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Community Rallies Around Da-Lite After Tornado Tears Down All Four Walls

2001: People Support Each Other in Times of Crisis By Gary Kayye, CTS
This has been a tough two months by anyone's measurement for the ProAV industry. We were already slumping into a recession and then the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and everything stopped.

We were all glued to the TV watching as New York Firefighters, Police and volunteers pulled rubble looking for anyone, anything. Even some of our own were down there. We even suffered losses in the AV world.

As I watched it all unfold, I was taken back, as we all have been, by the totally unexpected bonding that occurred by New Yorkers. I am not from New York and have not seen it before. But, the city, the people pulled together. I listened to an interview with the NYPD Chief last week where he cited statistics that crime plummeted 95% the week of the tragedy and still down above 80% two weeks later. And, people all smile and look out for each other, there.

I've taken nine, yes nine, flights since then. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but as I board an airplane now, I think to myself, "I can take him if he's the one." In fact, I found out, while talking to other, fellow passengers, that they are actually thinking the same thing.

But, what has struck me the most, so far, is how the people of the USA have shown support for New York. People who always hated the Yankees are even cheering for them, myself included. This is surreal.

Last week Da-Lite suffered a tragedy like none that most of us have personally experienced. Sure, we've all seen it on TV. Trailers, houses and cars overturned and slashed by tornados.

This time, however, the tornado headed right for their manufacturing building. In fact, it actually cut through the middle of it. Da-Lite's President, Judy Loughran told me that the outside walls blew away. She said, what I always hear, it sounded like a freight train.


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