Home Carrollton Heritage Alumni and Community Help Bring Newnan Family Home

Heritage Alumni and Community Help Bring Newnan Family Home

In many ways the past year for T.J. and Angie Dolan has epitomized the gamut of emotions that Newnan has experienced since the EF-4 tornado.  Destruction and loss have given way to support and blessings. And for this family a community of people have rallied around them to get them back home one year later.   

Newnan, Georgia, is a unique town.  Longtime residents can tell you not only where a house is located, but also its previous owners, who lives there now, what they do for a living, and who they’re kin to.  In the Dolan’s case, T.J. works for Delta, Angie works for The Heritage School, and they lived in an 1890s home just southwest of downtown Newnan.  It’s an area where the tree-lined streets and historic houses added a level of charm to the City of Homes.  But on the night of March 25, 2021, this neighborhood was in the direct path of the tornado.  Amongst the miles of decimation was the Dolan’s 1800’s abode, which was obliterated by a tree smashing through the roof.  The house and the material possessions in it were destroyed. 

There are moments in life which completely shuffle the deck. For the Dolan family the deck wasn’t simply shuffled -– the cards were blown all over the county. Nearly everything they owned was gone, and life wouldn’t be the same for the foreseeable future. Taking the next step forward was the only option.  And thankfully there were countless community members throughout Newnan and from The Heritage School to help set them on the path.  Folks like the Candlers and Marchmans housed the Dolans while they sorted out their future; and Donna Dougherty, Angie’s colleague at Heritage, was there every step of the way.  From volunteers and donors, to friends, family, and colleagues, the Dolans describe a loving circle of support they have felt in the past year.  As Angie says best, “Space won’t allow me to list everyone who helped, you know who you are, and T.J. and I want you to know that you blessed us more than you can imagine.”

A very exciting step in the Dolans’ journey came nearly a year after that fateful night.  With the help of Knox Powell Design, an interior design firm run by two Heritage School alumni, the Dolans moved into their rebuilt home on March 21, 2022.  A houseful of furniture and accessories was delivered by Knox Furniture Inc., a downtown Newnan business that was also displaced by the storm. The final item placed in the house truly turned the page on the next chapter.  Local artist David Boyd, who is also a Heritage alumnus and longtime friend, gifted the Dolans with an original painting of their home before the tornado. 

The ordeals of the past year have demonstrated so much about this special community. The chainsaws are no longer buzzing like they were in March 2021, but the rebuild is still in progress.  Thankfully, this Newnan family is back where they belong – home.  And so many remarkable individuals, from The Heritage School and the Newnan community, played a role in that journey.   

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Conner Rund
Connor A. Rund ‘13 Associate Dean of Admissions at Hampden-Sydney College