Roughly 2,000 people came together this weekend in East Austin as part of an effort that raised money for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Texas Cowboys, a UT men’s service organization, held their annual concert fundraiser Harvest Moon Friday night. They hold the event each fall to raise money for The Arc of the Capital Area, an organization that provides services for individuals with developmental disabilities. This year the event featured country acts Casey Donahew Band and Roger Creager and was held at Fiesta Gardens in Downtown Austin. Members raised $8,000 through sponsorships and ticket sales, surpassing their fundraising goal of $5,000.
American studies junior Nate Sokolski, one of the event’s organizers, said Harvest Moon is the biggest event Texas Cowboys holds and is just one way they give to The Arc of the Capital Area. He said other efforts include members volunteering with children on a weekly basis at their school.
“It really is everything from hanging out with them in recess or physical education to helping them read and sitting in class with them,” Sokolski said.
“It’s just kind of being present, having a good time and trying to get to know them.”
Jed Cole, finance and business honors program senior and Texas Cowboys foreman, said The Arc of the Capital Area is the organization’s main philanthropy because of its special cause.
“It’s near and dear to our hearts to support kids with developmental disabilities,” Cole said.
Finance senior Zach Savrick, event co-organizer and Texas Cowboys Strawboss, said the organization does a wide array of other volunteer work as well, including service at local food banks and assistance with nonprofit auctions.
“Cowboys is a service-based organization, and most people see us on the field with a cannon and think that’s all we do, but really, that’s secondary to the service that we do,” Savrick said.
The Texas Cowboys are responsible for keeping and maintaining “Smokey” the Cannon, which is fired off during all UT home football games.
Cole said the 95-member organization has done 1,500 hours of volunteer work this semester alone.
Sokolski said, overall, Texas Cowboys just tries to help out wherever they can and set a good example at the University.
“We like to represent ourselves as a good foot forward for the University,” Sokolski said. “Anytime they need any kind of philanthropic help or anytime they want someone just to be present for the University, we try to be there.”