It’s been almost a month since Hurricane Harvey paid us an unwelcome visit. And though I can’t say that I personally know what it’s like to pitch most of my belongings to the curb and gut my home, I can only imagine that if I were faced with that task I’d be in the mood for a break by now.

For the first time in recent memory, Galveston was not a storm victim. Yes, the island received some damage, but we recovered quickly and almost completely. It’s our turn to give back and give those who were affected a break from their stress.

On Saturday and Oct. 1, the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and some of its tourism partners will host a Galveston Cares weekend. Its purpose is to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and those impacted on the mainland.

The weekend will include free admission to all beach parks. Visitors there will be encouraged to donate to Harvey relief efforts. There also will be free parking along the seawall, free trolley fares throughout the island, a free family challenge event at Stewart Beach, plus a fireworks show on Saturday night in honor of first responders.

Island attractions and hotels are participating, too. The Moody Mansion museum and The Bryan Museum will offer a buy-one-get-one free special on admission tickets. The Grand 1894 Opera House will host a free “open mic” event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, allowing members of the public to perform on its historic stage. And, the Galveston Island Wild Texas Shrimp Festival will donate $2 of every Gumbo Stroll ticket to Harvey relief efforts.

In addition, Casa del Mar will donate 20 percent of revenues from September reservations that mention #GalvestonCares to Harvey relief efforts and the Hotel Galvez and Spa will provide complimentary breakfast to reservations that mention #GalvestonCares.

“We were fortunate to fare well through Harvey, but we also know what it is like having gone through Hurricane Ike nine years ago,” said Kelly de Schaun, executive director of the Galveston Park Board. “We want to show our support and hope that Galveston can be a place where our neighbors can experience some normalcy, take a break, and enjoy time with their families.”

For more information, visit www.galveston.com/cares.

Park board meetings are open to the public and the public may address the board of trustees during the meetings. Park board meetings are typically held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. at 601 Tremont St. If you are interested in seeing a park board issue discussed in this column or if you have any questions, please send them my way. I can be reached at mbassett@galvestonparkboard.org.

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

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