Livonia bands together to pick up after last week's tornado

It's been a difficult week in Livonia since the tornado that wrecked the city and killed a 3-year-old as he slept. Now the community is trying to heal -- while finding ways to come together in the tragedy.

Most of the damage to city-owned property was at Rotary Park where trees smashed the pavilions. But we know that stretched further than just the tree limbs throughout the green space -- homeowners, city employees, and business owners are rallying together.

"When you get to a situation like this, you think there is just no way you’re going to bear the hardship of it, but this is where we see Livonia residents rise up and shine!" said Livonia mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan. "Neighbors literally pulled out their chainsaws and cleared the street so that our first responders could get through."

Brosnan visited Rotary Park on Wednesday where workers were still moving branches to reopen part of the bark. She said the city sustained a total of $1 million in damages to homes. City-owned property damage totaled close to $70,000.

Despite progress in cleaning up, hearts are still heavy over the loss of Cooper Drake. The toddler died when a tree fell on him as he was in his bed that day. His mother was right next to him and still in the hospital recovering.

Bad Brad's BBQ will host a fundraiser for the family and general manager Michael Walsh said they needed to do something to support the family.

"The news hit really close to home. We sleep in our bed with our child from time to time. Acts of God like this — they’re tragic. They’re awful. We thought about what Bad Brad’s stands for in all this. One of those things is teamwork," Walsh said. "We’re just going to donate and support this family who’s suffered the worst tragedy you could possibly suffer."

If anyone wants to donate to help, the Livonia First Responders Foundation is the place to do it.

Bad Brad's BBQ fundraiser is next Wednesday at Bad Bra'ds at 20300 Farmington Road from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 10% of all bills will benefit the Drake family.