Eureka Budding up with Washington

Published 07/30 2014 06:05PM

Updated 07/30 2014 06:28PM

EUREKA - “As you drive through, you can see that the trees are just stripped through the whole area where the tornado came through,” Dawn Maloney of the Eureka Business Association said. She, of course, is talking about the tornado that came through Washington last November.
And Nancy Topping can attest to the landscaping damage. “All the trees went down. They went down sideways, and it was just piled up high,” she said.
Nancy and her husband Dan Topping prided themselves on their back yard.
“We had about six trees, about 40 to 45 years old. We had beautiful shade over the deck about three o’clock in the afternoon, we could sit out there and read and everything,” Nancy said. “It was just gorgeous.”
But now they spend much of their time outside for other reasons.
“He planted grass seed. He put the dirt down. I planted the grass seed, and we put the straw all over top of it, and it’s coming up in spots, so we’re doing okay on that part,” she said.
The Toppings miss their old yard, and that’s where the Eureka Business Association steps in.
“The city of Washington and Eureka are only seven miles apart; it’s a very close relationship,” Maloney said. “A lot of us travel that way every day, and we wanted to do something special for the people of Washington.”
So, they’re raising money to plant mature trees in tornado-damaged yards. In the center of Eureka, they have an orange tree on display with leaves tallying the amount of money they’ve received.
Each tree is nearly $200 dollars, and if you donate that amount, the EBA will send you the location of the tree you helped plant.
And this is giving those who donate a lifelong connection with their neighbors.
“You can take the grand-kids ten years from now, and they can visit their tree or the tree that you planted or whatever. It’s just kind of a thing that will last for a long time,” Maloney said.
A small gesture, they hope will only help neighborhoods grow back to what they were before.
“That was what this neighborhood was about. It was a lot of old trees, and it was older homes, and it was just a good area,” Nancy said.
Small boxes are located in businesses all over Eureka for people to throw in their spare change to donate to this project, but you can also send money to the Eureka Business Association at:
PO Box 126
Eureka, IL 61530

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