La Porte City Firefighters Get $10,000 Donation
A new phase in the search for missing autistic teenager Jake Wilson is scheduled to begin in La Porte City on Tuesday (May 15, 2018).
An excavation company plans to bring in heavy equipment to remove large debris in Wolf Creek near where it flows into the Cedar River. A $10,000 donation from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association (BHCGA) is covering the cost of the operation. Association president and former Waterloo Mayor Tim Hurley presented the check to La Porte City Fire Rescue Monday afternoon.
“We don't need any thanks, the gratitude goes the other way,” Hurley said. “They're such fine people in this community of La Porte and surrounding (area) that just keep at it and are persistent. They're not going to give up. I don't think we wanted to do anything but help them along that path.”
BHCGA distributes grants from gaming revenue. According to Hurley, the Association's board decided to make the emergency grant after La Porte City firefighters last week made a public request for donations to help defray the costs of the search.
“We care for one another and care about one another,” Hurley said. “That's the true Iowans that we are and that's the emotion that hit everybody after last Wednesday night when we saw on the local news the story. It was instantaneous that this is what we were going to do.”
Hurley, his wife, and several members of the BHCGA board were among the hundreds of volunteers who combed fields and woods around La Porte City during the initial days of the search. Wilson, 16, went for a walk near Wolf Creek on the night of April 7th and didn't return home.
“This is a grant from the heart. There's just no doubt about it” Hurley said. “I was not surprised, but elated, at how quickly those board members came together and said: 'Do it and do it as fast as we can'”.
Authorities are concentrating on a section of Wolf Creek near the Cedar River because K-9 units reacted like something might be in the water.
"We have had some indications that the possibility is there,” La Porte City Police Chief Chris Brecher said. “We’re not just searching this area for nothing. We definitely have reasons that we’ve been brought here."
Brecher said the donation is a tremendous help -- and more dollars are coming in. According to the police chief, any additional donations above the costs of the excavator will be used in other aspects of the search.
Donations can be mailed to the La Porte City Fire Association, 202 Main St., La Porte City, IA 50651. Donors should include “Jake Wilson Search” in the memo line.