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SATURDAY SALUTE: Women key in disaster recovery

SATURDAY SALUTE: Women key in disaster recovery

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A hearty Saturday Salute goes this week to Veronica Kaufman, Lori Larsen, Elizabeth Troyer-Miller and Jenna Clark, who were honored Tuesday by the Heartland Disaster Recovery Group for their work in response to last year’s flooding in Hall County.

“We are super grateful for the work of all four ladies,” Grand Island Emergency Management Director Jon Rosenlund said Tuesday during the Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting. “They were the key contact for families in need.”

Kaufman and Larsen, both community advocates, worked with individual families and helped contact contractors and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, finding where families could get loans. They also served encouraging voices.

During the flood recovery, Troyer-Miller said, she learned that the keys to recovery are stability, strength and encouragement. However, the flood showed her the effect of a disaster reflects the disparity in the community.

“We focus on the margins,” she said. “We have to be mindful of how it will impact those who are already struggling.”

We salute these women for all they have done and recognize that recovery from the flooding is ongoing. Heartland United Way continues to provide assistance for victims of the floods. For more information on volunteer opportunities, other projects or the mission of the Heartland United Way, visit

Today is Keep Nebraska Beautiful Day; pitch in

We also note that today in Keep Nebraska Beautiful Day, as declared by Gov. Pete Ricketts, and salute all the people in central Nebraska who are working to carry on litter cleanup, waste reduction, recycling and environmental education even in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

During a time when it can be difficult to find ways to volunteer and give back to the community while socially distancing, Keep Nebraska Beautiful Day is designed to bring people together as individuals and small groups share their volunteer efforts online through social media.

People are encouraged to participate by: (1) picking up litter, (2) planting native species in their gardens, (3) helping a neighbor, friend or relative with an outdoor project, or (4) pledging to end litter in Nebraska at Activities can be done individually or in small groups, and people are encouraged to share photos of themselves participating in Keep Nebraska Beautiful Day on social media tagging Keep Nebraska Beautiful or using #keepnebraskabeautiful.

Participants are urged to use gloves when picking up litter and to remember to wash their hands thoroughly after cleanup.

Visit to learn more about participating.

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