Your Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, and Sisters in Christ:
Christ is in our midst!
Once again, we find ourselves in the early days of Fall, with the summer months having flown by. It was wonderful seeing the representatives from each of the Dioceses at our Summer Meetings at the Antiochian Village and to hear the fabulous works that continue to be performed by the Antiochian Women. It was an honor to present a check in the amount of $102,167.26 to His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP for monies raised towards the 2011-2012 Project of “The Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village.” The Antiochian Women have raised over $315,000 for this Project since 2010 – God bless each and every one of you for your dedication to that Project.
His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP has given us a NEW Project for 2012-2013: “The Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund.”
On June 1, at approximately 5:20 p.m., a tornado with winds of 110 mph cut a wide swath through the Antiochian Village in Western Pennsylvania. In a matter of seconds, the tornado damaged over 50 acres. A Paraklesis Service was taking place at St. Ignatius Church, and the camp counselors and staff were able to take shelter. Thanks be to God, no one was injured. Also, no outside groups were at the Antiochian Village at the time, but the campers were due to arrive only two weeks later.
When the storm subsided, the staff discovered that the tornado damaged 22 buildings and over 600 trees. Of these 22 buildings, six were cabins that were completely destroyed. Four cabins (each houses 16 girls) were brand new (with one being only a week old). The remaining buildings incurred extensive damage that will require varying degrees of repair from new roofs to collapsed walls. Because of the destruction, sixty-four of the girls who attended Summer Camp were housed at the nearby Conference and Retreat Center.
The insurance adjuster for the Antiochian Archdiocese has determined that the damage is over one million dollars. While the Archdiocese has an excellent policy, it will fall far short of the monies needed to make the repairs, as well as damage that would not otherwise be covered by insurance. Expenses not covered include damage to the pumps that powered the thermostats in the Rare Book Room at the Heritage and Learning Center, as well as the equipment at the sewage treatment plant. The out-of-pocket cost of repairs and replacement for just these items was approximately $13,000. Also, portions of the extensive tree removal, as well as the needed replanting of many of the trees near the girls’ cabins needed for privacy, will not be covered by insurance.
In the next few weeks, contractors will start working at the site with their first task being the demolition of the damaged buildings, followed by rebuilding. The Antiochian Village will post periodic updates on their website at www.antiochianvillage.org .
We have been informed that the priority is to rebuild the four girls’ cabins followed by the other buildings that were destroyed. The cost of one cabin that houses 16 girls is $138,000, which includes $130,000 for the building itself, with another $8,000 for furnishings and fixtures.
We would urge you to distribute the enclosed posters to the contact person at each church or mission, as well as the “talking points” that gives more information on the Antiochian Village and the destruction. Please ask the women to display the poster in a prominent place and to start planning events that will highlight “The Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund.”
Remember that March is “Antiochian Women’s Month,” and numerous activities can take place at that time. It’s a good idea for the chapters to start planning now on what events the women would like to emphasize for the Project. Most importantly, everyone in the parish – men, women and children – should know about the Project, and be reminded that every woman who is a member of the Archdiocese is an “Antiochian Woman.”
As in the past, all monies collected on behalf of the NAB Project should be sent to your Diocesan Treasurer at a date determined by each diocese (we would recommend a deadline of May 1). The Diocesan Treasurer will then forward the funds to the NAB Treasurer by May 15, 2013 at the following address:
Sherry Abraham Morrow
Wichita, KS 67204
As always, I look forward to hearing from each of you, and am excited about the 2012-2013 Project for “The Antiochian Village Tornado Relief Fund.”
Yours in Christ,
Vice President/NAB Project Coordinator
North American Board of the Antiochian Women