NIU football: Huskies help out in Fairdale tornado cleanup

By Northern Star staff

About 70 football players and 15 coaches and staff members helped clean up debris Saturday in Fairdale.

Fairdale was hit by a tornado April 9 during violent weather in northern Illinois.

The Huskies spent around four hours during the morning and afternoon clearing yards and piles of debris to expedite the cleanup process in the center of Fairdale.

“When we first got there and the buses dropped us off, we didn’t notice how bad it was until we walked down the block and saw houses wiped out and people with nothing left,” said senior tight end Kevin Tennenbaum, according to an NIU news release. “It was kind of unbelievable to see it. They [everyone we ran into] were really thankful we were there.

“I think it’s great for us to come out and help all we can. It’s our community and we are all able bodies and we should help those in need. It’s something we needed to do as a team. We’re people off the field as well, not just football players.”

Wearing work gloves, safety glasses and masks, the Huskies worked in three different areas in the center of Fairdale. They used rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows and their hands to pick up items ranging from glass, tree limbs, roofing, insulation and more.

“It’s an eye-opening experience,” said senior wide receiver Tommylee Lewis, according to NIU. “To see how tornadoes just rip houses apart … . People lost their roofs, people lost their whole houses and you could see into the basement. We definitely wanted to give back. It’s not a problem to come clean up and take time out of our day to help people in need. We enjoyed coming out and helping the people.”