Shoreview, MN – On Friday, July 13th, Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls gave a private benefit performance for a Concert on the Lake. Surprisingly, the proceeds of this concert and silent auction will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of Jefferson County (HFHOJC) in Southeast Texas to build capacity that will enable Habitat to repair more Hurricane Harvey storm damaged homes in the Golden Triangle.
You might wonder why someone in Minnesota is raising money for Southeast Texas? It’s an interesting story. Dan Thibault, and his son Bobby, watched storm coverage from their home and decided they wanted to do something. Dan threw their waders in the back of his truck, hitched up his boat, picked up Bobby and started the long drive down to Southeast Texas. When they arrived in Port Arthur, they invested days helping evacuate residents from flooded homes. They slept rough in their truck and spent time getting desperate nursing home residents to safety. After nearly a week helping others, they climbed back into their truck and drove back home to Minnesota.
Southeast Texas was very fortunate to receive heroic help during, and after, Hurricane Harvey hit. When and Dan and Bobby began their drive south they didn’t know they would soon be joining The Cajun Navy. When they arrived on the heels of the rain and began pulling flood victims from their inundated homes, Dan and Bobby became true Harvey Heroes.
Nearly a year later, Dan clearly remembered the devastation that he witnessed. He understood that rebuilding Jefferson County was going to be a long-term project. He contacted the executive director of HFHOJC, Miriam Morgan, and began discussing his plans to provide donated funds to help even more. Each year, Dan hosts a garden party concert on his lakefront property. Over the years, he has collected more than $250,000.00 for charities in Minnesota. This year, he intended to find a way to support the rebuilding of the flood devastation he saw firsthand. He did his research on nonprofits and decided that Habitat for Humanity of Jefferson County was the nonprofit organization who could most benefit from his fundraising.
Before the Concert on the Lake started, Dan asked Sandee Wagner, the affiliate manager of HFHOJC, to address the hundreds of neighbors, business acquaintances, church friends, and professional colleagues that gathered in his backyard. Sandee shared the challenges of a small Habitat affiliate in gearing up to support such a widespread need and expressed gratitude for their willingness to provide donations. Dan explained that what HFHOJC needed is donations that can be used to increase capacity. To complete more projects, additional personnel, equipment and tools are needed. Dan encouraged the crowd to donate unencumbered funds so that the affiliate could pay additional staff, buy vehicles, tools and trailers.
Habitat received $105,000.00 from Concert on the Lake! HFHOJC is so grateful to Dan, his wife Gretchen, Bobby and all the donors in Minnesota who turned out for Concert on the Lake.