BURKE — The efforts to raise funds following the August 2019 tornado that damaged Burke resulted in nearly $130,000 in donations and contributions to affected individuals and businesses.

The Burke Long-Term Recovery Group formed in fall 2019 and said this week that it has closed out its process of gathering donations, soliciting applications for assistance, meeting with community members and granting assistance to those affected. The results were raising $129,720.97 in donations and granting $129,604.16 in direct assistance to applicants, resulting from 352 different people or groups making donations.

The community was at the heart of a EF-1 tornado on Aug. 6, 2019, when winds peaked at 110 mph and the storm hit just before 10:30 p.m. The length of the tornado was nearly 4 miles long and 75 yards wide, resulting in two injuries. The tornado damaged numerous businesses and homes, the Burke School complex and the Burke Civic Center, while knocking out windows at the Gregory County Courthouse.

“The mission is to provide recovery services to individuals, families, and businesses impacted by disasters in the Burke community,” the group said in a news release this week. “Services will be provided regardless of the individuals’ race, creed, color, gender, disability, or religious preference. The goal of the Burke Community LTRG is to promote healing and wholeness so all of our residents recover from the disasters.”

The group was formed through the South Dakota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster chapter. The state and national organizations prepare for and respond to the recovery needs of communities in times of disaster. The Burke LTRG is represented by local citizens who represent local nonprofits, businesses and faith groups that gathered resources to help with the recovery.

Among the major donors:

  • Burke Storm Destruction Relief (Go Fund Me Account): $42,821.09

  • Catholic Social Services: $26,937.29

  • Lutheran Social Services: $25,000

  • Community Memorial Hospital Gala: $21,862.59

  • City of Burke via Winner Rotary: $8,000

  • First Fidelity Bank: $5,000

“The community is stronger together and this group of dedicated community members showed that a lot can be done if we all work together,” the group said.