Sharing personal thanks

Gov. Quinn, Rep. Chad Hays and
others tour Gifford earlier this week
Last Sunday while watching the Bears game, the telecast was interrupted by a weather bulletin informing viewers of an outbreak of tornado activity in central Illinois and around the rest of the state as well.

The tornado warnings had already expired in my community of Chatham so I really wasn’t paying much attention until I heard the reporter mention that emergency vehicles had been sent to Gifford, a small community in Champaign County.  Gifford happens to be the home of Country Health Care and Rehab where my mother resides so I immediately started paying closer attention and wanted more details.

When none came I tried calling the facility but only received a busy signal, the kind you get when phone lines are down.

With no luck on the phone I went online to see if someone had posted information on Facebook but came up with nothing.  I then decided to post a short message, asking if anyone had any information on storm damage in Gifford.   Within a few minutes I received a response from State Representative Chad Hays of Catlin.  I work on the staff of the Illinois House Republicans in Springfield, thus the friendship on Facebook.

Gifford is in Chad’s 104th district. He let me know he was already checking on the situation and would get back to me as soon as possible.  A half hour or so later I received a phone call from the representative who had already made his way to Gifford.  He was calling from directly across the street from Country Health Care and wanted me to know that while there was significant damage in the community, the nursing facility was untouched.  It was such a relief to know that Mom was ok.

Thinking back on it later that evening I realized that his actions earlier in the day are what make Chad Hays such an outstanding state representative.  First, the concern he showed for his constituents to rush to the scene of a tragedy to offer his help and then to take the time to call a member of his staff with some much anticipated news.  His actions on Sunday showed the kindness and compassion I have witnessed him display throughout his tenure in Springfield.  I can’t thank him enough.

Dean Abbott
House Republican Communications Staff