“Rowlett Strong” Fundraiser Feeds Tornado Victim’s Need

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ROWLETT (CBSDFW.COM) – More than a year after deadly tornadoes tore through North Texas, some communities are still suffering.

And the money that was raised to help Rowlett residents is almost gone. But a group called “Rowlett Strong” is trying to change that, one meal at a time.

A dozen Rowlett restaurants are hosting a heavy crowd, many still carrying heavy hearts from December 26th, 2015.

“We were laying on the floor, and we thought, this is it. We’re losing the house,” says survivor Margaret McClure.

McClure owned one of nearly 1300 homes damaged or destroyed by the powerful tornadoes. She has rebuilt, but many have not. And so the non-profit “Rowlett Strong” deemed Thursday Spirit Night, in which restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds to families in need.

All participating restaurants are donating at least 10 percent. But Chick-fil-A is giving 100 percent of its online sales. “Rowlett Strong” says the need is great because funds it raised last year are nearly gone.

“It was a no-brainer. We found out immediately, okay, Rowlett needs more funds. We need to get out there and do what we can,” says Amber Conway of the group.

For survivor Ricky Peterson and others, Spirit Night is a sign of both community and hope.

“Sometimes I feel like they forgot all about us. But I’ve got scars on my head, all over my body, that are still here,” says Peterson. “It’s good to see people help us out.”

Spirit night goes all day Thursday. “Rowlett Strong” also has more fundraising events coming up, including a 5k and a chili cook-off.

“It makes me feel good that we can help people that way. There are still a lot of people suffering,” says McClure.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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