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Local nonprofits receive tourism recovery funds

The Port Aransas Community Theater will receive $15,000 from the Texas Travel Industry Association in partnership with Tourism Cares and Travel Texas. The Rockport-Fulton Hospital Training Program will receive $5,000 in funds, as well. The two non-profits are the first to receive money from the Hurricane Harvey Tourism Recovery Fund. Courtesy photo

Two Coastal Bend nonprofits will receive a total of $20,000 in grant money to help with recovery from Hurricane Harvey. The Port Aransas Community Theater will receive $15,000, while the Rockport-Fulton Hospital Training Program will receive $5,000 from the Texas Travel Industry Association in partnership with Tourism Cares and Travel Texas. The local organizations are the first to receive money from the Hurricane Harvey Tourism Recovery Fund.

“Port Aransas and Rockport-Fulton were some of the hardest-hit areas and need the most help to bounce back,” said David Teel, president and CEO of the Texas Travel Industry Association. “These communities are dependent on tourism. These grants will go a long way to help these communities recover and be ready for the important summer travel season ahead.”

The community theater grant will allow the 150-seat space to reopen for the first time since the hurricane landed in Port Aransas on Aug. 25, 2017. The money will be used to repair and insulate the roof.

“We’re so grateful for the grant TTIA and Tourism Cares has provided our Port Aransas Community Theatre,” said Jeffrey Hentz, president and CEO of the Port Aransas-Mustang Island Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. “This grant will go a long way to helping PACT reopen later this year and provide our local community and schools the vehicle to perform outstanding productions year-round.”

Hurricane damage pushed many people out of the Rockport-Fulton area but also brought in a lot of untrained labor to the local workforce. The $5,000 grant to the Rockport-Fulton Hospitality Training Program will be used in coordination with Texas A&M’s hospitality program.

“Our community has been through so much, and to hear the Tourism Cares Organization supports and believes in us, well, that just means the world to us,” said Diane Probst, president and CEO of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce. “We are so appreciative. Giving our program $5,000 will allow us to take it to a whole new level at a much-needed time as we recover from Hurricane Harvey.”

The Hurricane Harvey Tourism Recovery Fund was established last summer to facilitate destination recovery through tourism.

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