A fundraising goal of $50,000 has been set to help replace the Meckesheim Fire Department van that was lost in a shipwreck.
Left photo: Mayor Neyer (right) presented a proclamation to Mayor Brandt in 2019 to initiate Harrison’s sister city relationship with Meckesheim. On the right, the Meckesheim fire engine, totally lost after a shipwreck on a Polish highway while transporting Ukrainian refugees. Photos provided.
(Harrison, Oh.) — The Mayor of Harrison’s Community Fund has launched a special fund to help its sister city, Meckesheim, Germany. Mayor (Bürgermeister) of Meckesheim, Maik Brandt and other residents of Meckesheim traveled to eastern Poland this week to help refugees leave war-torn Ukraine. While transporting several dozen Ukrainians across Poland and back to Meckesheim, one of the transport vans was involved in a traffic accident, resulting in a total loss of the vehicle. Fortunately, none of the passengers in the vehicle were injured.
In communication with Mayor Brandt, Harrison Mayor Bill Neyer expressed our community’s desire to assist Meckesheim in relocating the several dozen Ukrainian refugees and those who may still come to the German city in the future. . Meckesheim Mayor Brandt said residents of his community have stepped up significantly to provide financial support, housing, food, clothing and jobs for their new neighbors and that no financial assistance is forthcoming. required for these items. However, he also mentioned that Meckesheim would only receive a very small insurance settlement for the town’s “fire brigade Mannschaftswagen” which was destroyed while transporting refugees.
Mayor Neyer announced that the Harrison Community Fund has set a goal to raise $50,000 to help replace the Meckesheim Fire Department (Feuerwehr) van and purchase damaged emergency equipment.
“Our goal is to raise $50,000 for the replacement of the Meckesheim Fire Department (Feuerwehr) van and damaged emergency equipment,” Mayor Neyer said. “While we would not provide direct support to Ukrainian refugees, we would assist Meckesheim as needed by contributing to ongoing community safety and the possible transportation of additional Ukrainian refugees to Meckesheim in the future.”
Mayor Neyer will pay his own way to Meckesheim in May and hopes to present Mayor Brandt with a check for $50,000 to cover the amount of the van replacement not covered by insurance. If this goal is achieved, there would also be a few thousand dollars left over for medical equipment and supplies. Just since announcing the campaign on March 11, Crown Plastics pledged $10,000 on behalf of its employees; F&M Mafco pledged $2,000; and the Greater Harrison Rotary Club is donating $1,000.
Neyer said Harrison residents, businesses and organizations coming together for a cause like this truly exemplifies the meaning of the “sister city” philosophy.
“Our Sister City relationship with Meckesheim was established in 2019 for the sharing of cultural, business and social attributes between our communities,” Neyer said. “Mayor Brandt was here for our Halloween festivities that year and we initiated formal agreements between our communities at that time. Unfortunately, COVID-19 put a damper on the process and I was unable to travel to Meckesheim as planned in 2020. I believe we now have the opportunity to demonstrate our renewed commitment to the relationship and support of our German friends at this critical time in world history.”
Mayor Neyer continued, “It’s a way for the entire community of Harrison to help the people of Meckesheim and continue their assistance to Ukrainian refugees at the same time.”
Meckesheim is a small town of about 5,200 inhabitants in southwestern Germany, located between Heidelberg and Sinsheim in the district of Rhein-Neckar in the state of Baden-Württemberg (https://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Meckesheim).
Donations for the Meckesheim “Fire Van” Replacement Fund may be sent by check to: Mayor’s Fund, PO Box 471, Harrison, OH 45030. In the memo line, checks should bear the mention “Fire Brigade van”.
The town of Harrison in northwest Hamilton County, Ohio has a population of approximately 13,000. The Harrison Mayor’s Community Fund is a charitable organization dedicated to helping those in need of financial assistance in the greater Harrison community. The Fund generally focuses on serving local citizens with grocery vouchers, pantry items, billing assistance from Duke Energy, and occasional rent payments. During the holiday season, the Mayor’s Fund, in conjunction with the various local churches and schools, provides hundreds of families with food, clothing, winter coats and toys.