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Mount Airy meat shop hosting fundraiser for victims of November tornado

A Main Street Mount Airy business is hosting a weeklong fundraiser to aid families impacted by the November tornado.

Wagner’s Meats, 604 N. Main St., is donating a percentage of the profit from every item sold through Feb. 22 to the Mount Airy Disaster Relief Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

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The organization was established in 2006 after a group of townhouses were scorched by a fire, displacing roughly five families between Christmas and New Years, said Bill Butts, who’s on the board of the disaster relief fund.

“Mount Airy has always been a town affected by fires,” he told the Times, adding that the organization never expected to respond to a tornado in the small Maryland town.

Now the nonprofit will distribute the proceeds from the Wagner’s fundraiser to those impacted by the EF-1 tornado that hit Mount Airy on Nov. 2.

The profits from the fundraiser will be coupled with the roughly $10,000 sitting in the organization’s coffers that was over the last three months, Butts said. “There have been a handful of local citizens that have made considerable donations.”

The storm, which touched down near Interstate 70 before moving north toward Carroll County, featured 100 mph winds, and tore the canopy off a gas station and partially collapsed the ceiling of the T.J. Maxx store in the Twin Arch Shopping Center.

The twister also devastated some families.

Rhiannon Mayer, a 15-year-old South Carroll High School student whose family was “hit hard” by the tornado, sparked the idea for the fundraiser, Butts told the Times. “She initiated this on her own.”

Butts said the disaster relief nonprofit believes at least five or six families meet the criteria to receive money from fund.

“Basically when we say a disaster, we’re talking about the depletion of basic necessities: a roof over your head, food out of your refrigerator, clothing, a place to sleep, a place to stay,” Butts said.

With her youth group at Calvary Methodist Church, Mayer has spread the word by distributing fliers and promoting the fundraiser on social media, according to the disaster fund news release.

Mount Airy Mayor Patrick Rockinberg called Mayer’s and the butcher shop’s efforts “fantastic.”

“(Wagner’s) is just another example of what a great small town Mount Airy is and how we rally around each other,” he said.

A third-generation business, Wagner’s sells milk, bread, frozen products, gift cards and a variety of fresh meats, according to a release from the nonprofit relief fund.

Donations to the disaster relief fund can be made in cash, check or by PayPal at www.mtairydisaster.org.

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