River Bandits assist Astros after Hurricane Harvey devastation in Houston

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DAVENPORT -- As Houston-area native Jacqueline Holm sits in the sunny dugout at Modern Woodmen Park, it's a stark contrast to the devastation facing her hometown.

"It's just been very eerie," said the River Bandits assistant general manager, on Friday, September 1.  "A sense of calm up here and a lot of guilt."

Hurricane Harvey displaced members of her family and forced her parent team, Houston Astros, out of its stadium and on the road.

"Let's not even pause," she continued.  "Let's jump right into it, and see how much we can help, not if we're going to help.  That's what was special for me."

The River Bandits did jump right in to help.  The Astros' Midwest League affiliate is temporarily taking over payroll duties for its players.

"Everybody's on board, and we're all hands on deck," said River Bandits General Manager Andrew Chesser.  "We're helping out however we can."

It's the kind of help that comes with experience.  The River Bandits remember when flooding would fill the ballpark, forcing the team on the road.

"Before I got here, they used sandbags," Chesser recalled.  "Before that, there wasn't sandbags.  The ballpark would just flood, and they would relocate the games."

The River Bandits will also hold special fundraising activities for hurricane relief during its home games over Labor Day weekend.

That adds special compassion and understanding for Houston's situation.  It's understandably emotional for Jacqueline Holm.

"It's an extra special feeling that my new home team club in Davenport wants to support the Astros back home and all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey," she said.

For the River Bandits, a generous gesture that reaches out of the ballpark.

"We care," Chesser concluded.  "We're all in this together."


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