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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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Last weekend was special for a lot of Millbury and Lake Township residents, but it couldn’t have been more emotional than it was for young Steve Welling.

The 26-year-old Welling has been playing the acoustic guitar for about six years now and on occasion he has even scribbled down a few song lyrics. Saturday night just a few minutes before midnight and a year after the tornado hit the area, he was able to perform a song he wrote. Not just any song, but a song devoted to all the people who helped in the recovery after the tornado and to his grandfather, Irwin Welling, who died July 29 as a result of an infection from his injuries, becoming the seventh victim.

You see the entire Welling family was hit very hard by the June 6, 2010 tornado. The Welling farm, along route 795 just west of Lake High School, had been passed down through generations.

SteveWelling
Steve Welling

Steve’s father, Gary Welling, now farms the land. Steve’s grandparents, Irwin and Alberna "Bernie" Welling, along with Irwin’s brother, Fritz Welling’s family, lived next door to each other on the land. “Bernie” is recovering from hip surgery at Genoa Care Center after surviving the tornado, and everyone in Fritz’s family survived.

The tornado destroyed both Irwin’s and Fritz’s homes, several barns and a considerable amount of farm equipment.

Gary lost a lot of equipment and his livelihood, but most important of all, he lost his father and Steve’s grandfather Irwin.

Steve said, “My heart really goes out to my father, but out all of this he has been an inspiration.”

Reminiscing, Steve added, “I will never forget the day after as my brother Andrew and I stood on the farm with tears running down our faces, recalling the memories of grandfather’s house, the beautiful land and a barn full of tractors and equipment”

Many survivors have unpleasant and frightening memories. Steve tells of his friends, Millbury residents Eddie and Michelle Blank, who were in the basement of Eddie’s parents’ house when it was lifted off the foundation. Steve said the Blank’s young son reportedly asked, “Are we going to die?”

Steve said that as he worked to clean up the area he watched as so many friends, as well as total strangers, worked with him side-by-side on a seemingly impossible task. At the end of an exhausting day he would sit and think about the debt of gratitude he and everyone owed the massive teams of volunteers — people that helped not only the Welling families but many others as well.

Steve said “With all of the hurt we were going and with all of the support from others, I didn’t know what to do. So I started writing. My song was a form of therapy. It speaks on how God has brought everyone together in a positive way.

“It shows how passionate people are to help complete strangers. It shows how we can make a triumph  whatever tragedy we face. It shows that no matter what obstacles we face, we will always have someone there by our side waiting with open arms and open hearts. It (the song) was my ‘thank you’ to everyone. The community outreach will live in our hearts forever” he added.

Steve’s song was first played at a benefit at the Tap Room in Walbridge last summer, but nothing could be more emotional than playing it on the tornado’s anniversary last Saturday night in Millbury at a gathering of  over 100 tornado survivors and friends.

Afterwards Steve said, “I love you Grandpa, I hope you can hear the words of my song in Heaven”.

Steve Welling, a 2003 graduate of Lake High School and employee of Toledo Refining Company (formerly Sunoco) has a soft voice that blends well with his hollow body acoustic guitar. He obviously has some serious song writing talents as well. Family members hope his future writing will be about more pleasant experiences.

Readers can see a video and hear Steve perform this song on YouTube. Simply go to YouTube and search for “steve welling triumph through tragedy.”

Giving money to people along road

Do you feel compelled to give money to people holding signs along the road asking for money?
644314089 [{"id":"10","title":"No, I'm not sure they're legitimate.","votes":"22","pct":62.86,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"11","title":"No, I'm afraid they will use it for drugs.","votes":"9","pct":25.71,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"12","title":"Yes, I feel good about helping someone down on their luck.","votes":"3","pct":8.57,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"13","title":"Yes, we could all end up like that.","votes":"1","pct":2.86,"type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /communitypolls/vote/1-root.html?Itemid=101&id=5 No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...