The Bank of Sun Prairie and Summit Credit Union have partnered to each donate $5,000 to the victims of one of the most tragic events the Sun Prairie community has ever had to endure, a gas leak explosion that leveled several buildings and killed firefighter and business owner Corey Barr.
The two financial institutions, which pride themselves on being part of the communities they serve, came together to contribute $10,000 in relief for the 22 families that have been impacted.
Sunshine Place, a Sun Prairie food pantry, received the donations from the two financial institutions during a personal and low key event on Monday afternoon in Sun Prairie.
“It’s a time of need,” said Jimmy Kauffman, the President and CEO of Bank of Sun Prairie. “Sun Prairie is a great community, as evidenced by how we’ve handled this tragedy. Our hearts go out to those that are impacted. Our hearts go out to the first responders that work so hard to keep us safe. Sun Prairie is a very gracious community and the Bank of Sun Prairie, like many other people in the community, has stepped up to try to help those in need because we definitely have some businesses and some families that are hurting.”
On Tuesday, WISC TV has announced that it will dedicate airtime to an all-day telethon to benefit the victims of the tragic explosion that has displaced dozens of families and taken the life of Firefighter Cory Barr.
As for the Bank of Sun Prairie, which has been in the community since 1897, Kauffman said that they have individually raised $65,000 in donations already in addition to the $5,000 twin donation with Summit Credit Union.
“One hundred percent of that money is going to go back out into the community for people that need it most,” Kauffman told Madison365. “People are having a hard time with living arrangements. Businesses are having a hard time. But first and foremost our condolences go out to the Barr family. Captain Barr was a great family man, he was a great firefighter and he loved this community.”
The $10,000 combined donation will be used by Sunshine Place to help the more than 51 displaced residents who are in need of food, clothing or shelter.
Joanna Cervantes of Sunshine Place said that they were thankful for the donations but that there is more work to be done to help the families and businesses in need. Cerbantes told Madison365 that every penny counts and every penny helps.
Jody Stolldorf of Summit Credit Union said that one of the reasons the two financial institutions came together was because they knew of the immense resources Sunshine Place was giving to hurting families.
“After this disaster occurred, Bank of Sun Prairie and Summit Credit Union decided to partner for a donation to Sunshine Place because we know they’re offering so many great resources for the families that have been displaced in this community,” Stolldorf said. “Summit has also made a donation to support the Barr Family as well as the family of firefighter Ryan Welch who is still recovering from his injuries. We send our thoughts and prayers out to both families.”
On Monday, Sun Prairie police said that the area around the explosion will continue to be monitored and that a determination for how and why this explosion happened needs to be made.