The camping community in Massachusetts is reaching out to help Les and Meg Twarowski rebuild their Village Green Family Campground that was decimated by a tornado on June 1.
Located in Brimfield, Mass., east of Springfield, the campground suffered a direct hit that day: one camper was killed and 95 of the 97 RVs parked at the campground were destroyed. Many of the trees on the site were split in two or otherwise destroyed.
Recently, members of the Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners (MACO) board and some park owners visited the campground to show their concern and offer the Twarowskis their support to rebuild.
“DEVASTATING. That’s the most appropriate word I can use for Village Green Campground. Just about everything is gone but the strength and determination for Les and Meg Twarowski to rebuild,” Marcia Galvin, MACO executive director, said in an e-mail to MACO members and shared with Woodall’s Campground Management.
“Les and Meg are so upbeat about their park. It’s amazing with the damage and the unfortunate death of one of their campers that they can smile. They are so concerned about their campers and those whose insurance may not cover the damage and not be able to buy another camper. They have formed an extended family and want to see them be able to continue with the memories. Many of their seasonals have set up tent camps and are camping and helping with the cleanup. They have already ordered a new playground so the kids will have something to do.”
During their visit, the MACO members met “Ed,” the lawnmower. He gave the first dollar to the fundraiser to help rebuild the park.
He shared a brief story of the day of the storm.
“He was in his truck driving around the campground to warn campers about the storm when he was caught in it himself,” Galvin relayed. ”The hay wagon flew through the air and landed right on his truck. That saved his life. Ed is fine.”
The owners are looking for anyone that has an old towable trailer at their park that can be donated.
“What they desperately also need now are woodchippers,” Galvin said. “They have to be the kind that doesn’t ‘eat’ too fast. They have the manpower but only one chipper. With the devastation, they need many woodchippers.”
To donate this or other items, contact Meg (413) 245-3504 or Galvin at (508) 294-4169 (cell).
Meanwhile, MACO has organized two fundraisers:
* The first is a poster campaign notifying campers in MACO parks who may wish to make a donation. Some parks have said they would match funds raised. This fundraiser will go on through Labor Day weekend.
* MACO has designated July 4th weekend as “Support Village Green Family Campground Weekend.” Participating MACO parks are pledging $1 per site to be donated to the relief fund to help rebuild Village Green Family Campground.
“In MACO, we have over 12,000 sites,” Galvin noted. “Just think of the impact we could do for a member of our MACO family.”
Some RV dealers and affiliated MACO members have already pledged money for the effort, she added.
“Meg and Les were so thrilled to hear that we would be doing this for them,” Galvin continued. “They are setting up an account at Country Bank and will allocate the funds through a committee. Les would really like to bring his campers ‘home’ and MACO is here to help.”
Galvin, who provided the storm damage photos that accompany this story, and her fellow MACO members also visited Quinebaug Cove Campground, a condo-type campground located about five miles from Village Green. It also was hit by the June 1 tornado and badly damaged, though not as severe at Village Green, Galvin said.
Quinebaug Cove is not a MACO member, but Galvin said MACO members showed their concern and she said they would help advertise a fundraiser to aid that campground.