Assistance for Imperial Sugar Victims

Click here to see a special message to employees from Superintendent Randy Shearouse.
As a compassionate and supportive community, our citizens have wanted to provide assistance to those affected by February's tragedy at Imperial Sugar. Empowered hopes and strong prayers have been overflowing, but we realize that more can be done. For informational purposes, the following organizations are providing ways that we can give substantial assistance to those who need it.
Kelly's Tavern ~ Boston Butt Sale
Kelly's Tavern is taking pre-orders for Boston Butts at $20 each. Pick-up hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 8th. In order to secure your purchase you must buy a raffle ticket, available at one of the following locations:
  • Kelly's Tavern
  • Gnann's Fix-It Shop
  • Ebenezer Elementary School
Tickets have been passed out to other locations as well. Your order must be placed by Wednesday, March 5th. According to Walter Keith, Saturday's events will also include a $5.00 raffle for:
  • An LCD TV
  • 12-gauge shotgun
  • Milwaukee Power Tool Set
A silent auction - offering terrific prizes donated from businesses across the county - will be held as well. The goal is to sell 1000 Boston Butts so stop by Kelly's and pick up dinner for Sunday! All proceeds will be donated to provide assistance for the victims and families affected by the explosion. For more information, call Kelly's Tavern at 912.754.3541

Southeastern Fire Fighter's Burn Foundation
According to the Foundation, an approximate 8 month supply of food donations and plenty of clothing donations have been made available. Imperial Sugar is providing lodgings for the families through this week and will revisit the situation next week to determine whether or not this will continue. The Burn foundation could very well pick up housing if the company does not proceed with this assistance. The Foundation is in desperate need of monetary donations and gas cards for the families to drive back and forth.
Donations can be sent to:
The Southeastern Fire Fighters' Burn Foundation
3614 J. Dewey Gray Circle, Building C.
Augusta, GA 30909
Make sure you put for "Savannah" in the "For" or "Subject" line on the check. The Foundation has created a separate line item for these families so that any donations will stay with the Savannah families. You can also drop off a check made out to the Foundation at any fire station location. All donations will be tax deductible.

A message from Bonnie Dixon of the United Way Effingham Service Center:
"Over the past week, we have heard many friends in this great caring and giving community ask what they could do to help the victims of the Imperial Sugar refinery. As the tragedy continues to unfold, we understand that the fire victims have a great need for blood --- and many will continue to need blood for a long period of time. We have made contact with the blood services unit of the American Red Cross and have scheduled the mobile unit to be at the United Way-Effingham Service Center on Friday, February 22nd, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Service Center is located at 711 Zitterouer in Rincon. (Turn off of Hwy 21 onto 4th Street by Rincon Elementary and take the first left. You will run into the United Way Service Center parking lot.)

If you would like to make an appointment, please contact myself - or Lorraine Harris - by phone (826-5300) or email. My email address is and Lorraine's address is"
Not sure if you can donate? Remember that blood can be donated every 56 days. For more information and eligibility guidelines, visit the Red Cross - Give Blood page.
Monetary donations can be made to the above location as well as SunTrust and Wachovia banks. Be sure to enter "Imperial Sugar" as a notation on the check.
For the press release, containing much more information, click here.

What else can be done?
With over 400 employees out of work - many of them residing in our community - the task of looking for work has caught contract employees off-guard. According to an article from the Savannah Morning News, Imperial Sugar has agreed to continue salary and benefits payments to its employees. For contract workers, unexpected trips to the Labor Department and the United Way may be the only way to seek further employment or assistance.
Contractors and employers who need permanent and/or temporary help are encouraged to contact the Labor Department. The damage to the building will indeed be repaired, but in the meantime these employees need to find stable and reliable means of income.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available, so please check back soon.
Pam Cox
Shannon Knight
Bonnie Dixon