September 1, 2017
Dear SystemsGo Teachers, and Friends of SystemsGo,
Last year SystemsGo relocated our Southeast Texas launch venue to Smith Point, Texas, in Chambers County on the southeast side of Houston. It was wonderful! For those of you unfamiliar with our Lake Jackson site, conditions were much less favorable and much more restricted. All 3 preparatory stages were conducted in 1 tent (collocated with Mission Control) that had to be completely evacuated with each launch; family, friends and general spectators were not allowed due to parking and ground space limitations; and many of the rockets were recovered in swamp-like areas with numerous hazards for our recovery, particularly if there was any amount of rainfall in the few days prior to the event!
In sharp contrast, at Smith Point, we conducted Stages 1 & 2 at the Smith Point VFD and students worked uninterrupted by launches. At the launch site, we had ample space and dry ground for spectators, food vendors, additional launch rails and recovery teams. It was, and will continue to be a remarkable improvement! This was all made possible because of the efforts, hospitality and generosity of our SystemsGo teacher at Anahuac High School, the community members of Anahuac and Smith Point, and many Chambers County public officials.
The Hurricane Harvey needs are so great that we cannot help everybody, but we at SystemsGo feel a particularly strong burden to help the people we know, and those who helped us in Chambers County. This rural community that did so much to help our students and our program last spring has been greatly affected by Hurricane Harvey. We are now asking that you all open your hearts and return the generosity they showed us.
Although things are improving, physically going there with supplies at the current time is simply not feasible. According to county officials, they are cut off on the east and west with high water and I-10 is closed on the north side between mile marker 813-829. The Chambers County Longterm Recovery Organization was established when Hurricane Ike hit the coast. Funds collected through this organization will go directly to Chambers County residents for disaster recovery. We have included the link below in hopes that you all will take some time to investigate the organization and the need in this community. Keeping in mind how this community came together for our benefit, please make a donation on behalf of SystemsGo. The link is on the SystemsGo website (http://www.systemsgo.org/) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SystemsGoEducation/) as well. We have had validation by Kirk Moore, our Anahuac High School teacher, and Chambers County officials that this site is a legitimate place for donations.
Gene Garrett, President
Scott F. Netherland, Executive Director
Rebekah Hyatt, Program Director
Christy Glass, Executive Secretary
Chambers County Longterm Recovery Organization
Chambers County Emergency Management Facebook Page: