PCC students, faculty help clean up after tornado
For the second time, one homeowner’s house was destroyed by a tornado in Greensburg, Kan. When hearing about the tragedy, Pratt Community College instructors and students stepped in to help Frank Banta clean up his farm on April 21.
“Frank Banta is an extremely talented and generous benefactor of the Auto department,” Greg Bacon, automotive instructor, said. “He has taught several classes on Model T restoration here at PCC, has entered his immaculate hand-built cars in our car shows, is always glad to invite any of our kids who have an interest in restoration to his shop, and just an all-around remarkable guy. He even attended night classes after his stroke, has a super-positive attitude, and is still an absolute artist with a lathe and mill. When he comes to my night class, I stand back and learn as much as I can.”
Some of the debris the crew removed included trees, siding and half of the roof from the house, brush, limbs, glass from broken windows and more. They spent the day cutting down trees, picking up parts and components that were scattered by the tornado and equipment that had been rolled over and moved from the tornado.
Along with the debris from the farm, were Banta’s antique car parts, which he stored in a 50 foot trailer house, which the tornado flipped, and ripped the floor off. Volunteers were able to find several of the missing parts and return them to Banta. He greatly appreciated of them bringing back some of his more valuable parts and getting them out of the weather, Bacon said.
“He was very appreciative,” Rod Stewart, Ag Power Instructor said. “I am glad we were able to help someone who has been through that again.”
There were approximately 15 volunteers who helped with the cleanup. The volunteers from PCC included: Brian Dickens, volleyball coach; members of the volleyball team; Stewart; Brad Martin and John Jacobs, students; Bacon; Mike Burnett and Sage Boman, students. In addition, there were volunteers from Kansas Wildlife and Parks.