Longhorns, Sooners Unite to Help The People of Moore

 

Longhorns, Sooners Unite to Help Tornado-Stricken Town

On May 3, 1999, Houston native Chad Magee was standing on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman. Stretching from east to west across the horizon was what, to the OU freshman, looked like a giant storm cloud. He was actually looking at a massive tornado—one of the worst in history—tearing across the prairie and demolishing the town of Moore, Okla.

This month, it happened all over again.

A deadly tornado ripped through Moore on May 20, killing 24. Many residents lost everything they owned. Once again, the Oklahoma City suburb was forced to begin rebuilding.

Donation HandoffTexas Exes sprung into action. We Are One, a joint benefit for the victims of the 2013 Moore tornado, was held Wednesday at Cottonwood Bar and Restaurant in Houston. The event brought together OU and UT grads in an effort to help those affected in Moore. In a sign of solidarity, Sooners donned burnt-orange shirts and their Longhorn counterparts wore crimson.

But the event was more than just show. David Bain, BBA, MPAcc ’99, JD ’02, Life Member, president of the Houston Chapter, estimates the event raised more than $10,000 in cash and high-demand supplies like non-perishable food, water, and childcare items. Alumni collected goods onsite, where Sooners had arranged a semi-truck to ship donations to Moore right after the event.

“It came together in a whirlwind,” Magee says. The plan was drawn up in a day with the help of Tim Gregg, marketing director of the OU Club. It was a surprise, for sure, but many of the 40,000 Texas Exes in Houston were ready to pitch in.

Golden Boot Close Up“I started getting calls from our members right away, asking what we could do to help,” Bain says. “As Houstonians, we live with the threat of hurricanes. We know what it’s like.”

Bain says the spirit of cooperation and respect made the event special, and he says it’s a highlight of his term as chapter president, which ends in June. And the camaraderie between the two opponents won’t end any time soon. The groups plan to put their rivalry to good use by competing to see who can raise the most money in a fundraiser each year.

What do they get for winning? Besides a sense of pride and purpose, the winner will receive a golden boot, a nod to the Golden Hat awarded to the winner of the Red River Rivalry each year. Gregg donated one of his grandfather’s own cowboy boots for the trophy.

But for this year, at least, the event was personal. Some members of the OU Club, now in its 50th year in Houston, are from Moore. They’ve felt the impact, and they were able to give back this time with the help of their neighbors and on-field rivals.

“I remember how it was [in 1999],” Magee says. “I wish I could be there to help now, like we were then. This is my new version of it.”

Top, center: From left, Tim Gregg of the OU Club; David Bain of the Houston Texas Exes.

Photos by Quy Tran, courtesy David Bain of the Houston Texas Exes.

 
 
 

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