Blue October Headlines Benefit for San Marcos Flood Survivors

DSC_4640SAN MARCOS, TX – Sunday, June 7 was a gorgeous sunny day in San Marcos much unlike the Memorial Day weekend just two weeks prior when much of the hill country in Texas was hit with torrential downpours.  As many families were prepared to enjoy a fun filled holiday weekend, mother nature had other plans.   After many weeks of an above average rainfall for this time of year, Hays County got more than they could handle and massive flooding occurred.  Many lost all that they had; homes were destroyed and lives were lost.  The after math was devastating to the community, however in true Texas fashion they have rallied together and are proving to be survivors rather than victims.

Jeremy Furstenfeld, drummer for Blue October, contacted the mayor of San Marcos, Daniel Guerrero, the day after the fatal DSC_1889floods asking him what he could do to help.  Furstenfeld said he felt led to do something and Guerrero admitted he was already being pulled in a hundred different directions, however, he could put him in touch with someone that had already contacted him about putting on a  benefit as well.   That’s where Omar AD, owner of The Marc in downtown San Marcos enters.  Furstenfeld and Omar discussed hosting a benefit, made some calls to bring in key players from around the city and started created

In a mere 11 days, pulled of one of the most eclectic shows the city has ever seen.  The lineup included Madison River Choir, Wade Bowen, Cody Canada, William Clark Green, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Aaron Behrens, Nina Diaz, Ashleigh Stone and Blue October.  Most of these artists came out because they have ties to the DSC_5938community, whether they live locally or family and friends do.  Eric Middleton of Midnight River Choir lost absolutely everything material in the disaster, yet he felt compelled to donate his time for such an event.  All of the artists who performed donated their time and talent.   Owner of  The Marc, Omar Dawoud opened his establishment up to host the event at no cost.  He also donated all profits from drinks that evening as well as his wait staff worked for free and donated all their tips.

Many organizations, businesses and volunteers came together to make this event happen including United Way of Hays County.  Michelle Harper, CEO United Way Hays County, announced that the goal for the evening was $150,000, however, just before Blue October took the stage they were still $24,000 short.  Harper asked everyone to hold up their phones, type Hays plus an amount to 41444 to make a donation.  By the time the event was over the total donation amount had hit over $180,000.

Molly Ann Garcia, Chairman of the Board of Main Street San Marcos, found herself in a position to help all the survivors as well.  She received an email on behalf of Main Street asking for volunteers to help with a benefit.  She attended the first meeting where a silent auction was mentioned.  She volunteered to spear head this endeavor since she had experience with other organization’s auctions.  Normally, a successful silent auction requires at the least, two months of planning and four people to organize. Garcia didn’t have this luxury.  However, she had many contacts in the community, she made it happen. “It was ALOT of work, constantly on the phone, sending emails, picking up all the items.  In the end we ended with almost 80 items and combined some of those into packages.”  Garcia reported.  All items are currently up for auction at Bandtogethertx Auction.  Please make sure to check out the auction and place a bid.

The community has a long way to go that will take a lot of time and money.  Mayor, Daniel Guerrero, took a few minutes to speak with TTL regarding the damage and how you can make a difference.

Please consider donating to the relief efforts in San Marcos through United Way Hays County.

Article and interview by:  Kristelle Maguire
Photos and video by:  Jason Maguire

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Kristelle Maguire
Photographer, writer, and editor.

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