Elizabethtown grateful for generosity of its Kentucky namesake

By: Alan Wooten - Bladen Journal
Contributed photo Elizabethtown mayor Sylvia Campbell is flanked by Elizabethtown, Kentucky, city employees (from left) Troy Coogle, Rick Marlatt, Justin Yates and Chuck Patterson.
Contributed photo Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
Contributed photo Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
Contributed photo This is just a little of the 10,000 pounds of supplies sent here. Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

ELIZABETHTOWN — Sylvia Campbell isn’t sure of when, but some day, when all the demands of Hurricane Florence have subsided, she’s likely to visit Kentucky.

Elizabethtown to be exact, same as the North Carolina city where she is mayor.

The people of that Bluegrass State community rallied in support of Campbell’s town, collecting donations and supplies that totaled more than 10,000 pounds and required two truck-and-trailers to bring here.

The supplies arrived late Wednesday night, and Thursday morning they made their way to Bladen County’s distribution center.

“We had a police escort for them, took them to the Vineyard for supper,” Campbell said, catching her breath for the emotion of the benevolence and the flurry of activity. “They were impressed. They loved the town, thought it was really pretty. And that means a lot.”

What began as a reader’s phone call and a newsroom discussion at The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, quickly turned into a “let’s help out our town in North Carolina.”

Mayor Edna Berger was on board, and helped coordinate the city’s efforts.

Elizabethtown adopted Elizabethtown.

“They had everything,” Campbell said of the 20-foot and 18-foot trailers. “Those trucks were crammed. When we opened the door, literally, everything just about started to fall out. They did a great job of helping Elizabethtown.”

The outpouring of support has overwhelmed Campbell. She said the town has tried to pay it forward, such as when people from the hard-hit community of Wallace stopped by the distribution center.

“From seeing their response to us, I don’t know them, but I know them,” Campbell said. “I know their heart, and I know they’ve got a big heart. I feel like we’re drawn to them forever. It went through the newspaper, the radio there, it was an all-around concerted effort to help us.”

Hurricane Matthew hit the area two years ago, on Oct. 8, 2016. That Saturday was an all-day rain, much like three weeks ago. Florence arrived on the coast about 60 miles away at 7:15 a.m. on Sept. 14, and then was virtually parked between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach for three days.

Help came after Matthew, Campbell said. This has been more.

“It was unbelievable. It was a 10-hour drive. I’m still amazed at the way people have reached out to help,” the mayor said. “Asheville called this week, they’re sending a truck load. There was someone there this morning that was delivering another truck load. Just the response, the guys form Phoenix came and helped us with recovery.

“I know we had good response, but I don’t remember anything like this. Even at the distribution center, I heard them mention the Wallace folks are in dire need of help. And it is nice to know we’re helping community to community, to return that favor for those that are helping us.”

So is a trip to Kentucky, just to see what their place is like, in the future of the mayor?

“I would love to go. I think we’ll be forever drawn to them through this. I would love to go to Kentucky and visit, and meet those folks,” Campbell said. “But not in the immediate future. Things are just really busy.”

Kentuckians can understand. After all, they adopted us, called us their own and poured out their hearts.

Contributed photo
Elizabethtown mayor Sylvia Campbell is flanked by Elizabethtown, Kentucky, city employees (from left) Troy Coogle, Rick Marlatt, Justin Yates and Chuck Patterson.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918-2.jpegContributed photo
Elizabethtown mayor Sylvia Campbell is flanked by Elizabethtown, Kentucky, city employees (from left) Troy Coogle, Rick Marlatt, Justin Yates and Chuck Patterson.

Contributed photo
Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Elizabethtown-KY-arrives-1.jpgContributed photo
Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Etown-KY-trailer-1.jpgContributed photo
Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
This is just a little of the 10,000 pounds of supplies sent here. Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Just-a-few-of-the-supplies-1.jpgContributed photo
This is just a little of the 10,000 pounds of supplies sent here. Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918KY-Truck-1-1.jpgContributed photo
Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Before the 10-hour trip back home, city employees from Elizabethtown, Ky., enjoyed a lunch at City Hall in Elizabethtown. Two trucks arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Lunch-at-Town-Hall-before-the-long-trip-home-1.jpgContributed photo
Before the 10-hour trip back home, city employees from Elizabethtown, Ky., enjoyed a lunch at City Hall in Elizabethtown. Two trucks arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
The Rev. Jason Williams of Foundation Bible Church and Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell share a moment with city employees from Elizabethtown, Ky. Two trucks from the Bluegrass State arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Mayor-and-Pastor-Williams-express-their-appreciation-1.jpgContributed photo
The Rev. Jason Williams of Foundation Bible Church and Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell share a moment with city employees from Elizabethtown, Ky. Two trucks from the Bluegrass State arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
The Rev. Jason Williams meets the gentlemen who drove two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., to the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Pastor-Jason-Williams-meets-KY-personnel-1.jpgContributed photo
The Rev. Jason Williams meets the gentlemen who drove two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., to the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Commissioner Paula Greene helped unload the trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Town-Commissioner-Paula-Greene-comes-back-for-another-load-1.jpgContributed photo
Commissioner Paula Greene helped unload the trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker, second from left, and Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell were overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in the Bluegrass State. Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Sheriff-and-KY-1.jpgContributed photo
Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker, second from left, and Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell were overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in the Bluegrass State. Two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Volunteers help unload one of the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Unloading-the-truck-1.jpgContributed photo
Volunteers help unload one of the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Volunteers help unload the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Unloading-2-truck-1.jpgContributed photo
Volunteers help unload the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Eddie Madden, the town manager of Elizabethtown, and Mac Campbell help unload the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Town-Mgr-Eddie-Madden-and-Mr.-Mac-Campbell-help-unload-1.jpgContributed photo
Eddie Madden, the town manager of Elizabethtown, and Mac Campbell help unload the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Volunteers help unload the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Volunteers-1.jpgContributed photo
Volunteers help unload the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Volunteers help unload the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Volunteers-unloading-the-truck-1.jpgContributed photo
Volunteers help unload the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Mayor Sylvia Campbell is flanked by volunteers and city employees from Elizabethtown, Ky., Thursday after two trucks arrived at the distribution center with more than 10,000 pounds of supplies. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Volunteers-and-KY-1.jpgContributed photo
Mayor Sylvia Campbell is flanked by volunteers and city employees from Elizabethtown, Ky., Thursday after two trucks arrived at the distribution center with more than 10,000 pounds of supplies. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Contributed photo
Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell helps unload one of the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_adoption100918Mayor-Campell-helps-unload-tr-1-1.jpgContributed photo
Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell helps unload one of the two trucks from Elizabethtown, Ky., that arrived at the distribution center on Thursday morning. The community in the Bluegrass State adopted Elizabethtown to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Alan Wooten

Bladen Journal

Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or awooten@bladenjournal.com. Twitter: @alanwooten19.

Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or awooten@bladenjournal.com. Twitter: @alanwooten19.