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Posted on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Billboard inspires Dexter after tornado

By Lisa Carolin

Anyone who drives into the Village of Dexter headed west on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road will be greeted by a billboard meant to inspire. It reads: "Dear Tornado, Don't Mess with the Dreadnaughts. Dexter."


From Facebook

Underneath that message is the name Boullion Sales, the outdoor power equipment dealer located on North Territorial Road at Huron River Drive. Philip Boullion co-owns Boullion Sales.

"We wanted something on the billboard to show the community that we care what's going on and to give them something to stand behind," said Boullion, who purchased the billboard space last fall.

"My (ad content) was due the day the tornado hit. It didn't seem appropriate to put something for sale up on that board, so my girlfriend, Marie Frost, who designs all the billboards that we put up, and I brainstormed.

"After many hours of debate, that's what we came up with."

Boullion, who witnessed a funnel cloud from the front window of the business just before the tornado hit, said that neither the store nor his home in Dexter Township received any damage, but the homes of many people he knows were damaged.

"Dexter's not that big a town, and I have lots of family, friends, neighbors and customers who were affected," said Boullion.

The inspirational billboard went up on Wednesday, and Boullion said that after it was posted lthat night on Facebook, the response was amazing.

One person asked if the message could be printed on T-shirts and that's what Tracy Klein-Lambert, owner of Fancy Stitch on Dexter-Chelsea Road just outside of Dexter, is doing.

"We're paying for the cost of the shirts ourselves, Tracy is doing the printing for free, and the proceeds will go to the Dexter Fire Department," said Boullion.

"We're hoping to print 500 shirts and sell each one for a minimum donation of $10," said Klein-Lambert.

They'll be sold Saturday in downtown Dexter at the Dexter Bakery, Joe and Rosie's, Dexter Pub, Hackney Hardware, Aubree's, Red Brick, Fancy Stitch and Boullion's.

The Ann Arbor Cash Mob also is leading a "Tornado Relief Cash Mob Crawl" Saturday encouraging people to come and shop in Dexter.

Boullion adds, "Our community inspired us to put that sign up."



Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

Save a few shirts for us! You will need much more than 500!


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

Just about every business in Dexter was donating and helping in some form (as were the citizens)...Dexter takes care of Dexter. I hope there is a big celebration for the town of Dexter this summer, as Dexter should be proud of how they have lent a hand.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

when i fished dexter was basically my 2nd home so youre neighbors are with ya !


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

I suggest you start another run of t-shirts. I bet you sell out very quickly. I'm in for a bunch. Nice job Boullion.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Thanks for the great article, Lisa! @alnan, t-shirts can be shipped. Call Boullion Sales at 734-426-8527 to arrange the details. You can also visit for updates. -Marie Frost


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

What a great idea for this business to do this, I am a former Ann Arbor resident but have friends and relatives in the area and would like to purchase t-shirts if possible by mail. Let me know or publish how it can be done. I live in the Cincinnati OH. And am surrounded by devastation from tornadoes the week before the Dexter tornado. It is horrible both places and my heart and prayers are with all involoved.

Kevin McNulty

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

I saw this coming into the village two days ago and had to turn around to get a photo. Thanks Mr. Boullion. I want one of those T shirts.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

I'm in northern Brighton and found a 16' honey locust tree in my back acreage, obviously uprooted violently. I suspect it once had a Dexter zipcode. That'a about 22 miles as the crow flies. Its in the flightpath of other major tornados that have occured in the last 40 years or so around here.

rod soyka

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 1:44 p.m.

Unless i missed it, amongst all the thanks-yous and heros (police,fire,voluteers that showed up to help,) I didnt see a thank-you to probably the largest, single,immediate help that came from busch's. They opened up there freezer's that nite, and for the next week and a half, they fed, handed out water, juice, pop, fruit, food of all kind, i even seen workers from my local (pinckney) store there helping push carts around the sub handin uot whatever was needed. KUDOS BUSCH'S!! I wont forget! And yes, i want 4 t-shirts!

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

They didn't have to donate food. But they did anyway. Or, maybe the power went out and they knew it was going to be out for a long and and the food was going to spoil anyway. I've seen that happen, too.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Busch's also started taking donations at the register a day or two after it happened. Something you would never see at Walmart, and I'm good with spending a few extra pennies at Busch's.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

Thank you Boullion Sales!! I personally have seen people stopped along the side of the road photographing the billboard. And I will definitely be purchasing at least one of the shirts!!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

InteresIng. You did another story about the tornado. A couple of days ago the Dexter Community Band submitted a press release about our contribution of $1400.00 to the relief fund and we were told in no uncertain terms by your staff that it's been two weeks and you're not doing stories about the tornado anymore. Well...the tornado relief and ckeanup efforts are an ongoing thing...i could only wish that everything coukd be back to "normal" in two weeks! Why, Dexter-Pinckney Rd isn't even open yet and AT&T hasn't been abke to restore their servuce yet to us either. Soooo, I'm surprised but pleased to see you published another story about us tornado survivors.


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 4:34 a.m.

Really all volunteers in our little town don't do it for the publicity. This residents of Dexter volunteer out of a sense of community. Dexter, You are my family. We will rebuild and become even better! Oh. And thank you Busch's, and all the rest of the businesses and volunteers.....and especially the first responders. We love you!


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

There were no deaths. Everyone is a survivor.


Fri, Mar 30, 2012 : 10:32 a.m.

Awesome! Go dancers.


Sat, Mar 31, 2012 : 4:21 a.m.