Fire Relief concert raised $750,000

Jody Serrano

UT President William Powers Jr. presented a $750,000 check to the local charity Austin Community Foundation to aid victims of the recent Central Texas fires.

The money was raised by the Oct. 17 “Fire Relief: A Concert for Central Texas,” an event put on by local Austin musicians Ray Benson, Eric Johnson and Peter Schwarz and held at the Frank Erwin Center. Featuring acts from Willie Nelson, Dixie Chicks and George Strait, the concert sold more than 16,000 tickets. In addition, more than $11,000 was raised by encouraging people to text “FIRE” at the concert to contribute $10, according to concert officials.

In a press release about the event, Powers said part of being a great university meant supporting the community and helping it solve problems.

“I’m delighted that UT could help make this benefit a reality, and I’m gratified by the enormous response from the people of Central Texas,” Powers said. “Every catastrophe eventually leaves the headlines, but we should all continue to think of ways to help those who are rebuilding their lives in Bastrop County.”

The Bastrop fires destroyed more than 1,500 homes and burned more than 41,000 acres in Leander, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Steiner Ranch, Spicewood and Bastrop.