Austin community, vendors gather to raise funds for Bastrop wildfires victims

Lydia Herrera

Live music could be heard outside of the CTC Garden venue as people gathered Tuesday at an event created to raise funds for the American Red Cross of Central Texas to aid the wildfire victims of Bastrop County.

The event was initiated in response to the damage caused by the fires, said Lori Schneider, owner of Cupcake Bar and creator of the event. She said the entirety of the proceeds are going directly to the American Red Cross, which will go toward providing aid and supplies for people who have experienced loss because of the fires.

“It’s good for [the people of Bastrop] to know they aren’t alone,” said Jessica Dickman, president of Texas Belles, a UT event-planning organization that aided in the planning of the event. “Austin is such a giving community and so open, it’s a perfect place to have an event like this where you can relax with people you know and benefit the people you don’t.”

Dickman said the event featured live music from five different bands that changed every hour from 5 to 10 p.m. Food vendors and a bar set up by 360 Vodka donated their services and took donations that went toward the proceeds of the event, and a silent auction and raffle with donated items from Austin businesses also encouraged people to contribute more to the cause, she said.

The event’s projected monetary goal was set at around $1,000, but with close to 200 people in attendance it may surpass that, said Schneider.

Vendors in attendance such as Kellie’s Kandies & Cookies had heart-shaped cookies set at a suggested price of $2 a cookie.

The company is also doing its part in helping with the Bastrop fires, said Kellie’s Kandies & Cookies’ spokesperson. She said it will sponsor Cookies for Bastrop, a cookie drive in which customers can buy cookies to send to fire victims with a personalized note from the buyer written on each bag. All of the proceeds will also be donated to the American Red Cross.

“Austin is a community not like normal big cities,” said Dawn Boyd, who sat enjoying the live music. “I’ve seen it grow from the early ’60s, but it has never lost that small town feel.”

Printed on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 as: Musicians, food vendors hold fundraiser for wildfire victims.