WICHITA MOUNTAINS WILDLIFE REFUGE, OK (KSWO) –The road to rebuilding is underway at the Holy City of the Wichitas after last week's storms destroyed the roof of the control room that's used during the performance of the annual Easter pageant.
Sixty mph winds ripped the roof off the more than 80-year-old building, damaging everything inside, including the sound and lighting equipment. While pageant organizers say they're doing what they can, repairs will be slow because their insurance only covered the sound equipment.
Organizers say they're relying on the generosity of the community to help them put another roof on the control room. They've started a "Raise the roof" campaign to help cover that cost and everything else their insurance won't cover. They say without those donations, the future of the longest running passion play may be in jeopardy.
"When the roof flew off, it just wasn't a pretty sight to be able to see. We just want to be able to keep this place going," said Jordan Stevenson, grounds keeper.
Stevenson says it will be tough to do since the organization runs off donations and money from the gift shop alone. Stevenson says his faith is strong, but right now the funds just aren't there to replace the roof and all the equipment lost in the storm.
"Holy City's been around for so long, and it's just really one of those honest treasures of Comanche County and Oklahoma. To have this place not be able to be here and have what we need to continue what we're doing…it would just be devastating," Stevenson said.
He says they've only raised $150 toward repairs, but he believes their prayers will be answered.
"We believe that the people want it here and we believe God wants it here. If they didn't want it here it wouldn't been around for as long as it has been," Stevenson said.
Stevenson says the roof will cost them around $14,500 to replace and all the lighting equipment will cost them around $20,000.
If you'd like to donate to the Holy city and help them with their "Raise the roof" campaign, there are a few ways you can do just that.
Checks can be made out to "Raise the Roof" and be mailed to
All America Bank
24007 State Hwy 49
Lawton, OK 73507
Donations can be dropped off at any All America Bank branches:
24007 State Hwy 49, Lawton, OK 73507
8217 S. Highway 277, Elgin, OK 73538
605 S 8th St, Cache, OK 73527
PayPal or credit/debit cards can be used at www.paypal.com. Click send and enter firstname.lastname@example.org as the email.