Former Texas A&M Yell Leader Leading Recovery in Bastrop

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

As Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald and Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Fisher inspect the damage from last month's wildfire damage in Bastrop County, the magnitude of the devastation still hits home.

"It's a gamut of emotions. Individuals are excited to get back in, but then looking back at your life just everything that you valued in your house and home being gone and now where do you go from here? Do you stay? Do you leave? What is the process," said McDonald.

With so many unanswered questions about getting life back to normal, the two raised in Bastrop are slowly rebuilding their hometown one day at a time.

"We are really going to have to work to be there for our citizens. Give them options and try to get them back in," said McDonald.

McDonald attended Texas A&M in the early 1990's. He was the first ever African-American yell leader. He credits hits Aggie education and the Aggie network for playing a big part in Bastrop's recovery.

"The Aggie network has been tremendous in the process. It's been other elected Aggie officials who have come by to lend their support, the network itself being able to send support, it's been great. We've received donations from around the country and the Aggies have been a part of that," said McDonald.

But the positive attitude to rebuild also comes from his Bastrop upbringing. Being a county judge for 13 years in Bastrop County, McDonald's heart is in his community and he wants to see Bastrop rise from the ashes.

"Something great is going to come out of this process. We've already learned a little bit about our character and who we are. How we're resilient. And we're also going to understand how we can rebuild. We're going to rebuild on a foundation of unity, build on that foundation of teamwork that is part of Bastrop County," said McDonald.

McDonald graduated from Texas A&M University in 1993 and coming up on Aggie Gameday this weekend, News 3's Shane McAuliffe will have more with Judge McDonald and what was behind his decision to become the first African American yell leader in Texas A&M history.

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