Over 160 runners preregistered for the 5K run to benefit Cloverdale’s recovery, with some coming from out of town and even out of state. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)
Over 160 runners preregistered for the 5K run to benefit Cloverdale’s recovery, with some coming from out of town and even out of state. (Putnam Sentinel/Steven Coburn-Griffis)

OTTOVILLE — Cloverdale Mayor Judd Spencer believes whole-heartedly that the worst of events brings out the best in people. And he has all the proof he needs to back up that belief. This past Saturday, hundreds of people gathered in Ottoville to help Cloverdale and its residents recover from a catastrophe.

On Nov. 17 of last year, the Village of Cloverdale was ravaged by a tornado. The storm leveled homes, displaced families, wreaked havoc with the town’s infrastructure and razed St. Barbara’s Catholic Church. As devastating as the emotional damage created by the loss of hearth and home was for residents, the financial burden it incurred seemed nearly insurmountable. Fortunately, the residents of Cloverdale are made of stern stuff, are able to bear up under the stresses that assail them.

That and they have good neighbors.

Saturday’s benefit, held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and a combined effort of the Cloverdale Task Force and the Ottoville Mothers Club, involved a 5K benefit run, a bake sale and a silent auction. Over 160 runners preregistered for the event, with some coming from out of town and even out of state. While total revenues from the event have yet to be tallied, Spencer was pleased with the results.

“It’s more than I imagined,” he said. “We don’t have a final count, but I know it’s over $15,000.”

Spencer reported that all of the monies raised will help individual residents with their individual needs, and needs are great. Even so, and despite the fierceness of this past winter, there are already signs of progress.

“We’ve gotten a lot done since the weather has shaped up a little bit,” Spencer said. “Now we’re seeing a lot of construction going on, a lot of remodeling, a lot of rebuilding. That kind of gives everybody a bit of a spring in their step.”