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Katy Harvey Heroes List: Forever in our History and Hearts

KATY MAGAZINE I October, 2017

Katy Magazine Editors

People, organizations, schools, churches, and businesses that made a major impact in the aftermath of Harvey.

Celebrating some of the many heroes that exhibited extreme kindness and generosity to neighbors, strangers, and friends before during and after Harvey hit Katy.




Angela Adams Volunteered daily in helping people demo homes, quietly and humbly helping strangers with no thought for recognition or praise. Did countless loads of laundry, cleaned out areas others stayed away from, and bought supplies for many.

Cortney & Jacob Arenstein

Helped numerous homeowners muck out their homes and helped educate them about mold growth.

Erin Ballard

After being flooded out of her own home, she is planning to host displaced Ballard House residents (also flooded out of the Ballard House) in her temporary home.

Brook and Amy Barrineau

Rescued people from their houses and donated boxes etc to the relief efforts.

Gary Bartels

Went out and rescued families from their flooded homes. Worked through flooded homes and doing demo for the Veterans who have been devastated by the storm and flooding.

Joey Beckham McMeans Junior High teacher who volunteered at Cinco Ranch High School, and then coordinated, organized, and led dozens of boat rescues and evacuations in Katy.

Titus Benton Brought a shower truck to serve areas in need, placed visiting workers in host homes, arranged muck out crews, raised money for repairs, and delivered donations to Hope Impacts.

Adrian & Laura Berg Katy couple who helped rescue families in their boat.

Dallas Bergstrom Engineering teacher at Miller Career Center and former McMeans Junior High teacher who waded through receding floodwaters and showed up in hundreds of homes with work boots, gloves, a wet vac, and a smile and helped friends who he had just met by ripping out carpet, cutting out sheetrock and removing debris. Dallas worked hours on end and would then go to the next home to help others in need of demo.

Travis & Diana Blair Set up their home as a shelter, shower, rest stop for rescue, and provided hot food for rescue crews passing through.

Becky and Nathan Boudreaux

Led neighbors and friends to rescue spots in Canyon Gate and gave up their families' seats on the boats to let others go first. See the story here.

Mary Bordeaux

Constantly communicating and coordinating needs of temporary shelters, charities, and those who needed help in their own homes.Sergeant Brian Brawner He and other deputies used limited resources to save hundreds of families in Harris County at night and in the worst conditions.

Mayor Chuck Brawner and Marcy Brawner Exhibited tremendous leadership and compassion and rolled up their sleeves in helping Katy families rebuild.

Amy Campbell & Team

Worked in homes in many neighborhoods tearing out wall board, cleaning out and doing the heavy lifting and debris removal to help flooded families.

Michael Campbell

Spent about a WEEK rescuing and helping people from Kelliwood Park, Kelliwood Greens and Willowfork with his truck and boat.

Casey Castro Used his personal vehicle to assist with high water rescue, and totaled it in the process, but continued to go above and beyond getting families to safety in Katy.

Reagan Celaya

Launched a homecoming donation drive for other girls at her school who lost their gowns in the flood or needed gowns.

Brittany Cooper Used social media outreach to help displaced families get settled in temporary housing while her damaged RV sat unattended so that she could help others.

Steve Cowan He and a brave crew of friends worked tirelessly to provide thousands of meals to flood victims and first responders.

Tina Crenshaw Helping others despite the damage done to her own home.

Carra Daniels Beck Junior High principal who visited the homes of her Bulldog students and maintained a positive, happy attitude helping families while waiting for the school to reopen.

Andrew Day Took his truck into flooded areas to rescue families in need and take them to nearvy shelters.

Ginger Dewberry Katy Area Search and Rescue dispatcher who worked night and day to get rescue crews to people who needed to be evacuated.

Rae Dolan and Sean Dolan

Worked countless hours, rescued so many people, donated time, money, resources; and inspired many to do the same.

Tim Donovan

Came from San Antonio with truck and boat to help rescue people. His co-volunteer's bulldog was swept away in the flood and he jumped in to rescue him and almost lost his life. Read the story here.

Alan Ducante

Helped rescue families in the Kelliwood Park neighborhood with a flat bottom boat, two kayaks, and several friends.

Tyler Duffy

Helped rescue families in the Kelliwood Park neighborhood with a flat bottom boat, two kayaks, and several friends.

Wendy Duncan President of the Willowfork Drainage District, kept people educated and informed of water safety statistics throughout the flood, as well as participated in multiple relief and recovery efforts in Katy.

Ginny Erickson Ebben Known as "The Underpants Fairy" who coordinated massive amounts of giveaways of clean underwear to families in need in Katy.

Matt Flood

Took his boat into Canyon Gate to rescue people for three days after the storm.

Mike Fuori

Did boat rescues on foot through the water to help his neighbors in Grand Lakes.

Keith Garvin Katy dad and news reporter who was hands on in the relief and recovery efforts and muck out missions in Katy.

Annie Gerhardt

Donated financially and delivered cleaning supplies and meals.

Tiffany T Guarisco

Spent countless hours cooking, volunteering and donating.

Jason Gustanson

Contractor at Beck JH who put a 'lip' on the entrance which was what ultimately save the school from flooding. See the story here:

Shoutout Lizzie H.

Seven Lakes High School photojournalism student who braved flood waters to capture amazing photography for Katy historical records.

Lia Martinez Hales

Rounded up, coordinated, and distributed funds, and donations where needed.

Michael Hall Helped rescue families in his pick up truck with the help of friends, and later helped with boat rescues in the area.

Debbie Haring Coordinating volunteer efforts and connecting people to valuable resources in Katy.

Chris & Danielle Harris Chris helped with clean up and muck out at businesses and homes in historic Katy, while Danielle delivered meals and helped wherever she could.

Michael Head Katy Area Search and Rescue

Ryan Herzog Boots on the ground for Katy area rescues.

Ben and Michelle Hilton

Boated many neighbors out of Katy Creek Ranch and helped volunteered extensively after the flood too. See the story here.

Lance Hindt Katy ISD Superintendent who stayed calm, cool, and collected while keeping families informed, visited campuses, and coordinated the use of Katy ISD campuses and resources to best help thousands of affected and displaced families.

Tina Yeakey Hatcher

As Executive Director of Hope Impacts Tina partnered with Kingsland Baptist Church and opened their offices as a safe place for the homeless community to shelter from the storm. Tina and additional support spent many days & nights away from their own families to shelter and provide for the homeless during Harvey.

Heinold Family Took in a family they didn't know who had been rescued by boat and shared their home with them. Jerry Heinold, a local youth minister, pulled teams of parents and teens and went out mucking homes, tearing out walls, cabinets, and helping wherever needed.

Allis & Andy Hovis Opened their home every night for weeks to neighbors and those who needed a hot meals. Made sack lunches for workers and homeowners, despite the fact that their home

took on water.

Curtis Hubbard & Paul Lawniczak Curtis and his cousin Paul from Chicago cooked meals and helped wherever needed.

James & Heather Journeycake James helped rescue close to 100 families by rescuing them by boat, while Heather rallied over $12,000 in donations for flood victims, donated to Creech and Wolfe Elementary, and is working on a bike drive for Bear Creek Elementary students.

Shoutout: Clifton & Lindsay "Zae" Kulhanek Katy, Texas resident and retired US Army who coordinated (with National Guard platoon and other volunteers) the rescue of over 600 families in and around Katy and as far as Wharton, working over 12 hours a day. Lindsay worked 15 - 18 hours a day for 12 days as a a volunteer dispatcher for Katy Area Search and Rescue, and it was estimated that her efforts, along with others, helped over 50,000 people, while caring for their four children.

"People are good in their core. That was obvious in the way our neighbors and communities all came together. [Hurricane Harvey] showed why Katy is the best place in the world to live. We are all in it together." - Clifton Kulhanek

Jeff & Jennifer Knight Helped rescue almost 100 families by boat, and Jennifer collected donations for Creech Elementary, and took in families that were displaced.

Tim Lancaster Assisted Westlake Fire Department in 16 rescue missions in Historic Katy and Barker Reservoir area, and mucked out homes in Canyon Gate and Cinco Ranch.

Sue LaPrade

Sue created the Laprade Brigade organizing groups of people to help with various projects throughout the community.

Jesse Lashbrook Brought his 14-foot John boat into several neighborhoods in the area over three days and pulled people to safety and directed larger boats to help people he knew needed assistance.

Angie Lieb Lawrence

Collected thousands of dollars via PayPal to donate to local organizations, filled 150 back packs for children in need, provided food for National Guard and first responders, bug spray and supply delivery, and helping individual families with groceries, doing their laundry, and small daily kindnesses.

Megan Turner Laycock Raised money and backpacks and supplies for the kids and supplies for teachers at Creech Elementary.

Anne Bowman Lee Started a clothing donation drive for affected Katy ISD teachers.

Jim Lombardi

Spent days rescuing families from flooded homes and provided countless hours of transportation. Ordinary guy doing extraordinary things.

Kevin Luce Using his personal vehicle to help rescue friends and neighbors.

Audrey & Matt Markiton Coordinated rescue efforts in Barker Reservoir, drove people in their personal vehicle, to shelters or safety.

JD & Amber Marsh

Fed about 10,000 first responders and raised almost $40,000 in the 2 weeks following Harvey.

Diana Martinez Was in charge of organizing a remote Facebook volunteer rescue group from people all over the USA that had over 4000 confirmed rescues and lives saved in Houston and other cities nearby.

Tony Masraff Along with a group of volunteers, cooked and delivered over 1000 meals to the evacuees and National Guard at Galleria Furniture, first responders, neighbors and Police.Masraff's restaurant donated their BEST to those who gave their all: Australian lamb, beef tenderloin, marinated chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, asparagus and crime brûlée for dessert! Tony then flew to Orlando, the day after power was restored after Hurricane Irma, to serve terminally ill children and their families at the Give Kids the World Village.

Katherine McCarty

Helped muck friends homes, babysit kids and prepare meals for displaced families.

Kerri McCurdy Set up Katy Moms to the Rescue and arranged for donations for over 500 immediate time after Harvey. (PHOTO ABOVE)

Trudy McDade

Rallied troops daily to muck "strangers" homes and source supplies and transportation

Mike Pace and Deedra McFadden

Housed stranded strangers and cooked and coordinated high volumes of food and delivered to first responders, evacuees and first responders. See the story here.

Shoutout: TJ and Kristel Meadows Organized a food and clothing donation drive that fed thousands of first responders, military, and evacuees from Hurricane Harvey, set up at Katy Elks Lodge, and even gained national attention for transporting 1000 hot meals to those in need in Wharton, Texas.

Nancy Medina

Coordinated numerous meals, donations and spearheading volunteer mucking help for many in need.

Katherine Mills Second grade teacher at Woodcreek Elementary who saw children in pictures on Facebook on Friday and Saturday looking scared and worried while waiting out tornado warnings. She created the Hurricane Harvey Book Club Sunday morning, August 27, in response and invited 75 of her friends to participate, with a purpose of sharing read-alouds and keeping students calm and entertained while waiting out the weather. From there, the Hurricane Harvey Book Club grew to over 75,000 members and launched a worldwide technology and literacy movement while providing comfort and excitement to children during the storm and its aftermath.

Raya Moore Collects donations of school supplies and volunteers every night after putting her three children to bed. Also matches up volunteers with families and their needs.

Amanda Morrison Director of Primrose School of West Cinco Ranch who aided in boat rescues in the Kelliwood area and coordinated numerous donation drives and gathered supplies for people in the community, first responders, and for those affected in Rockport.

Calum Neff Multiple rescue missions, dealing and organizing civilian rescue requests into mission priorities so that everyone could get help in a timely manner.

Shoutout: Sheriff Troy Nehls Fort Bend County Sheriff who has assisted with over 5,000 rescues to date.

Nora Nora

She and her family bravely rescued families from flooded areas.

Josh Nowak and Nathan Shipley

Provided rescues by boat and truck and tore out sheet rock and carpet for strangers for days.

Quinton and Quince Och

Canoeing people out of the floods, mucking homes, helping evacuees more their items, delivering cleaning items, providing ground transportation to evacuees, and more.

Ralph Oliver

Making sure the National Guard and other agencies got what they needed and for helping on rescues.

Oscar Owen Raised $2,170 by designing a tee-shirt and donating all of the funds to the Katy Rotary Club to give to Harvey victims in Katy.

Clara Parker Home demo for numerous friends and strangers.

Michael Pappas

This hero went out and bought a boat! He was out everyday helping to rescue Harvey victims that were still in their flooded homes.

Manny Pedregon Katy Area Search and Rescue administrator who coordinated teams of rescuers to go to affected areas and pick up families who were in danger.

Kim Pine Donated clothing and supplies, volunteered to help sort donations and mucked out homes, and helped wherever needed.

Shoutout: Trevor & Ashley Railey Trevor had access to a M988 HUMVEE and was able to use it to get into flooded areas that a boat could not reach to save families in need. He spent a week with the National Guard, and even helped rescue a 200 lbs. Great Dane from the Ballard House in Cinco Ranch. Ashley Railey held down the fort with their two young boys at home. and organized a massive neighborhood barbecue to entertain the National Guard stationed at Katy High School. Over 50 NG members attended, and were able to relax and recharge from the stress of so many rescue missions, and were incredibly grateful for the hospitality shown.

Adam Ring

Helped rescue families in the Kelliwood Park neighborhood with a flat bottom boat, two kayaks, and several friends.

Rory Robertson Set up and organized a distribution center at his wife's school for supplies and delivered meals to people in need.

Brett and Suzanne Rothwell

They mucked out homes , organized people for laundry and they were available for childcare

Ryan Rush & Omar Garcia Provided shelter for homeless people at Hope Impacts and made sure they were fed and taken care of during the hurricane. Hosted the Texas Baptist Men disaster relief, and also launched the Katy Disaster Response website, among many other things.

Tres Sanders, Carrington Boone, Trey Barker, and Caleb Sowell Young men who pulled out their boat to help rescue people in downtown Katy and Cinco Ranch well in to the night for several days.

David Scherff

Owner of Frank the bulldog who came from San Antonio with his boat to help rescue people and his dog was swept away in the water. Read the story here.

Kari Redmon Schneider Civilian liaison to the National Guard stationed at Katy High School who helped provide clothing, food, and other needed items and coordinate volunteer efforts.

Brittany Seabury Worked around the clock in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey via the Zello app to dispatch citizen first responders to get people out of flooded homes. She then fed hundreds, helped with Austin Pets Alive at Katy Mills Mall, and mucked out houses.

Rekhail Sharp Rescued Katy families in distress.

Nathan Shipley & Josh Nowak Put on waders and recued people in boats and trucks, as well as tore out sheet rock and carpet for strangers for several days in the aftermath of the flooding.

Joy Howerton Siebenman Partnered with the LaPrade brigade to demo and muck out homes for friends and strangers.

Jennifer Skelton Organized a homecoming gown donation drive for teens affected by the storm.

Waylon & Kandis Skrobarczyk Waylon assisted with rescues in Houston, and Kandis volunteered for days vaccinating rescued animals at Katy Mills Mall.

Brandon Sparks Shuttled rescued families to shelters after being rescued.

Svitenko Family Demoed homes of strangers, worked in shelters, helped friends with repairs, and aided strangers in any way possible.

Blaine Tamplain Used his personal kayak to rescue people from his flooded neighborhood.

Jay Thapar Helped rescue families in the Kelliwood Park neighborhood with a flat bottom boat, two kayaks, and several friends.

Shannon Townsend Rescued many families in his boat over several days.

Marc Trevino Gutted houses, collected and delivered donations, and assisted anywhere there was a need.

Freddy Vaca Bought a boat and drove in from Dallas with a crew of friends to rescue individuals in the Katy area. He also provided four 18-wheelers from Dallas full of donations with the help of colleagues from the Pinnacle Group to be dropped off at donation centers around Greater Houston.

Nadia Vaid Kindergarten teacher at WoodCreek Elementary who organized and coordinated donations from campuses across Katy ISD in order to provide every teacher at Creech Elementary a substantial classroom library to reopen with on the first day. Nadia worked tirelessly to obtain books, classroom supplies and storage for the Creech teachers. She ensured that every student had books to read once they went to the new Creech Elementary campus. Nadia also coordinated the volunteer efforts of teachers at multiple campuses on Katy ISD's Day of Service to sort books by grade level, evenly distribute them among classrooms and deliver them to Creech Elementary as they opened their building at UH Cinco Ranch.

Andrew Vana Katy search and rescue who swam through flood waters to save families.

Shoutout: Hendrik Volschenk Texas Game Warden and former Game Ranger in South Africa with an Anti-Poaching Unit who is a member of the Swift Water Rescue Team. For five days, Volschenk worked 15 - 18 hour days sleeping on a cot at Fort Bend County Fairgrounds while working with entire fleets of wardens from Texas, Louisiana and Florida on rescue missions in his swift boat. He did not see his wife or children for three days.

Marcus Vondenstein Marcus and the Spartan Football family and their fathers cooked for people & delivered meals to people.

Monty Waits and James Flynt

Spent hours on end on emergency boats rescuing and working with the National Guard.

Catherine Walker

Set up a Popsicles in the Park event and raised $1400 for Creech Elementary. See the story here.

Susan Whitacre Along with a group of other volunteers, cooked and delivered over 1000 meals to the evacuees and National Guard at Gallery Furniture, first responders, neighbors, and police. Susan and Tony Masraff then flew to Orlando, the day after power was restored after Hurricane Irma, to serve terminally ill children and their families at the Give Kids the World Village. The children came from all over the world to enjoy the granting of their wish (many through Make a Wish) to spend a week at Disney World!

Robert Willeby Assisted with repairs and clean up to businesses in historic Katy.

Jeni Williams Worked every day from the beginning to the end. She didn't just rally troops and clean out

these homes she made sure everything was done right so the homeowner could get the most money from insurance.

Todd Wray & Richard Visscher Both residences of Kelliwood Lakes. During the storm, Todd posted a meter stick near the lake and would post the water levels on the Kelliwood neighborhood website so that people in the area were made aware of the rising water levels. In that way it gave families an opportunity to decide if they needed to evacuate. In addition, both men bought a raft with a motor in order to rescue and transport the neighbors in and out of the subdivision as needed and worked tirelessly to help clean up the neighborhood once the water began receding.

Mark Wrzyszczynski

He assisted a member of the National Guard to organize and evacuate families that had gathered at Creech Elementary from the surrounding neighborhoods.


We also want to acknowledge our amazing first heroes on the scene: Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office, Harris County Sheriff's Office, Katy Police Department, West I-10 Volunteer Fire Department, Katy Fire Department, Willowfork Fire Department, Westlake Fire Department, Harris County Fire Department ESD 48, the United States National Guard, Cajun Navy, Texas Game Wardens, Louisiana Game Wardens, Florida Game Wardens, Sealy Police Department, Precint 5 Constables (Harris County), Precint 3 Constables (Fort Bend County), Midland Texas Police, Webb County Sheriff, Dallas County Sheriff, Office of Emergency Management Offices, and all other first responders and communications officials.


Did we miss something or someone important? Email us!

We will be updating this list through the weeks and months of the aftermath.


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