Group works to pay back flood recovery efforts five years later - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Group works to pay back flood recovery efforts five years later

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The National Czech and Slovak Museum stands as a symbol for the changes in Cedar Rapids over the past five years.

"The flood of 2008 frankly changed the entire museum," said Jason Wright, Vice President for Development for the National Czech and Slovak Museum. 

Museum employees opened a temporary location and they bought the Kosek Building to house administrative offices which was purchased with donations from around the world, including the Czech Republic. That country donated more than $500,000 towards Cedar Rapids flood recovery. Most of it went to the museum.

"It showed that people cared, that we were doing good work," said Wright. "That money, frankly, became the seed money that made this Kosek building possible.

Now people in Cedar Rapids are looking to return the favor. In June, the Czech Republic was heavily damaged by flooding.

"The whole country's gotten hit really hard," said Tom Hansen, CR2CR Co-Chair.  "We were wondering what the people of Cedar Rapids were doing for the Czech people."

 

Organizers call the campaign "CR2CR." They want to raise $50,000 from as many donors as possible.

 

"Knowing that we had gone through so much with our flooding and had been making this recovery and then to see them get hit so hard, it seemed natural for us to say thank you and for us to show our gratitude," said Hansen.

 

The money will go towards rebuilding a library in the Czech Republic, a gift they hope people there will appreciate for years like their country's gift to Cedar Rapids continues to give. The Kosek building is now home to the "Rising Above" flood exhibit.

 

"The Rising Above exhibit was so important to us because as a museum we tell stories," said Wright. "This is the one time that an international story happened right here, and it happened to us."

 

The donation from the Czech Republic helped build the exhibit.

Donations for the Czech Republic will be collected through October 11, 2013. Checks can be sent to the National Czech and Slovak Museum. For more information, click here.

 

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