East Texas native raising Harvey recovery funds with dance party

Published 6:44 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A unique twist on a regular dance party will have locals dancing for donations to support Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts.

Organized by Chocowinity resident Catherine Good, donations and the cover charge for the Thursday night dance at the Washington restaurant On the Waterfront will be donated to two Winnie, Texas, organizations: the Winnie Volunteer Fire Department and St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic mission organization.

Good hails from Winnie, a town located just west of Port Arthur, one of the towns hardest hit by Harvey. Most of her immediate family still resides there, and in the aftermath, she decided to do her own fundraising for Winnie from several states away.

“It was right in the middle of everything,” Good said. “My immediate family fared very well. They were all in flooded areas, but none of them took in floodwater. If anything, they were housing other people.”

Good said the Winnie Volunteer Fire Department, just like many volunteer departments in Beaufort County, relies on the support of the community, of which she is still, by relation, a part.

“I’m very familiar with the fire department. They’re total volunteers. They were out there rescuing people, and their homes were flooded,” Good said.

Good said the fire department’s building didn’t escape the flood, so their recovery efforts are currently being funded out of the volunteers’ own pockets.

St. Vincent de Paul, an organization also associated with Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Washington, has historically provided the Winnie community with food and clothing when in need, she said.

Good and other dancers at the Thursday event got the idea to turn dancing into a Winnie fundraiser: pay the cover charge of $5 and dance the night away — line dancing, shagging and free style — or simply stop in and make a donation by check. All proceeds will be sent to the two organizations.

Good pointed out there are Beaufort County ties to Texas: when the phosphate mining company Texas Gulf Sulfur was established in the early 1960s, many of its employees were transferred from Texas to North Carolina.

“My intent was: Wouldn’t it be great to collect some checks and send it down? Because we do have a connection to Texas,” Good said.

Good said she’s already sent one envelope of checks totaling $700 to the organizations and hopes to send a substantial amount more after Thursday night’s event.

People are also welcome to send checks made payable to WVFD or SPDV to Good at P.O. Box 864, Washington, NC 278889, she said.

“So far, it’s been $20 here, $50 there. Anything’s appreciated,” Good said.