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Belko Recognizes Hometown Help

By Staff | Sep 27, 2017

Photo Provided Israel VanScyoc’s company, Backwoods Enterprises, suffered tremendous loss as a result of the July 28-29 flood. Yet VanScyoc has worked with what he has left, hoping to help the Hundred community rebuild.

Belko Foods – Hundred’s only grocery store – took in several feet of water through the floods of July 28-29. Like many other flood affected businesses, the employees of Belko not only had to deal with loss in their homes; they were dealing with the possible loss of employment.

The future of Belko was very much uncertain in the days after the flood.

After all, perhaps one of the most circulated photos – via social media – of the flooding aftermath was one of Belko’s ice machine, wedged underneath the bridge across from the Route 250 store.

“We gave it ago,” the store’s assistant manager, Kyla Aracich, has said of the employees’ desire to see the store remain open.

Belko Foods has received help from the Department of Corrections, which helped to clean out the store and rid it of mud. Furthermore, Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration offered assistance to the grocery store, free of charge. Paint was donated to the store as well.

However, like many stories that have come out of the flood, Belko also found help from its own community members – flood victims themselves, yet resilient and passionate about the revitilization of their town.

A great deal of help has come from Israel VanScyoc, who owns a local construction business.

The Chronicle previously reported that VanScyoc’s business, Backwoods Enterprises, lost nearly $300,000 as a result of the flood. Very little, if any, of the equipment was insured.

Yet, though he suffered major loss, VanScyoc has been using the resources he has remaining – including his own time and manual labor – to help bring relief to many fellow flood victims. He’s used his own employees – at his own expense – to repair structural damage to bridges, foundations, and homes.

“Trying to help people with their basic needs, and making sure they are safe, is what we are trying to do,” VanScyoc said at the time.

“Israel has been with us from day one,” said Aracich of VanScyoc’s assistance to Belko. “He and his crew helped us remove all the coolers, the deli case, and they loaded up all the mud, muck, and groceries and hauled them away.”

Aracich said VanScyoc has helped deliver the new equipment as well.

“He never leaves us in a bind, and he has spent countless hours with us to make sure we have what we need! Words cannot express our gratitude,” she said.