Plaza Towers Teachers, Students And Parents Treated To Party In Norman

Tuesday, June 11th 2013, 11:09 pm
By: News 9

Three weeks after their school was destroyed in the tornado, Plaza Towers Elementary students and teachers get together for a little fun. The National Police Athletic Activities League, along with the Oklahoma City and Moore police departments hosted a special day.

It was a night about just having a good time. When you looked around the entertainment center and saw the joy in each face, it's really hard to imagine what they've been through.

"I think this is a time for us to just not think about the worst of it, and just try and celebrate what we do have," said Plaza Towers 1st grade teacher, Karen Marinelli.

Marinelli is one of several teachers at PlazaTowers who laid over their students as the May 20th tornado tore the elementary school apart.

5/31/2013 Related Story: Moore Teacher Shields Students From Tornado, Recovers From Injuries

"I just got myself laid over them, and laid there as it all came down, and it was pretty bad," said Marinelli. "Walls falling, and ceiling falling, glass breaking."

Tuesday, Marinelli is healing. She broke her sacrum, a bone in her lower back and has to wear a brace and stay in a wheel chair for the next three months until it heals.

"I feel like I'm getting better every day and I'm just so glad to be here and to see all my students," said Marinelli.

"It feels normal. It feels normal again like, you know, everything is behind us, and we're finally whole," said Plaza Towers Elem., mother Cheri Kim.

Kim says she left Plaza Towers Elementary with her two sons, 6 and 10 years old, four minutes before the school was destroyed. She and her husband Tom, say they're overwhelmed by the continued support from across the country.

"I don't think it will ever stop," said Kim. "I think people will continue to help where it's needed until its rebuilt, until Moore is rebuilt."

"I'm kind of proud of Oklahoma. Everybody coming together even from the other states. It helps us realize who we are," said Cheri's husband, Tom Kim.

"If we can do anything to help take that off their mind, even if it's just for a little bit, even if it's just for four hours tonight, we're happy to do it," said Peter Evans, OKC Athletic League.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

Thursday the same event will be hosted for Briarwood Elementary at the Hey Day Entertainment Center.

The National Police Athletic Activities Leagues and the NBA Basketball Retired Players Association will also host a private basketball camp for Moore students Thursday.

The event will be take place at Moore High School and is open to students in 6th grade and below.