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Posted on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 11:02 a.m.

How to donate to Dexter tornado relief efforts

By Nathan Bomey

(See full coverage of the Dexter tornado here.)

Many Washtenaw County residents are asking how they can contribute to the Dexter tornado relief effort. Disaster relief officials are asking people to donate funds, not food or clothing.

Here are four ways you can donate:

--Red Cross: You can make a financial contribution to the Red Cross' disaster relief operations by calling (734) 971-5300 or visiting, said Jenni Hawes, the disaster public affairs coordinator with the Washtenaw-Lenawee County chapter of the Red Cross. The Red Cross often cautions that donations go to the organization's general relief fund and may be used for a future, unrelated disaster.

--Busch's: The Dexter grocery store is launching a fundraiser across its 15 southeast Michigan stores, where people can round the change from their purchases up to donate to the relief effort. Busch's is hosting a free community lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., said Marla Booth, vice president of marketing for Busch's.

--Washtenaw county chapter of the United Way: The group has established the Dexter Area Tornado Relief Fund. The nonprofit said that 100 percent of donations to the fund would go to support the long-term relief efforts for the tornado victims. Visit this link to donate. The chapter suggests that donations for immediate relief go to the Red Cross.

--The LaFontaine Automotive Group and Chelsea State Bank established the Dexter Relief Fund to support residents affected by the storm. People can donate water, food or supplies to LaFontaine Chevrolet at 7120 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd in Dexter. Callers or visitors can also donate funds by credit card. Call LaFontaine Chevrolet at (734) 426-4677, LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMC at (248) 887-4747, LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram at (734) 429-9431, LaFontaine Honda at (313) 565-5100, LaFontaine Nissan at (248) 887-8900 or LaFontaine Toyota Scion Hyundai Kia Suzuki at (313) 561-6600. Visit this link for more information.

--The RedBrick Kitchen & Bar plans to donate a portion of its proceeds Friday and Saturday to the Dexter Relief Fund. Peter and Megan Landrum, owners of Red Brick, said that Sysco, their food supplier, donated $10,000 in food to the shelters and Busch's in Dexter.

--Lake Trust Credit Union will begin collecting donations for the United Way fund on Saturday. The credit union, which also donated $2,500, has 21 local branches with 14,000 members in Washtenaw County.

--Bank of Ann Arbor, which said March 18 that it would donate $5,000 to the Washtenaw County Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, is collecting cash donations at all area branches March 19-23.

--United Bank & Trust is collecting cash donations for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. It is also lending its Dexter office parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday as a drop-off site for donations of food, water and supplies to the United Way, said Troy Briggs, senior vice president of community banking in the Washtenaw market.

--If you'd like to volunteer your time, officials ask that you email, Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Abby Goldberg told supporters in an email. Volunteers can expect to be contacted within the next few days. The United Way is accepting donated items at 2305 Platt Road, Ann Arbor 48104, and the Dexter Chamber office at 3074 Baker Road.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 9:59 a.m.

I'd say that Sysco is an unsung hero. Could contact them and get a few words on the record? That's a significant donation and much appreciated by everyone here. Cheers to them!


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

I am glad there are some groups collecting money specifically for Dexter relief. The Red Cross usually just pools all the donations together to and draws on that to spread out to whatever area needs it.


Sat, Mar 17, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

You just described a liberal... except add in excessive government positions.


Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Heard on the radio this morning that Chelsea State Bank and LaFontaine Chevrolet have also created a relief fund for the families affected by this storm.

Nathan Bomey

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

Thank you! We just found that one and added it to the story. If you hear of any other donation opportunities, please let us know.