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Stroud's heart remains in Houston during Dell Technologies Championship

Chris Stroud
(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

August 31, 2017

By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

A week ago today, Hurricane Harvey barreled into Southeast Texas as a massive Category-4 storm. No-one, however, could’ve imagined what it would leave in its wake.

By Wednesday, more than 25 trillion gallons of water produced by the storm had inundated the area. For reference, that’s the equivalent of what rolls over the edge of Niagara Falls -  in nine days.

As a result, the numbers are staggering and everyone is aware of the catastrophic damage done. By all accounts, it will take many, many years before the full scope of Hurricane Harvey becomes clear. Many others believe it will never become clear.

With upwards of one million homes impacted in some way by Hurricane Harvey, nearly 40 percent of the 4.5 million living in Harris County return to see homes which were flooded beyond repair.

Those will be the lucky ones. Dozens of residents will not return to see their homes. Casualties of the storm, they will not return at all.

Presently, Federal response to the disaster is upwards of $150 billion.

The list goes on and on and on.

Hurricane Harvey is now gone, but the horror lives on. To many in the area, there are now the desperate questions of “Where will we go, What will we do and how will we overcome and survive.”

The sound of that beat, deep in the heart of Texas, has seemingly fallen silent.

But, in keeping with the spirit of the country, everyone has rallied in a show of support. The truest character shines brightest in the face of adversity. Not only are Americans across this land stepping up with lending hands, but so, too, are people and organizations from all corners of the globe.

On Wednesday of this week’s Dell Technologies Championship outside Boston, Houston resident Chris Stroud announced intentions of his own and those of the PGA TOUR to aid in the recovery efforts.

Stroud, who recently broke through in the winner’s circle for the first time at the Barracuda Championship, is poised to donate $10,000 of his own money and ten percent of his earnings this week to the American Red Cross. 

“I think it was Sunday night where it really got scary,” said Stroud, who was still in New York after competing in last week’s THE NORTHERN TRUST. “I mean, there was lightning, flood, tornado threats. There was a tornado that hit in my neighborhood of north Houston. It was just scary. The power was going in and out, and the landline's down.”

Though he missed the cut and could have gone home Friday, the decision by family and friends was for him to stay put. He was kept abreast as events unfolded. Fortunately, because of the higher elevation at which the Stroud’s live, they really experienced no damage. The threat, however, kept he and his family far from comfortable.

“It was scary for me to just sit here,” Stroud said. “My heart is somewhere else and I'm supposed to be getting prepared for golf. It's just, you know, it makes you realize what's most important in your life is your family and friends.”

PGA TOUR players, fans and tournaments can also assist the American Red Cross through PGA TOUR Charities’ Together, anything’s possible platform. Additionally, fans at this week’s Dell Technologies Championship will have avenues on site by which they can donate.

“Our title sponsor, Dell Technologies, is headquartered in central Texas, so this is hitting home for them, particularly,” said Dell Technologies Championship Tournament Director Rich Brady. “They have contributed already to the American Red Cross and to Team Rubicon. On site, what we'll look to do is set up some giving kiosks in our Dell Technology Fan Experience area on 17th fairway, so all fans can contribute electronically. We have also set up a text campaign for fans to text to Harvey to 90999. There will be a $10 donation.”

Fans wishing to assist can also make donations through PGA TOUR Charities’ “Together, anything’s possible” website by clicking on the red GIVE button. All donations via the site will be distributed to American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief.

In addition to the efforts of its players and tournaments, the PGA TOUR also announced a pledge of its own.

“Our thoughts are with all of those impacted by this terrible storm and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, who pledged $250,000 on behalf of the TOUR to the American Red Cross. “We hope our collective efforts help bring comfort and aid to the victims and that it will spur our players, tournaments and fans to join the cause and help out.”

“This was such a devastating event, so we – along with the PGA TOUR, are going to do everything we can to support it,” said Jim Herman, winner of the 2016 Houston Open. “The city of Houston has been such an integral part of the PGA TOUR over years, but as we would anywhere, our hearts and help go out to those in need.”

“It has been a tough week, but in some ways a very rewarding week,” said Stroud. He is one of the more than 30 players on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and Web.com Tour who live in the Houston community. The area is also home to the PGA TOUR’s Houston Open and the Insperity Invitational on PGA TOUR Champions. “To see all the people and organizations around the country eager to pitch in and help is inspiring. I hope the efforts of the PGA TOUR and my fellow players will spur more people to join in and help make a difference to those who are in need.”

To raise awareness, the Dell Technologies Championship is distributing pins of red, white and blue this week, representative of the State colors of Texas and of our country.

As the water subsides and residents of the impacted communities slowly return to take a look around, the effect of the country’s wettest storm on record in history will present to them images not likely to ever leave their minds. But, with the unbreakable spirit of Texans, coupled with the tireless efforts from those in the country and around the world, they will also return to a familiar sound. Faint for now as it may come, it will be that beat again, deep in the heart of Texas.

READ MORE ABOUT: Chris Stroud , Disaster Relief
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