SULLIVAN, IN (WTWO) – As severe weather hit Sullivan County Friday evening, the South Knox Middle School Band took shelter in a local McDonald’s.

The band was leaving a competition north of Terre Haute when the Friday evening tornado touched down. As the band was looking for shelter, the Sullivan McDonald’s helped them take shelter inside the restaurant.

Brad Case, the South Knox bus driver, sent a personal note to the owner of the restaurant, thanking him for offering them a safe place to wait out the severe weather.

“This message is to give a special thank you to the personnel at the Sullivan McDonald’s for their valuable help Friday night during the tornado that hit the city of Sullivan. The South Knox Middle School band played in a band contest north of Terre Haute on Friday night and was returning home on US 41 South at the time the tornado hit Sullivan. Our band director called the Sullivan McDonald’s looking for a place to shelter our 30 kids and accompanying adults during the storm. McDonald’s welcomed us and the manager even met us in the parking lot directing us inside to safety. We spent 45 minutes sheltered in the restroom at McDonald’s during the storm. The night manager and crew were especially helpful offering the kids water and comfort during the storm. A big thank you to these Sullivan McDonald’s folks – it was greatly appreciated and your kindness will be well remembered.”

Brad Case, South Knox Bus Driver

Wally Nowakowski, the restaurant’s owner, expressed how proud he is of his team and their efforts to provide safety and comfort to the students during the storm.

“We strive to make the Golden Arches a beacon of light during times of need, and I want to thank our entire crew for their dedication to our community,” said Nowakowski.