COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Members of the Bryan-College Station community answered the call to action in an extreme way, giving thousands of clothing items and over $4600 in monetary donations to be delivered by the Texas A&M softball team to victims of tragedy in Moore, Okla., and West, Texas on Tuesday morning.
The 16th-seeded Aggies won the NCAA College Station Regional last weekend to advance to the Norman Super Regional at No. 1 seed Oklahoma just before a May 20 category EF-5 tornado devastated the nearby community of Moore, Okla. An April 17 explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, just north of Waco on I-35, shook the small town.
Head Coach Jo Evans and the Aggie softball team took charge of a relief effort for both communities late Monday night, when social media posts went viral through Bryan-College Station.
The 12th Man went above and beyond the call of duty, bringing car loads of clothing and household items, water, toys and cash for the victims of both tragedies. A drop-off area was set up in the Reed Arena parking lot and was quickly overwhelmed by the volume of the donations.
Items donated included clothing and shoes, baby toys, diapers, bottled water, a walking cane, a tricycle and nearly $4,700 in cash. The items filled 180 large t-shirt boxes and 60 large trash bags.
When the team realized that only a small fraction of the gifts would fit on the team bus, Conlee-Garrett Moving Co. donated a large truck to follow the Aggie softball bus north to Oklahoma.
Volunteers from the Texas A&M Athletics Department helped by unloading donors’ cars and loading the moving truck, while the softball team took a quick practice before getting on the bus.
The Aggies made a short pit stop in West to donate $3,000 and an A&M softball batting helmet that has worn a special “W” decal on the back since the mid-April tragedy. The rest of the donations gathered will go to those affected by the tornado in Oklahoma.
A&M and OU will battle for a spot in the Women’s College World Series at the Norman Super Regional this Thursday and Friday, with game one of the best-of-three series slated for a 6 p.m. CT start, Thursday on ESPN. The Aggies and Sooners will wear decals on their batting helmets to honor the victims in Moore. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.