Symbolic photo helps raise tens of thousands of dollars for torn - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Symbolic photo helps raise tens of thousands of dollars for tornado victims

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WAYNE, NE (KTIV) -

More than three months ago an EF-4 tornado swept through our area and some families are still picking up the pieces.

Minutes after the storm touched down in October, Jennifer Parker was searching for a friend amid the damage, and stumbled upon a surreal scene.

"With the flow of traffic that night, we ended up in front of the fire hall, and my daughter noticed the flag. It was down on the dogs and it didn't touch the ground. And, with my son being in the military, even for a short time, that's what took me right there was that the flag didn't touch the ground," Parker said.

At her teenage daughter's suggestion, Parker snapped a picture with her cell phone, and posted it to the Wayne Tornado Recovery Facebook page.

"It literally went viral," Parker said.

Parker put the picture on t-shirts. She sold 1,400 of them. She's also sold more than 100 prints.

"I am humbled. I am in awe. I knew what it meant to me, but I didn't realize what it would mean to other people also," Parker said.

Parker said people from more than 20 states including Washington, New York, and California purchased a photo or a t-shirt.

And, lots of people in Wayne, made their contribution as well, like Robert Sherry who served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.

"The flag. That's what you fight for, that and your country, and you don't want it to be destroyed or beat up on," Sherry said.

Parker said the quote on each photo, 'together, we will carry the load,' just felt right.

"Because that's what Wayne does, they come together as a community and they have," Parker said.

"I think Wayne is carrying the load and look at all the people who are helping rebuild," Sherry said.

And, part of carrying that load is giving back to the community. The fundraiser has brought in more than $40,000 for families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the storm.

If you're interested in purchasing a t-shirt or photo, you can find more information on the "Wayne Tornado Relief Dalmatian Picture" Facebook page.

For the t-shirt order form, you can also click here

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