Weston Faulkner may be a resident of Dartmouth, but the tornadoes that touched down in Mayfield, Kentucky over the weekend hit a little too close to home for him. His parents were born and raised in Graves County, just outside of Mayfield. Although he’s called the SouthCoast home for nearly a decade, a piece of Kentucky will always be in his heart.

“The community has been completely devastated by the tornado,” Faulkner said. “That includes nearly 150 of my relatives still down there.”

Todd Hayden, Graves County Commissioner, and local resident noted the toll that the tornadoes have taken.

“We have over 100 businesses that are completely destroyed from the tornado and probably twice that many residents’ homes damaged or destroyed,” Hayden said. “We need all the donations anyone can send. All help is appreciated and please keep Mayfield and Graves County in your prayers.”

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Bryan Atkins is one of Faulkner’s many first cousins and a current resident of Mayfield.

“The devastation is evident from all the pictures and videos everyone has seen,” Atkins said. “The lives lost are terrible anytime, but it’s especially heartbreaking at this time of year when it is a time to celebrate. Trying to focus on the positive, the outpouring of help from across our great nation has been tremendous. At the Fairgrounds where the distribution center has been set up, there are volunteers from all walks of life working for a common goal of helping others.”

Faulkner and his wife, Kellie have launched a local effort to support those who have lost their homes and livelihood in the middle of this tragedy. A donation drive will be held on Wednesday, December 15 at the Black Bass Grille from 4 to 9 pm. Members of the community can donate items to help the relief effort.

“We just decided that we can’t sit idle,” Faulkner said. “I will be filling a 16-foot enclosed trailer with supplies and driving it to Mayfield to help those affected. We’re collecting things like paper goods, diapers, hygiene products, bedding, cleaning supplies, as well as toys for the boys and girls down there.”

There is also a Venmo account created to donate to the fund and support future purchases of more supplies ahead of Faulkner’s trip.

Black Bass Grille is located at 3 Water Street in South Dartmouth.

SouthCoast Experiences to Consider Gifting This Holiday Season

I propose that this holiday season, we spend a little extra time thinking about what experiences our loved ones would appreciate. Now is the time to consider how they enjoy spending their time and ask yourself how your gift can help them with their interests and hobbies. If the kids in your life already have a room full of toys, consider memories filled with love, fun, and excitement to be the better option this holiday season. Bonus points if it's something that allows you and your loved one to spend time together.