Lincoln’s Challenge Cadets Help With Tornado Clean Up
By Sean Powers
The clean up continues in the Champaign County town of Gifford, where an EF3 tornado ravaged part of the community over the weekend.
Those assisting with relief include cadets from Lincoln’s Challenge Academy in Rantoul. Chelorenz Watts, 19, helps clear debris from a home destroyed by the storm.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Watts said.
Watts is one of about a dozen cadets there from Lincoln’s Challenge Academy, a program run by the Illinois National Guard to help at-risk youth. He said the home of his captain at Lincoln’s Challenge was destroyed by the storm.
“The day we heard that, I immediately wanted to come out here and help him,” he explained. “I didn’t know it was going to be this bad.”
Watt’s career counsellor, Larry Goff said he thinks coming out here means a lot to the young men he’s trying to help
“Part of their program and their service with us is they have to do service to community hours,” Goff said. “Even though they’ve got their required hours in already, they’re wanting to come up and help these people.”
The Lincoln’s challenge cadets were asked to stop and take a lunch break. They said, ‘No, we’ll continue working.’ They were then offered a hamburger. One of them paused and looked up, and said, “No, give that to someone who needs it.”