United Clubs of Austin Texas host Waco Family Fundraiser

United Clubs of Austin Texas host Waco Family Fundraiser

by October 5, 2015

Story by: Constance M. Drew
Taylor, Texas
Photos by: Michael “Tilt” Salum – Tilted Pix Photography
Austin, Texas

The aftermath of the May 17th incident in Waco has touched many lives. Two weeks later on May 31st, the United Clubs of Austin stepped up to host a fundraiser at Hanover’s Draught Haus in Pflugerville Texas for the families affected. The money raised went to the families of men and women who remained in Waco custody. This was to help with personal bills (not attorney fees) as these families deal with the day to day of living while their loved ones remain held on one million dollar bonds.

When I pulled in, I was amazed at the number of folks on bikes and in cars already pouring into Hanover’s. I made my introductions and began to mingle. There was a dunking booth where I saw several guys take their turns to hit water in the name of raising money. Families with children enjoyed the benefit plates of food as several more of us cooled off with cold drinks. Brothers and sisters comforted one another as stories were exchanged about those killed and those still sitting behind bars waiting on their day of justice. The feeling of brotherhood and unity wove through the crowd like a warm blanket embracing a small child.

We made our way inside for a live auction that intertwined bidding wars of several hundred dollars for items. One gentleman didn’t even own a bike but stated he was there supporting his community. The Austin Bandido President thanked people for coming and asked that they help these families out. Announcements were made of folks donating thousands of dollars. When the auction ended, bands began to play.

I met so many folks who spoke with lumps in their throats as they told about how that could have been them had it not been for bad weather or getting caught in traffic on their way to the COC&I meeting. Tears were fought back as I was told about Jesus “Mohawk” Rodriguez, the 64 year old U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran (Purple Heart) who died in the tragedy. He was an Independent rider who believed in the unity of the COC&I and supported his community. He left behind his wife Mary of 40 years, seven children, nineteen grand children and four great grand children. As one man so emotionally stated “Waco was a travesty”.

When all was said and done, over a thousand people came out to support these families. Yes, the incident in Waco was a true travesty, but what I saw today was nothing short of a miracle; the coming together of a community to help those families in need.