Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

At annual citywide holdup, Texas Wranglers make change

Samuel Hayek
Texas Wranglers host annual citywide holdup to benefit Easterseals Lonestar on Nov. 11, 2023.

In the spring of 1998, Texas Wrangler Marence Daniel “M.D.” Anderson sat in the Pluckers on Rio Grande Street when he had a lightbulb moment: a “citywide holdup” — a fundraiser to benefit Austin and bring UT students together. This year, Wranglers celebrated the 24th annual Citywide Holdup, now a pinnacle of Wranglers’ service and a UT tradition.

This past weekend, with more than 200 volunteers from student organizations across campus, Wranglers took to street corners from downtown Austin to Bee Cave to raise more than $17,000 for Easterseals Lonestar, a nonprofit serving the disabled community throughout Central Texas. For several hours on Saturday morning, signature Wranglers cowboy hats and students with tin cans decorated the city, chatting with cars at red lights and stopping passersby.

“This year, we were really hoping to bring (Citywide Holdup) back on a big scale, emphasizing honoring Marence Daniel Anderson,” said Tarik Barnes, a public health junior serving as Wranglers’ Citywide Holdup chair.

In the summer of 1998, before his plan for the Citywide Holdup was fully realized, M.D. Anderson passed away from cardiac arrest while playing basketball.

“That lit a fire under everyone else in order to really make this event happen, and to have it on the scale that M.D. wanted,” Barnes said. “It’s carried his legacy throughout the years.”

Barnes said Anderson’s family continues to support the holdup, often donating to Easterseals Lonestar and coming out to show support.

“We cherish our partnership (with Easterseals Lonestar) more than anything,” said Sage Griffee, economics senior and Wranglers’ service chair. “When I think of Texas Wranglers, I think of Easterseals too.”

Griffee said Wranglers have worked in partnership with Easterseals Lonestar (then Easterseals Central Texas) since the 1980s, supporting them at various fundraisers and volunteering at community events weekly.

“To encapsulate what our mission is: we help people with disabilities live independent lives,” said David Schneider, co-chairperson of Easterseals Lonestar and UT alumnus. “That’s any disability, at any age.”

The largest disability services nonprofit in the United States, Easterseals offers a variety of programs including early childhood intervention, veterans services and a neurotypical-inclusive child care program bringing kids of different backgrounds together.

Schneider said support from Wranglers proves instrumental in making fundraising events happen.

“For an old fart like me, to see young people get involved, be involved and care, that is so encouraging to me,” Schneider said.

Griffee said Wranglers look forward to the Citywide Holdup all year, already thinking about how to make next year’s event bigger and spread Easterseals’ mission even further.

“We’re getting hype,” Griffee said. “We’re being loud. We’re sharing Easterseals’ message, and it’s amazing.”

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