Warren Tidwell, the 32-year-old Opelika auto service center manager who organized Toomer’s For Tuscaloosa, arrived in Tuscaloosa early Saturday morning to begin turning the Facebook-fueled momentum and compassion of his grassroots organization into real world relief.
And he’s convinced that the sight of Auburn and Alabama fans working side by side to restore a semblance of normalcy to the town — a scene broadcast to the nation Saturday night on NBC Nightly News —will change the Iron Bowl rivalry forever.
“We just had the security event group from Bryant-Denny Stadium come over to help us out,” Tidwell said Saturday evening. “I think this is going to offset the Harvey Updyke thing.”
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Tidwell has first hand experience in disaster relief; he assisted in recovery efforts in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and even designed and implemented a web-based severe weather alert system for residents in an unincorporated community in Mississippi. He’s received assistance from others with similar experience, including Holly Hart, an Auburn graduate from Birmingham, who contacted him via the Toomer’s For Tuscaloosa Facebook page.
“Holly definitely needs some kudos, she’s been incredible,” Tidwell said.
Several Toomer’s For Tuscaloosa trucks packed with supplies are leaving for Tuscaloosa Sunday morning. Tidwell is asking any Auburn resident or fan who wants to help receive and distribute supplies to go to Five Points Baptist Church in Northport, where the group is coordinating its efforts.
He says the support from Auburn fans is bringing real results, as well as sending a message.
“I’m not joking when I say this, but I don’t think fans of either team are ever going to think of the other team the same way.”
* Auburn fan selling Toomer’s Corner toilet paper for Tuscaloosa relief
* Toomer’s Oaks sapling to be planted on Capitol lawn
* Coeds. Watermelons. 1973.
* How Bama remembers “Punt, Bama, Punt”
* Charles Barkley avoiding the Noid, 1981
* Nikki Cox, Auburn fan
* Rare candids of Pat Sullivan at the 1971 Heisman banquet
* My first meeting with Dean Foy
* Pompadours on the Plains: the 50s revival at Auburn
* ‘Cammy Koozie’s’ fund family’s trip to Glendale
* Crowd shots from the 1973 Auburn-Florida game
* The Secret History of an Underground Iron Bowl
“Wearing an Alabama hat and an Auburn shirt, many would say Warren Tidwell has an identity crisis . . .”
This is the same Warren Tidwell who had me believing his name was Allen and he was from Australia for somewhere near five hours. Never broke character. Even sang a damn fine rendition of The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” using a borrowed guitar inside a frat house we lied our way into.
He even kept yelling “Foster’s is Australian for piss!”
Good on you, Warren. One human being to another.
Seems like a nice guy, but he and his group are getting a little too interested in promoting themselves in the media. At some point this thing is going to implode in an ugly way. It always does.
FYI, the group Toomers for Tuscaloosa was stolen by Holly Hart & Co. shortly after this press release, they are the ones who began the constant media coverage…http://freepdfhosting.com/21e717482d.pdf
Yes this group started out because of Warren Tidwell and turned from good to ugly as Holly Hart and Co. stole the group from its original creator..
@Kimberly: I see my prediction came true. From everything I’ve seen on Facebook, this thing has devolved into something ugly. No one seems to know what Ms. Hart and friends have done with the money they solicited from donors. If they had just kept it to a Facebook page to share information, it might have been okay. When you start asking for money, there is a whole lot more accountability required.
In the end its just football. Yeah the rivalry runs deep but in the face of tragedy we are all Alabamiens. Thats all that should really matter.