Koch's Sponsor Fundraising Event
By Donna Summerall
Robbie and Linda Koch, owners of Coon Tattoo and Body Piercing, knew that the people of Clay County in Montpelier and surrounding areas needed help. The idea of giving of their time, talents, days off, and money didn't make them back down an inch from the daunting task they conceived of to help those in need. In one week they had gotten the word out via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and word of mouth that they would be taking donations at their shop and doing small tattoos with the proceeds going toward our Clay County neighbors.
“Those people have nothing,” said Koch,”We wanted to do something to help. We were just very lucky that the tornados path didn't come through West Point. It could have just as easily been us who are left with nothing.”
It didn't matter whether or not they knew the families, there were people who had lost everything and they had the where-with-all to bring the West Point Community together to get these people the things they were so desperately in need of.
They let everyone know that anything people could donate would be fine. Furniture, baby things, diapers, hygiene products, toiletries, anything that could be used was wanted and welcomed.
“We took truckloads of stuff to Montpelier and everyone was so very grateful. There are people living in tents, afraid to leave their property because of vandals and looters.” said Koch. “Some are living in borrowed camper trailers trying to make do. Cars have been demolished as well as homes. If you haven't been out there you just can't understand how little these people have left. We were very happy to do what can to help.”
More than 230 tattoos were done in the 12 hours that the artists were working. Many people came by and simply donated money. Area bands played played behind the shop and donated their talents to helping tornado victims. The all day event raised over $5000, not counting all the goods donated. It was a very successful day for people who want to help their neighbors.