Helping out

From the left, League City Mayor Pat Hallisey, Steve Mataro of DSW Homes, volunteer Victoria Hartzburg, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ange Mertens, Janice Hallisey, County Judge Mark Henry, Johnnie Waid, state Rep. Greg Bonnen and state Sen. Larry Taylor.


On a storm-ravaged street in Dickinson, where residents’ belongings are stacked more than 5 feet high, neighbors, church groups and Good Samaritans were mucking out floodwaters, cutting out Sheetrock and moving furniture out of houses.

Among this group, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, state Sen. Larry Taylor and state Rep. Greg Bonnen were getting their hands dirty and helping out.

“It’s hard to see what these folks are going through,” Cruz said. “House after house, you have every piece of furniture, every item in the house scrapped and in the street.

“These are their homes where they raised their children, where they celebrated Christmases with their families. In one of the houses where we were working, the couple had gotten married right there in front of their fireplace.”

People’s memories are strewn over streets all over town. Later in the day, the group moved on to volunteer at the League City distribution center.

“The process of rebuilding is going to take time, it’s going to take time to rebuild the schools, to rebuild the infrastructure and so many people’s businesses are going to have to be rebuilt,” Cruz said.

“We are going to see very substantial state resources, we are going to see very substantial federal resources. We just approved in Congress $15 billion in federal relief targeted toward the state of Texas.

“That’s really just a down payment of what we are going to need but you know what is really going to get us through on top of that money? Texans standing together helping each other. Exactly what got us through the storm in the first place.”

In another part of town, old Hollywood glamour, glittery gold decor and a red carpet held an eerie quality in the abandoned ballroom at Hope Village. The golden age of Hollywood themed gala was to take place Aug. 26, but in place of a star-studded gala, Hope Village hosted hurricane Harvey instead.

Hope village is an 18-acre residential facility and day program for people with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum and traumatic brain injuries.

“We kind of run the gamut for those with intellectual and development disabilities” Kat Clemons, director of Community Development at Hope Village, said.

“We have five houses onsite. There is a cafe where the villagers can work and a resale shop.

“One of the houses was extensively damaged by floodwaters, along with the resale shop and cafe.”

The canceled event leaves Hope Village with some ongoing funding needs as well as new needs with facility repairs after the flooding from Hurricane Harvey.

“So many people are hurting and in need of normalcy and routine after the hurricane, but change for the villagers present some special situations and we want to help get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible,” said Doug Meisinger, CEO of Clear Lake Today, who was the media sponsor of the gala.

“There were some time-sensitive auction items that have been donated to the event and we still want to auction those items off and get that money to Hope Village.

“On Tuesday, at the Vinyl Draught Frank Sinatra Night event, we will be offering these items for a silent auction, and the public is invited to attend and bid.”

Vinyl Draught holds an upscale networking event every third Tuesday of the month at Preamble Lounge, 20801 Interstate 45, Suite 12, with the slogan It’s Vinyl Draught so Wear Something Nice.

Never before has Galveston County been so indebted to first responders as during Hurricane Harvey. In League City alone the flooding resulted in over 1,100 water rescues.

On Friday at the sold-out Patriot Awards luncheon, League City Regional Chamber of Commerce honored local heroes. To show the appreciation of a grateful city, lunch was provided to League City police, fire and EMS; the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Galveston County constables’ offices; Kemah Fire department; and the Dickinson Fire Department.

Ange Mertens’ column, The A List, covers society and charity events in north Galveston County.

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