Posted on Sep 25, 2017
Left to Right - Superintendent Mike Matthews, Councilman Richard Montgomery, Principal Ben Dale and President Mark Burton
President Mark said it’s normally difficult to choose a Rotarian of the Month, but this month his job was easy. He chose two Rotarians, Councilman Richard Montgomery and Superintendent of Schools Mike Matthews. Along with Dr. Ben Dale, Principal of Mira Costa High School, they led A.C.T., Aid Cleveland Texas, a massive effort to help a town flooded by Hurricane Harvey.
We’ve read the newspaper accounts and Facebook posts about A.C.T. Many of us worked at drop off stations or drove to City Hall with supplies (I contributed baby supplies). But nothing prepared me for the story of what it was like in Cleveland, Texas, told to us by Ben and Richard, both Texas natives.
Helping Ben’s hometown was something he felt compelled to do, Richard was the first to sign up, Mike helped mobilize the effort and the community of Manhattan Beach stepped up to the challenge. Seven trucks filled with supplies driven by Richard, Ben and others drove straight through to Cleveland, Texas. There was no FEMA, no Red Cross, just A.C.T. volunteers. The need was massive. When the distribution station opened up, 1,200 cars were already lined up, inching forward to save gas and pick up the supplies they needed so desperately. Mike and Richard – you make us proud to be Manhattan Beach Rotarians!