Czech Republic helps West after deadly disaster - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WEST

Czech Republic helps West after deadly disaster

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WEST -

A small country half a world away sends support and aid to the even smaller town of West after the April 17th explosion. The American Friends of the Czech Republic have been trying to raise $2 million for West.

Since the blast, the Czech government has donated $200,000 to West and a Rotary Club has raised $50,000 for their recovery efforts. According to the state's Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic, Ray Snokhous, says 70 percent of the people in West have Czech heritage.

Snokhous says the Czech influence can be seen around the town.

"They feel like we're their neighbors and we are their neighbors. We carry their heritage and their cultures and their customs. We have promoted that and continued it. So it was incredible how they responded from the Czech Republic," said Snokhous.

The day after the blast the Czech ambassador, Petr Gandalovic, visited West to express his condolences on behalf of his country.

Snokhous' home was spared, but he lost two cousins, Doug and Robert Snokhous, in the explosion. He says the amount of support his family has received from people overseas has been unbelievable.

"We were getting calls after the night of the blast, that very night, practically all night long from people in the Czech Republic. It's overwhelming, it's indescribable how people responded to this and how immediately it was known throughout the world," said Snokhous.

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