DAWSON SPRINGS — Members of the Dawson Springs community and area supporters gathered Saturday for Walk for Dawson, a walk through a part of town damaged by December’s tornado outbreak.
The event began at the Dawson Springs Early Baptist Church and was organized by Donnie Dunbar, who also coordinates the Dawson Springs BBQ 5K. He grew up in Dawson Springs, where the march took place.
“You walk by memories, but there’s nothing like it visually where you are,” Dunbar said. “It will always be part of the memories. But this march is part of a step forward and we are trying. Dawson will be back. We will do good.
Dunbar was grateful for everyone in attendance and amazed caring people within the community and throughout the Southeast.
Jason Cummins grew up in Dawson Springs, but now lives in Nashville. He lost his mother and aunt in the December tornado outbreak. He has returned to Dawson Springs several times since. He heard about Dunbar’s event because he normally competes in 5Ks.
“[When] they talked at the start of the walk, [they said] that we’re just not giving up,” Cummins said. “Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going. There is a strong drive to rebuild everything and hopefully make it bigger and better than before.
The route of the walk passed near the house where Cummin’s aunt and mother were during the storm, giving him and his family a moment of remembrance.
Bill Brown grew up in the area destroyed by the December tornado outbreak. He stopped on the street where he grew up to look at where the neighborhood once was – now it’s mostly flat with little indication of what once was there.
“When I was growing up, my job was to mow gardens. I mowed all those yards. I had about 20 yards that I mowed every summer and they were all little widowed women and one of them paid me with a dime and a pack of gum because that’s all she could and it was fine,” Brown said. “It’s so many memories. We played in the streets every night.
Brown hopes to see people come back to Dawson Springs and rebuild after all that’s happened.
Lily Burris is a tornado recovery reporter for WKMS, Murray State’s NPR station. His nine-month reporting project is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.