UPDATE: MU alumni group sponsors fundraiser for tornado victims

Eating at Shakespeare's will help Maryland Heights cause
Thursday, May 5, 2011 | 11:52 a.m. CDT; updated 6:04 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 5, 2011

COLUMBIA — An MU alumni group is teaming up with Shakespeare's Pizza on Thursday to raise money for victims of a tornado that swept through Maryland Heights, a suburb of St. Louis, in late April, damaging and destroying homes and property.

Pattonville Alumni at Mizzou has arranged the fundraiser. When people present the appropriate fliers and buy lunch, dinner, drinks or gift cards at Shakespeare's downtown or west locations Thursday, the restaurants will donate 15 percent of the sales to the PattCare Storm Relief Fund. The fundraiser applies to delivery and take-out purchases as well.

MU freshman Shannon Flanakin was one of many Pattonville alumni who rode out the storm Easter weekend.

“My mom and I ran downstairs to the basement and hid under a mattress,” Flanakin said. She said it sounded as though a freight train was plowing through the neighborhood, leveling homes as it went.

Flanakin and her mother ventured out into the street to check on their neighbors after the storm had subsided.

“My first thought was that I would be attending a lot of funerals,” Flanakin said. To her joy, no one was hurt.

That was more than could be said for the homes in the area, including the Flanakin residence, which was roofless.

“The fundraiser has really brought the Maryland Heights community together in a rebuilding effort,” Flanakin said. “It means so much to me that this was organized.”

Fliers are available on the PattCare Storm Relief Fundraiser Facebook page.

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