It might seem like the disasters were just weeks ago for some people still struggling to recover.
But it’s been nearly a year since Tropical Storm Irene changed hundreds of lives on the last Sunday of August.
People knee-deep in the details of helping victims put their lives back together will stop to take a breath on the last Sunday of this month — and organizers decided the best way to do it is to hold a festival at the county fairgrounds.
“People have come a long way and they need to celebrate and need to feel a sense of their accomplishments,” said Sarah Goodrich, director of Schoharie Area Long Term Recovery Inc.
The organization plans to celebrate the resilience of Schoharie Valley communities Aug. 26 in an event titled “Schoharie County One-Year Later: Country Strong.”
And in keeping with the theme of the recovery organization created after the disaster, organizers need some volunteers to help pull it off.
Food and music, arts and crafts and a bouncy-bounce attraction for the kids are among features of the event Goodrich said will help SALT rejuvenate volunteer efforts.
Gathering for a celebration, she said, will also “help to renew hope and help re-energize people for what’s still left to do and for moving forward.”
The group earlier this summer estimated between $110 million and $120 million in unmet needs remain in the flood-affected Schoharie Valley stretching the length of the Schoharie Creek upstream to the Catskills.
The event will give people in the Capital Region a chance to see the progress made in the past year — photographic displays and artwork are likely features.
The impact the disaster has had on the valley’s youth will also be displayed by the Gilboa-Conesville students’ artwork exhibit featured in the school community’s book “The Eyes of the Storm.”
The event won’t be put on with money meant for flood victims — costs are being covered by a variety of local businesses.
“People have been very generous,” Goodrich said.
SALT volunteer director Jerrine Corallo said people willing to donate their time, in two-hour shifts, are sought to serve as attendants for the bounce house, for parking and at entry gates and bathrooms.
Volunteers are also needed to staff the SALT table and the silent auction table. An electrical technician is also sought.
People willing to help can contact Corallo at 364-8295 or via email at email@example.com.
The event will run from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Schoharie County “Sunshine” Fairgrounds off Grand Street in the village of Cobleskill.