The road to recovery

Three months ago, the Priddy family lost their home as southern Indiana was ravaged by deadly tornadoes. As they rebuild, Master Power Transmission was honored to play a small part in their recovery.

Fifty miles south of Columbus, Ind., home to Master PT, sits Henryville, a small town that forms part of the Monroe Township in Clark County. Henryville was one of the hardest-hit towns on March 2, devastated by a tornado rated 4 on NOAA’s 0-5 Enhanced Fujita intensity scale.

For four days at Master PT, a plain cardboard box sat at the entrance to the shop floor. Employees routinely dropped bills and loose change inside.

“Our machinists make some really cool stuff here and they are tough, but they’ve really got a soft heart,” said Steve Knott, human and technical resources manager at Master PT.

The Priddy family home in Henryville, Ind., following the March 2 tornado.

Master PT discovered the Priddy family, who lost their home in the storms. The company raised $6,000 for the family of four.

“We had the Priddy family up here and it was very emotional,” Knott said of the company’s presentation of the funds. “They recounted where each person was, including one child who was on a school bus. The bus made it back to school just in time before it was destroyed.”

Henryville Elementary School and Henryville Jr./Sr. High School were severely damaged by the violent storms. Students finished the school year at a nearby industrial park, and last week’s graduation ceremony was held inside a rival school’s gymnasium.

While the 87 seniors didn’t walk across the Henryville Hornets gym floor, a piece of the school’s damaged floor was brought to the ceremony at Scottsburg High School.

Meanwhile, the Priddy family has been living with nearby family, and has just broke ground on their new home, right where the old one once stood.

This is the first time Master PT has adopted a family, Knott said. The company has a strong United Way program where 82% of employees participate in giving. Pledges for 2012 have exceeded actual giving for 2011 by 21.5%. Thirteen employees are Pacesetters, giving 1% or more of their annual salary to the United Way of Bartholomew County.

While the storms ravage southern Indiana three months ago, there’s still a lot of rebuilding to come. If you’d like to help, please let us know at or you can contact the United Way of Bartholomew County at (812) 372-6918.