Biodiesel industry contributes $10,520 to Iowa community

By Anna Austin | September 16, 2008
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Web exclusive posted Sept. 18, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. CST

The Parkersburg, Iowa, city council was presented with a check for $10,520 on Sept. 9 by representatives from the state's biodiesel industry. The funds were accumulated from donors state-wide in an effort to aid the city's clean-up and reconstruction after being nearly destroyed by an F5 tornado on May 25.

The initial idea of the fundraiser was for donors to pledge five dollar amounts, signifying the approximate cost of a gallon of biodiesel. Iowans across the state, including biodiesel producers, marketers, and railroad companies all contributed to the effort.

Julie Vyskocil, a biofuels specialist with the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said the support received from the biodiesel industry and Iowans, demonstrating their concern for a fellow Iowa community in need, was overwhelming. "Donating biodiesel was a unique and practical way that we could help Parkersburg," Vyskocil said. "Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production and it seemed fitting to donate fuel produced in the state of Iowa that would be necessary in the rebuilding process."

KCPS Radio in West Burlington, Iowa, donated over $1,000 in listener contributions. "My sidekick and I raised the money from our listeners in just one week," said Chip Giannettino, KCPS station owner and morning show host.

While there were many Iowans and industry leaders that contributed to the effort, the IRFA said it would especially like to thank the Renewable Energy Group and their network plants; Central Iowa Energy, Iowa Renewable Energy, Western Dubuque Biodiesel and Western Iowa Energy along with GATX Rail, KCPS Radio listeners, the Iowa Biodiesel Board and Cargill. Bob's Farm Center in Conrad and Wellsburg Ag in Wellsburg also partnered with the IRFA to distribute the fuel to the city.

The money is being used to purchase biodiesel to fuel equipment required for the cleanup and restoration of the city.

In June, Biodiesel Magazine reported on the IRFA's efforts in helping Parkersburg's tornado recovery efforts. (To read the story, visit
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