Joe and Sue Wrzinski with their dog, Lex, stand by the trailer filled with supplies to help hurricane victims.
Joe and Sue Wrzinski with their dog, Lex, stand by the trailer filled with supplies to help hurricane victims.

   Just as the community did a decade ago for America’s last major hurricane disaster, Riponites came together over the weekend to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

   Joe Wrzinski of Ripon, owner of JW Transport, placed a semi trailer in front of Webster’s Marketplace over the weekend and watched as local residents and businesses filled it with food and cleaning supplies.

   “[It went] very well,” Wrzinski said Tuesday, noting he was inspired after seeing victims of the hurricane during news broadcasts last week. “My wife [Sue] and I were watching the news [last week] Wednesday night, and showed the nursing home with the elderly people under water. I thought, ‘We have a truck and trailer; lets see if we can get it loaded and go down there.’”

   He called the United Way in Houston, which asked him to come this week with supplies.

   “Seneca donated three skids of canned goods; Smuckers donated also,” Wrzinski said. “... We’ve probably got 30,000 [pounds] worth of product. I’m thinking at least 200 people came [over the weekend to Webster’s with donated supplies]. There were a lot of big donations.”

   Numerous family and friends also helped out, including Tom, Noah and Karyl Hanson, Larry Huebl, Emily and Dennis Burk, Lori Christenson and Pat Wood.

   Wrzinski hit the road with the donations Tuesday afternoon.

   “I’m going to take one of my drivers with me so we can run it in 24 hours,” he said of the 1,200-mile trip. “I want to thank everybody who donated [and everyone who helped load and do the work]. We worked from 9 in the morning to 9 at night.”