David and Rachael Rowley, owners of Pecan Park Riverside RV Park in San Marcos, Texas, said they have special empathy for campground owners who are victims of floods and other disasters, having gone through three floods in the past five years.
An October 2013 flood put two feet of water inside the Rowley’s four-bedroom home, which was located inside their campground. Another flood in May 2015 completely destroyed their home, washed out their cabins, restroom facility, laundry building and ruined their RV site utility connections. And after five months of rebuilding, they got hit with a third flood in October of 2015, which set them back once more.
But even though the Rowleys have had repeated expenses rebuilding their park and relocating to another home, combined with unexpected medical bills, they still managed to do something to help other park operators in need.
Last fall, the Rowleys announced plans to donate 25% of their nightly campground fees to a Disaster Relief Fund set up by the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The Rowleys took their efforts a step further and challenged AGS, a division of Texas Advertising, to match their contributions.
TACO members got to see the results of their combined efforts last week during the final day of the association’s spring meeting when the Rowley’s presented TACO CEO Brian Schaeffer with a $10,525 check to deposit in TACO’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Schaeffer, who is also president of Texas Advertising, then presented TACO’s Disaster Relief Fund with a $12,025 check, above the matching amount.
“When you think you’re down, hold your head up high because that’s where you are supposed to be,” David Rowley told TACO spring meeting attendees. “Keep your head up high and know that you are loved by an association that really does work for you. Thank you for your love and support of us, from an industry point of view.”
Schaeffer, for his part, commended the Rowleys for their efforts, and noted that donations that are made to help others and that invariably they bring positive things to those who make such donations.
“What you give to help other people will come back to you like you have no idea,” he said.
But while TACO’s Disaster Relief Fund was originally set up to help victims of floods and other natural disasters, Schaeffer said TACO has also directed funds from the account to Tom and Lisa Cauthen, of Johnson Creek RV Resort and Park in Kerrville, to help them cope with Tom’s emergency medical expenses.
“Our board said that’s a hardship, ” Schaeffer said, adding, “It’s not always about the hurricane or the flood.”
For more information about the Texas Association of Campground Owners please visit tacomembers.com.