On Aug. 26, Hurricane Harvey struck the coast of Texas, causing major damage to the cities of Rockport, Corpus Christi and Houston. The flooding in Houston especially caught the nation’s attention, as the fourth largest city in America closed all its major highways because they were under water. According to the New York Post, the flood was so detrimental that it literally pushed the Space City into the ground by two centimeters.
The hurricane cost an estimated $190 billion and caused at least 70 deaths, earning a spot on the list of America’s 10 deadliest storms. People lost their homes, cars, pets, and loved ones, and thousands had to evacuate from their homes with the help of helicopters, boats and even jet skis.
Almost a quarter of Trinity students are from Houston or the surrounding area. Athletes such as J.J. Watt, who has raised over $30 million towards helping Harvey victims, and celebrities including Kevin Hart, who started a $25,000 challenge to help raise money for the cause, have helped Houstonians become hopeful that the city will bounce right back.
These charitable efforts inspired social fraternity Iota Chi Rho (I-Chi) members Daniel Conrad and Constantine Kouldukis, who decided to collaborate with the social sorority Sigma Theta Tau to organize “Rock for Relief,” a benefit concert at Big Bob’s Burgers to raise money for the cause. Many students showed up in support of this cause and part of the proceeds went to Harvey HELP, a relief fund providing emergency aid to students affected by the hurricane and separated from their families by the disaster.
This fundraiser did not just include juicy burgers and locally brewed beer, but student musicians too. Gathered in the patio, Trinity students enjoyed their meals while Trinity students performed.
Abby Kluetz, a junior, kicked off the event by playing covers as well as her own songs.
“Some of my family members did suffer from the flooding so I am here to support them and others who have been affected,” said Abby Kluetz.
Abby Kluetz herself is from the greater Houston area of Cypress, and sang on stage in order to assist her loved ones. While, luckily, her own neighborhood did not suffer too much from the flooding, she is aware of how devastating this storm was to her neighbors.
Kouldukis, a senior I-Chi, followed Kluetz’s set with an acoustic performance of original songs and a cover of “Edelweisse.” Lamonte Brooks, a sophomore, sang as he strummed his ukulele. Daniel Rothschild, a senior, performed original electronic music before Kaylie King, a Trinitonian news reporter, took the stage and played an acoustic guitar set. Senior Sigma and Houston native McKenna Parr sang before Raghad Akrouk, a senior, performed the night’s last show at about 10:30 p.m.
Besides these Trinity students, Cooper Smart, a San Antonio rock artist, also contributed to the benefit concert.
The I-Chis and Sigmas were successful, as over 60 students showed up to the relief concert. Between these students and donations from sales and fraternity alumni, approximately $1,000 was raised.
For those seeking to further help victims of the hurricane, keep your eyes peeled for more fundraising events being put on by student groups.