Letter to the editor in reference to the community’s support of evacuees

Published 4:09 pm Friday, October 14, 2016

On Wednesday, Oct 6th, we left our homes on Amelia Island, Florida not knowing if they would be standing on our return. We were informed of an impending mandatory evacuation of our Island given the path and potential severity of Hurricane Matthew, and were advised to leave early due to anticipated massive bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Hotels booked up rapidly and we were fortunate to secure reservations at the Hampton Inn in Bainbridge, Georgia. This was the nearest available hotel and we consulted a map to determine the location, which turned out to be approximately 230 miles away. For two of us, it was our first introduction to Georgia apart from Atlanta and the I-95 corridor.

Over our four-day visit, it was our pleasure to experience the kindness and heartfelt hospitality of the community of Bainbridge. We met concerned residents in Willis Park, The Bean Coffee Shop, Sharon House Antiques, Walmart, and Beef ‘O’Brady’s who expressed genuine concern for our predicament.

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On Saturday evening we were astonished to receive a phone call from the front desk of the Hampton Inn informing us that community residents had delivered food to the hotel for the hurricane evacuees. This was no simple act of kindness, as every detail was caringly thought through, from toys and games to entertain the children to a vast array of delectable dishes lovingly home prepared and store bought together with materials to wrap the food for travel and lovingly prepared messages.

We later learned that this thoughtful repast was through the generosity of Susan Ralph, Linda Skidmore, Melinda Conger, Gloria Frazier, Val Bush, Adele Cunningham, and Liz Widener. Our special note of appreciation for your kindness and our apologies if we failed to mention the name of anyone else.

The entire staff at the Hampton Inn was professional and courteous in the face of full capacity and anxious guests seeming to appear in the breakfast room all at once.

Following our stay, Bainbridge, Georgia is now much more than a town on a map during an evacuation. We are overcome with emotion by the kindness afforded us by your community.

Just to let everyone know our homes are fine. We were blessed.

With warmest appreciation

to the residents of Bainbridge,

William Petas and Pamela Stumpp

Harry and Denise Saxton