A local community service organization turned their regular Thursday night music jam program into a hurricane relief drive.

The Howell Elks club partnered with Disaster Relief at Work, or DRAW, to raise money and bring in donations for hurricane relief in Florida. Lori O’Doherty is both a bartender at the club and a member of DRAW and organized the event. She recently returned from helping with Hurricane Harvey relief in Texas and is heading down to Jacksonville, Florida on Monday to aid in Irma relief. O’Doherty said the outpouring of help from the community has been amazing and shared one story that touched her heart. She said a couple days prior a young man who carried a bag of cans and looked like he didn’t have much walked in and said he wanted to give. She said he dropped down $3 and some change and, giving what he had, and his generosity was amazing, taking her aback.

O’Doherty was joined by other DRAW relief volunteers from around the state including some from Fowlerville, Rochester, and Detroit. She said while in Texas she ran into a team from Fowlerville that was there, unbeknownst to her. One of those volunteers was Shelby Gregg, who came to the event. Gregg said it was really cool to find out that all the way down in Texas they were only a couple minutes away from other people in the area. The group collected cleaning supplies, pet food, pillows, and more that will be put on semi to meet O’Doherty in Florida next week for distribution.

More than $3,500 in valued prizes by local businesses and individuals were donated for a silent auction. O’Doherty said there is still time to donate and that anyone wishing to should visit DRAW’s website, a link for which is below.(MK)