money, to do so by texting SOMOREBUILD to 71777,” says Stegeman.

Jefferson City Fire Chief Matt Schofield says the tornado damaged about 240 homes and businesses in the Capital City.

Stegeman is praising the “army of volunteers” who have responded to assist the organization following the tornado. She says the response has been amazing.

“This campus was built by Missouri. It wasn’t built by Special Olympics, it was built by Missouri,” Stegeman says.

Stegeman tells Missourinet the Mizzou baseball team, wrestling team and the women’s basketball team have all been to the facility to assist.

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin and numerous state lawmakers participated in the recent tour with Blunt. The lawmakers included State Reps. Dave Griffith, R-Jefferson City, Rudy Veit, R-Wardsville, and Sara Walsh, R-Ashland.

The American Red Cross was also on-hand.

(93.9 The Eagle is hosting a radiothon for tornado relief on June 21. Learn how you can give here.)

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