Local park hosts Katrina evacuees - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Local park hosts Katrina evacuees

September 9, 2005

Albany-- Hurricane evacuees can visit the Chehaw Park free of charge; but on Thursday night, the park also hosted a special event for the evacuees to help them relax during this stressful time.

"People in this community know what it's like to be displaced and have to live through that kind of hardship. They really felt strongly about trying to give something back," says Chehaw Park's executive director, Doug Porter.

Evacuees also enjoyed games, and several animals on display including a turtle, parrot, and snake. The evacuees say they're grateful for everyone's generosity during this difficult time in their lives.

"I'm just so excited to be here!" says Andrew Dailey.

Andrew Dailey fled his home near Biloxi, Mississippi and is glad the park opened its doors to evacuees. "It's very kind of them to let the victims of Hurricane Katrina come over and have a good time," Dailey says.

Dailey is staying with family in south Georgia but has no idea when he will return home to Mississippi.

"My mom has a tree in her house. If she was there she would have been in the hospital or dead because the ceiling and sheet rock fell completely down," he says.

Judy Johnson is also thankful for the generosity of south Georgians but wonders where she and her family will go from here.

"Don't know the future, don't know when the city will be re-opened, don't know how to get back to my house to pick up my belongings that are important to me," says Johnson.

Johnson says she's amazed by how a giant disaster has brought out the kindness in many south Georgians.

"It gives people a chance here to feel like they're helping and they are," says Johnson.

Chehaw also hopes to host a benefit concert to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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