BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — They aren't officially sister cities, but the city of Bowling Green, Ohio is preparing to help out the city of Bowling Green, Kentucky to recover from last weekend's devastating tornadoes.
More than 400 miles separate the cities of Bowling Green, Kentucky and Bowling Green, Ohio.
The mayor of one northwest Ohio city is calling residents to action to support a "sister city" of the same name during a time of need after deadly tornadoes swept through Kentucky.
A long track EF-3 tornado hit the area during severe storms last week, killing dozens and causing widespread destruction across communities in Kentucky, including the Bowling Green area.
Bowling Green, Ohio's mayor, Mike Aspacher, says the kinship in sharing a name inspired him and other city officials to do something for the south-central Kentucky community.
"This type of disaster requires a community response and we feel a strong connection to our 'sister' city sharing our name – Bowling Green," said Aspacher in a call to action. "Let’s rally around our namesake community and provide them with our support to help them get back on their feet."
The city will be hosting an early Friday morning donation drive to collect funding to support the hundreds of businesses and homeowners impacted by the natural disaster.
"We're going to then extend everything that we receive and share that with the chamber of commerce in Bowling Green, Kentucky and hope that it can benefit their recovery efforts," said Aspacher. "Bowling Green, Ohio was named after Bowling Green, Kentucky. So, there is this natural relationship there. And certainly, we feel it that it is certainly appropriate that we would want to do everything that we can do to provide support to the residents of that community."
Monetary donations from the Bowling Green, Ohio community will be sent to the Bowling Green, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to assist in rebuilding and recovery efforts and to alleviate the financial burden of those who've lost everything.
The event is not only for people living in Bowling Green. Anyone in northwest Ohio is invited and encouraged to help.
"This could happen to any of us at any time, and I think we as Americans would understand the need to support our fellow citizens in a time of need in a time of natural disaster like this," said Aspacher.
Organizers are asking for cash or check donations. Donations will be collected in Bowling Green, Ohio by the mayor and the chamber of commerce during a drive-thru event at the Bowling Green Fire Division, located at 1060 Pearl St., on Friday, Dec. 17 from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The first 200 to donate can receive free coffee and donuts from Biggby Coffee and the Sweet Stop.
Checks must be made out to the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Chamber of Commerce.
Donations can also be dropped off at the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce located at 217 South Church St. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.
Those who aren't able to donate in person can donate online to the Bowling Green, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce's tornado relief efforts at this link.