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Local resident grateful for benefit concert

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As community members gathered to show their support for flood victims June 7 at The Marc, the outpouring of support overwhelmed one local resident.

Susan Castellow, Wimberley flood victim, said she struggled to hold back tears of gratitude as she thanked event coordinators for putting together Band Together TX, a fundraising concert.

Castellow said she was one of the many who lost everything May 24 when flah floods hit Hays County

“Our house was off of River Road and was fully submerged, so we lost everything,” Castellow said. “Our house, car and belongings were gone overnight, along with so many others’.”

Castellow said she was able to grab two small boxes as she was evacuating the house.

“We were only able to save, clean and restore two small cardboard boxes worth of items,” Castellow said. “We just grabbed what we could through the windows before evacuating.”

One of the items in the recovered box was a small patch from Blue October.

Castellow has had the patch for over 10 years and carries it with her at all times.

“The words ‘Hate Me’ written on it is a Blue October trademark and reference,” Castellow said. “They are probably my favorite band because their music means so much to me.”

Castellow said she was overwhelmed with emotion when she learned her favorite band was assisting in the organization of a fundraising concert for local flood victims.

“I follow Blue October, and saw them talking about this event online,” Castellow said. “I was so moved by them wanting to help.”

Castellow said she hoped the concert would help her start the healing process.

“I’m excited to be here to enjoy their music and, hopefully, let it heal part of me like it always has,” Castellow said. “I’m a firm believer in the healing power of music, especially from Blue October.”

She said the band’s decision to help the community strengthened the appreciation she has for each member.

“Not only now am I able to attend the event to see my favorite band, but I’m also able to find those who are involved and thank them endlessly,” Castellow said.

Omar Dawoud, owner of The Marc and applied sociology senior, said he was one of the many people Castellow thanked. Dawoud said her story and gratefulness made him honored to have helped organize the concert.

“When she came up to me, very obviously emotional by the event, it made everything that much more real,” Dawoud said. “I feel very fortunate to have been able to help in some way.”

Jeremy Furstenfeld, Blue October drummer, said he was moved by Castellow’s story and pleased to help in her journey to recovery.

“Hearing of her story is mind-blowing,” Furstenfeld said. “People like her are the reason we do what we do, and I’m happy to be able to be a band she loves and a band able to fundraise for her and everyone like her.”