Rugby Club aids hurricane victims with fundraiser

Two rugby club members practice tackles on August 27. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Journalist

By Branson Hardcastle | Reporter

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Baylor Rugby Club is lending a helping hand by hosting a fundraiser to help those affected by the hurricane.

The club is asking for any canned food or non-perishable items to be sent to those in need in the Houston area. They are asking for toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and deodorant.

The donation bins are located in the Student Life Center and can be found in the entrance across from the front desk.

Houston junior and team captain Stewart Morris said the idea for the fundraiser came from volunteer head coach Mason Hering.

“It really came up from our coach. He decided to postpone the alumni game and try to find a way to support our past teammates that are alumni since they support us,” Morris said.

The fundraiser began last week and ends Friday. Everything that is collected will be donated to the Houston Area Rugby Club at the end of the week. They will then distribute the donations to charities around Houston and to victims in the area.

Austin junior and flanker for the club, Jeff Serfass said it was important to help, not just because there is a strong personal connection to Houston for those at Baylor, but because it is the right thing to do.

“So many people are suffering such a short distance away. It’s really easy to try to get everybody together and bring them any sort of food and supplies that they might not have access to,” Serfass said. “Going to Baylor, it feels like half of the people you meet are from the Houston area. To see so many of our friends and neighbors suffering is just really tough to see.”

Morris, who grew up in Houston, is encouraging students to get involved in any way they can regardless of whether they have been personally affected by the storm.

“Keep your prayers up for everyone. Try to encourage those around you who aren’t from Houston to jump in and support,” Morris said. “If you are from Houston, I would say try to get home and support your family in any way you can.”

Highland Village junior Joe Quon , a prop (a player that forms the front row in a scrum, or the restarting of play after stoppage) is currently in the Houston area with the National Guard. He was called back to service after the destruction that Hurricane Harvey caused. The club is unsure how long he will be serving and what his duties will entail, but his safety and well-being is in the forefront of the club’s mind.

“I would like to say to everyone just to keep him in your thoughts and for him to stay safe,” Morris said.

Communities from all over Texas and other states have made efforts to help those in need. Serfass said the support he has seen from the entire country has been extremely encouraging.

“The amount of support that really the whole state, the whole area, the whole country has really come together,” Serfass said. “There were lines of boats trying to get into Houston from the Louisiana area to rescue people. It was really cool to see.”

Serfass shared his message of hope and healing to both Baylor faculty and students.

“The whole university has got you in their thoughts and prayers. Any little bit or anything you can do helps,” Serfass said. “If you see somebody that is from Houston and you know they are struggling with it just go up and let them know you are thinking about them.”

The Baylor Rugby Club was scheduled to play their alumni game Saturday, but because of Hurricane Harvey they have rescheduled the game for 11 a.m. Oct. 7 at the Baylor Sciences Building fields. Their first game of the season is still scheduled for Sept. 23, at the Baylor Sciences Building fields against Texas State.

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