I can't say enough nice things about the fans who sit with us, and times like these prove that many things are much more important than sports. Sports are great distraction from reality, but there was no ignoring Hurricane Harvey.
In the days leading up to our outing, I was glued to the television almost around the clock. While staying in constant contact with the Astros and watching the severity grow by the minute, I thought for sure this series would be moved out of Texas. The game was the last thing on my mind, but we did have 1,000 fans from 24 states to keep in the loop. A plan was put in motion and many fans started donating their hotel rooms to both those in need and first responders who were coming to the area to help.
We kept our fans in the loop, and the Astros were nice enough to offer refunds for any fan that couldn't make it to the game. Out of the 1,000 fans in our group, 259 still made it out. We are happy that three hour window or so was a break from all they're going through.
We aren't in the position to make decisions about anyone else's money, so we gave everyone the option to either take the refund, or donate the money for their ticket back to the people of Texas.
In total, $10,190 was donated to the Houston Astros toward their relief efforts. The majority ($8,540) came from fans who opted to give their ticket money back, $1,000 from T7L as a portion of the event t-shirt/patch, and an additional $650 from the "tour" crew.
There are a group of fans in T7LA that take tours of each ballpark we visit. They collected $650 ahead of time for the Minute Maid Park tour, and since it didn't happen, they donated that separately to this cause as well. Thank you to MJ Lupton for organizing that and shout out to the rest of you guys in the crew that chipped in.
To make a donation of your own visit: YouCaring.com/AstrosHarvey
The outing seemed to be a great time from the outside looking in. Yes, the Mets took the L, but this wasn't about winning or losing, it was about the people of Houston hopefully having a sense of normalcy even for just a few hours.
We look forward to visiting Texas with our entire crew at some point down the road. Our hearts go out to all of those affected, and we hope our donation can help get people back on their feet.
STAY STRONG, HOUSTON.