(Geronimo) -- The Navarro ISD this Friday will finish up what it started with the community of Refugio, one of its coastal friends, who also happens to be this week's football matchup.
Shortly after Hurricane Harvey rolled into South Texas in late August, a couple of Panther Posse members successfully collected $5,000 plus generators from the local community and took the Navarro gifts over to their counterparts in South Texas. Many thought that might be the end of the interaction between the two communities, but that has not been the case.
Navarro ISD Superintendent Dee Carter says that original illustration of support will continue this week, as Navarro High School prepares to host Refugio during Friday night's football game in Geronimo. Leading that charge will be Navarro Panther supporter Randal Springs, who is known for feeding large numbers of people with his delicious barbecue. Carter says it was initially Springs' idea to feed both the football team and the band immediately after the game. She says their efforts just seemed to grow bigger and bigger from there.
"Then, people just started popping up wanting to do all manner of things and it's just been amazing. Since they're coming here, we just wanted to really let them know this Friday night that we're still thinking about them and we care a whole lot about their well being and we want to try to be good partners and good friends and helping them recover. So, Randal and Rissa Springs are making dinner and we've just had tremendous donations for that. Rudy and Diana Orona are providing the sandwiches for Thursday evening and HEB has provided all the beef and sandwiches on Friday evening. Debbie Wolter who is the manager of our high school cafeteria is personally donating milk and buns and the Sartain family is donating chips. Friedens Church -- the choir group is baking about 300 cookies. Sandra Hensley and some students are packing bags of pickles and onions and that kind of thing. The Springs family is providing water and Gatorade. We're just going to try to make them feel very welcome," said Carter.
Carter says even if just for two nights, the Navarro ISD wants to be a great host to a community and school district that have lost so much.
"A lot of people have been making a variety of donations. Some of them are monetary, coming from the Sunrise Rotary and from the Geronimo Lions Club and lots of individuals. Then a lot of our kids, our junior varsity cheerleaders are going to pass buckets on the home side stands during the first quarter if there are other people that want to make a monetary donation. We will give that to Melissa Gonzales who is the Refugio Superintendent at half time along with the other donations that have come in. We want to make that available to her to dispense to Refugio staff members and students as they have need and I'm sure she will not have difficulty taking care of that mission," said Carter.
Carter says she is especially pleased with the students who have all done their part to help.
"Our student council, students, our Interact students, our FFA kids, we've just had lots and lots of people involved in this effort. We feel good about trying to be a little part of helping Refugio recover," said Carter.
Carter says both schools expect this Friday's matchup to be one of the most memorable ones yet.
"We're expecting a lot of people from Refugio. It's probably going to be more people than we're accustomed to having because they have a terrific football team, they have a great following and always have had and of course in this particular situation for the community, I think it has really come together even more than it was before. We're probably going to have a whole lot more people than we have seats. So that's a challenge for us but we will make them as comfortable as we can," said Carter.
Donations for the Refugio ISD will continue to be collected at the Navarro ISD Central Office or high school campus. Monetary donations will be accepted through 4:30 p.m. Friday. The football game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. this Friday in the Erwin Lee Field.