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Fayette County responds to crisis

| Sunday, Sept. 16, 2001

Like so many other places throughout the country, folks in Fayette County are doing their best to lend some moral support and aid to the rescue efforts in Washington, D.C., and New York.

Among other things, people are donating blood, taking up collections and offering their prayers.

They're also putting out the American flag.

In Uniontown and Connellsville, for instance, veterans and firefighters raised approximately 380 flags along city streets last week.

'I think it's important to show our brother firemen in New York City that we support them,' said Ken Jaynes, a volunteer firefighter with New Haven Hose Co., which is in charge of displaying Connellsville's flags.

Students, too, were trying to pitch in.

Connellsville Area School District is taking up a districtwide collection Wednesday. In addition, Connellsville Township Elementary School is planning a balloon release. And some of the kids were going to make sympathy cards for the families of victims of United Arlines Flight 93, which crashed in Somerset County.

'There are only so many ways people can help when they're at a distance. Children want to help. They know it's a terrible event and they want to do something,' said Carol Lynn, the school's principal.

At Geibel Catholic High School, students dressed down on Friday and wore red, white and blue. For that privilege, they paid $2 which was given to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army.

The school was also planning a special memorial service, as were many other churches.

Friday was a national day of prayer and remembrance. And at Otterbein United Methodist Church, which was the site for a community service, people came to pray for the bereaved, the victims, the rescue workers, Congress and the president.

'This day we'll remember the innocent victims and seek direction for the days ahead,' said the Rev. Elmer Reamer, the church's pastor.

As some filed in to churches, other lined up to donate blood.

In fact, so many people donated blood that the American Red Cross sent out advisories asking people to hold off for a few days.

While the Red Cross may have temporarily stopped taking blood donations, Paula

Musisko is taking money.

She and others will be at the South Connellsville Borough office accepting donations for the American Red Cross in New York. They'll be there 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sept. 23.

'We've got to come together and help out in tragedies,' she said.

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