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Committee plans series of events in May to mark 5-year anniversary of destructive tornado


JOPLIN, Missouri — The city of Joplin is planning a series of events in May to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the tornado that tore through the community, destroying buildings and killing dozens of residents.

A committee called Joplin Proud announced Thursday that it will host the events over a four-day period from May 19-22. The planned events include a community picnic, memorial services honoring victims, a community beautification project, a marathon and children's fun run, and a disaster recovery summit, Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/1KwMXON ) reported.

Joplin Proud committee members conducted a citizen survey to generate ideas for appropriate ways to mark the anniversary. The four-day remembrance event is meant "to remember what we lost, thank the volunteers who came to our aid, and be proud of the progress we have made as a community."

Logan Stanley, a co-chair of the event, said Joplin Proud will continue to evolve as the five-year anniversary draws closer.

"We already have people contacting us who want to plan special events and be a part of this," he said. "This is just the beginning."

Terry Wachter, another co-chair, said the committee settled on the name Joplin Proud "because the word proud kept coming up. People didn't tell us how to respond. We just did it. We have stumbled a little bit but what we have done is simply remarkable."

The EF5 twister that devastated Joplin and Duquense on May 22, 2011 killed 161 people.

Organizers will continue seeking volunteers and financial support for the event.

Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com

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