The article was originally written for the Oasis Newsletter.
Burbage recently shared the article with LDN as a means of letting
the community know where the group is on rebuilding their home.
A Fire Tale
June 21, 2013 a violent thunderstorm came through Lincoln, Illinois
igniting a lightning strike on the roof of the Oasis Senior Center.
The fire that
developed smoldered until the entire roof was engulfed. As the brave
firemen from neighboring communities (15 departments) fought the
fire, it became obvious that The Oasis was in serious trouble. When
dawn broke the roof was gone, water and smoke damage engulfed the
entire structure, windows were blown out and there was standing
water in the basement.
Executive Director, and Wally Reifsteck, President of the Board,
ventured into the building to attempt to retrieve the computers and
important documents. The computers were retrieved but were
completely destroyed. Fortunately, the back-up box was salvaged and
the rising from the ashes began.
The following days
were filled with insurance adjusters, structural engineers, and
The most pressing
need was to find a temporary home out of which we could continue our
programs. Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois offered
an office to The Oasis on Monday, June 24. With the office space, we
were able to purchase a laptop, install the back-up information and
get back to business as usual.
Committee began a search for a temporary home. Many sites were
offered and the generosity of many was very evident. The sites were
toured and it was decided the St. John United Church of Christ
offered us the most usable and handicapped accessible site.
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St. John United
Church of Christ, 204 7th Street, Lincoln, graciously opened their
hearts and doors to provide The Oasis with a temporary home.
The Oasis Senior
Center resumed limited services and programs on, Tuesday, July 16,
2013. The first services to return were Benefit Access Programs,
S.H.I.P. (Medicare Part D), Legal Aid, VA Administration, and Foot
Setting up our
offices at St. John's was made much easier and affordable by
donations from Rick Hamm, Lincoln Land Communications and the State
Farm Corporation's excess office furniture warehouse.
space and setting up for business became a fond memory as we forged
ahead with the process of securing the burn site and proceeding with
clean-up. The process has been arduous and certainly not as fast as
we would have wished.
Once again days
were filled with structural engineers, restoration men in big white
suits, architects, insurance adjusters, impatient press, and most of
all concerned and generous citizens of Logan County.
The Oasis Senior
Center Board of Directors will be making many decisions within the
next few months that will guarantee our mission to serve the senior
population of Logan County for many generations to come. We will be
asking all the citizens of Logan County to help in raising the Oasis
Senior Center from the ashes.
[Written by Ellen Burbage for the Oasis Newsletter]