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Morgan Co. man raises money for tornado relief, years after losing own home in storm

It’s a combination of craft beer and Kentucky musicians, but the well spent Sunday evening actually has a much larger purpose.
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 10:05 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s a combination of craft beer and Kentucky musicians, but the well spent Sunday evening actually has a much larger purpose.

“The goal has just been to say, ‘Hey, we have you all on our minds. And it’s not just going to be a one or two month thing, we’re here for you long term,’” said President of the Appalachian Pioneer Program, Austin Shuck.

Shuck started the Appalachian Pioneer Program in 2020. Since then, he’s used his non-profit to try and erase stigma around the Appalachian region.

“Flip the narrative that people in this region are problems and provide a platform that says, ‘Hey, we’re problem solvers and innovators.’”

Which leads into Shuck’s latest efforts over the past few months, working with craft beer breweries and musicians to raise money for the Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, which is exactly what they’re doing at West Sixth Brewing.

“A lot of time people are going through something that seems so hopeless. It’s like we literally just played music and drank beer we enjoyed and were able to help you. So if we can encourage people just by doing things we’re passionate about, that’s kind of all it takes. So if we can encourage people just by doing things we’re passionate about, that’s kind of all it takes. So if you can be there for someone when they have nothing at all, but you show them hey we can still fall back on our passions, it’s good when times are dark.”

Shuck lost himself in that darkness himself in 2012 when a tornado destroyed his West Liberty home.

“If I would have said, like six years ago, that I’d be using the worst thing that happened to me to help people out, I would say you’re crazy. But that’s what we’re trying to do through this platform. To take the unfortunate times, and also the best times, and say, ‘Hey, we can use these to help people no matter what you’re going through,’” Shuck said.

Using a passion to find that light again.

You can learn more about Shuck’s work, and his podcast, ‘What the Shuck,’ by clicking the link here.

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