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BELLAIRE • MEMORIAL • RIVER OAKS • TANGLEWOOD • WEST UNIVERSITY

Celebrating Harvey’s Heroes

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
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Event organizers

Event organizers (from left) Katie Mehnert, Shannon Robinson, Maria Sotolongo, Brittany Haley, Cara Adams and Allison Piper stand on stage before the screening of CHANGED: When the Dams Were Released(Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Many Memorial-area neighbors mobilized to help each other and provide resources to the community during and after the release from the dam after Harvey. On Sept. 9, just over a year after Harvey, a group of impacted residents hosted a celebration after a year of emotional recovery to acknowledge all of the unsung heroes of Harvey. Organizers of the Celebrating Harvey’s Heroes event included Katie Mehnert, Allison Piper, Maria Sotolongo, Cara Adams, Brittany Haley and Shannon Robinson.

Maria Sotolongo

Filmmaker Maria Sotolongo introduces the documentary to a captive audience. "We are all forever changed...." she said. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

The uplifting community event included food, drinks and music. The event, which was held at Queensbury Theatre in CityCentre, was also the premiere of CHANGED: When the Dams Were Released, created by documentary filmmaker Maria Fonseca Sotolongo. Maria drew from her own family’s experience during Harvey and so many others on the West side of Houston to create the documentary. The event also included a dedication of benches, which will be placed along Buffalo Bayou in honor of the “Westside Harvey Heroes,” all the volunteers who helped during and after the storm. 

See CHANGED on Sun., Sept. 23 at MATCH and at Studio Movie Grille on Sept. 26

  • Shannon Robinson, Justin Robinson

    Shannon and Justin Robinson at the Queensbury Theater. Shannon founded Project Memorial, a nonprofit that was created to help residents after Harvey. Volunteers from Project Memorial worked to stuff hundreds of goodie bags for flooded families to take home after the film screening. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Shannon Dune, Hollis Weeks, Tonya Nickerson

    Shannon Dune, Hollis Weeks and Tonya Nickerson (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Shannon Robinson, Justin Robinson, Janet Boyce

    Shannon Robinson, Justin Robinson and Janet Boyce (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Nikki Thomas, Kyle Haines, Dr. Natalie Baker, Odette Haines

    Nikki Thomas, Kyle Haines, Dr. Natalie Baker and Odette Haines (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Sara Lou and Heather Craig

    Sara Lou and Heather Craig (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Facebook Live

    Katie Mehnert interviewed filmmaker Maria Sotolongo and other Memorial residents featured in the film on Facebook Live. See the video here. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Rick Lechrmann, Kristin Foster, David Foster, Meagan Ong, Justin Ong, Carla Lechrmann

    Rick Lechrmann, Kristin Foster, David Foster, Meagan Ong, Justin Ong and Carla Lechrmann (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Amanda Bush, Shelly Edwards

    Amanda Bush and Shelly Edwards (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Jayme Cooley, Grace Terroir, Didier Terroir, Steve Cooley, Steve Cooley Jr.

    Jayme Cooley, Grace Terroir, Didier Terroir, Steve Cooley and Steve Cooley Jr. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Juaquin Arellano, Will Haley

    Juaquin Arellano and Will Haley (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Allison Piper, Greg Travis, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo, Katie Mehnert

    Allison Piper, Greg Travis, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo and Katie Mehnert (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Brittany Haley, Shannon Robinson, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo, Allison Piper, Katie Mehnert, Greg Travis

    Brittany Haley, Shannon Robinson, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo, Allison Piper, Katie Mehnert and Greg Travis (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Kyle McLawhon, Rachel McLawhon

    Kyle and Rachel McLawhon (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper, Alyssa Wall

    Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper and daughter Alyssa Wall (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper

    Joni Hoffman and Allison Piper (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Katie Mehnert, Ally Mehnert

    Katie Mehnert and her daughter Ally Mehnert (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper, Katie Mehnert

    Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper and Katie Mehnert (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Jennifer McKnight, Sarah Marley-Clarke, Scott McKnight

    Jennifer McKnight, Sarah Marley-Clarke and Scott McKnight (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Nancy Valdivia, Brittany Haley, Jackie Rochetti, Lynne Martinez, Amanda Debroeck, Wendy Clark

    Nancy Valdivia, Brittany Haley, Jackie Rochetti, Lynne Martinez, Amanda Debroeck and Wendy Clark (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Robin Blanchette, Jennifer McKnight, Sara Lou, Shelly Edwards, Sarah Mary-Clarke, Heather Craig

    Robin Blanchette, Jennifer McKnight, Sara Lou, Shelly Edwards (in front) Sarah Marley-Clarke and Heather Craig (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Samantha Masucci, Phil Sotolongo, Steve De la Rosa, Gabi De la Rosa

    Samantha Masucci, Phil Sotolongo, Steve and Gabi De la Rosa (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Soiana Rivera, Maria Sotolongo, Daniel Lopez

    Soiana Rivera, Maria Sotolongo and Daniel Lopez (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Matt Hoffman

    DJ Matt Murdock played music while guests enjoyed drink and socialized in the reception hall before and after the film. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

  • Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Maria Sotolongo

    Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman and Maria Sotolongo (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Katie Mehnert, Allison Piper

    Katie Mehnert and Allison Piper introduce the filmmaker, Maria Sotolongo, to the audience before the screening begins. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)  

  • Filmmaker Maria Sotolongo

    Filmmaker Maria Sotolongo gives a brief introduction of her film. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

     

  • Dedicating the benches

    Cara Adams, the creator of the Facebook page Hurricane Moms That Need Help Memorial and Shannon Robinson, the creator of Project Memorial, dedicated benches that will be placed along Buffalo Bayou in honor of the “Westside Harvey Heroes.” 

  • Shannon Robinson, Justin Robinson
  • Shannon Dune, Hollis Weeks, Tonya Nickerson
  • Shannon Robinson, Justin Robinson, Janet Boyce
  • Nikki Thomas, Kyle Haines, Dr. Natalie Baker, Odette Haines
  • Sara Lou and Heather Craig
  • Facebook Live
  • Rick Lechrmann, Kristin Foster, David Foster, Meagan Ong, Justin Ong, Carla Lechrmann
  • Amanda Bush, Shelly Edwards
  • Jayme Cooley, Grace Terroir, Didier Terroir, Steve Cooley, Steve Cooley Jr.
  • Juaquin Arellano, Will Haley
  • Allison Piper, Greg Travis, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo, Katie Mehnert
  • Brittany Haley, Shannon Robinson, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo, Allison Piper, Katie Mehnert, Greg Travis
  • Kyle McLawhon, Rachel McLawhon
  • Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper, Alyssa Wall
  • Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper
  • Katie Mehnert, Ally Mehnert
  • Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper, Katie Mehnert
  • Jennifer McKnight, Sarah Marley-Clarke, Scott McKnight
  • Nancy Valdivia, Brittany Haley, Jackie Rochetti, Lynne Martinez, Amanda Debroeck, Wendy Clark
  • Robin Blanchette, Jennifer McKnight, Sara Lou, Shelly Edwards, Sarah Mary-Clarke, Heather Craig
  • Samantha Masucci, Phil Sotolongo, Steve De la Rosa, Gabi De la Rosa
  • Soiana Rivera, Maria Sotolongo, Daniel Lopez
  • Matt Hoffman
  • Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Maria Sotolongo
  • Katie Mehnert, Allison Piper
  • Filmmaker Maria Sotolongo
  • Dedicating the benches

More photos

Shannon Robinson, Justin Robinson

Shannon and Justin Robinson at the Queensbury Theater. Shannon founded Project Memorial, a nonprofit that was created to help residents after Harvey. Volunteers from Project Memorial worked to stuff hundreds of goodie bags for flooded families to take home after the film screening. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Shannon Dune, Hollis Weeks, Tonya Nickerson

Shannon Dune, Hollis Weeks and Tonya Nickerson (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Shannon Robinson, Justin Robinson, Janet Boyce

Shannon Robinson, Justin Robinson and Janet Boyce (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Nikki Thomas, Kyle Haines, Dr. Natalie Baker, Odette Haines

Nikki Thomas, Kyle Haines, Dr. Natalie Baker and Odette Haines (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Sara Lou and Heather Craig

Sara Lou and Heather Craig (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Facebook Live

Katie Mehnert interviewed filmmaker Maria Sotolongo and other Memorial residents featured in the film on Facebook Live. See the video here. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Rick Lechrmann, Kristin Foster, David Foster, Meagan Ong, Justin Ong, Carla Lechrmann

Rick Lechrmann, Kristin Foster, David Foster, Meagan Ong, Justin Ong and Carla Lechrmann (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Amanda Bush, Shelly Edwards

Amanda Bush and Shelly Edwards (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Jayme Cooley, Grace Terroir, Didier Terroir, Steve Cooley, Steve Cooley Jr.

Jayme Cooley, Grace Terroir, Didier Terroir, Steve Cooley and Steve Cooley Jr. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Juaquin Arellano, Will Haley

Juaquin Arellano and Will Haley (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Allison Piper, Greg Travis, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo, Katie Mehnert

Allison Piper, Greg Travis, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo and Katie Mehnert (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Brittany Haley, Shannon Robinson, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo, Allison Piper, Katie Mehnert, Greg Travis

Brittany Haley, Shannon Robinson, Cara Adams, Maria Sotolongo, Allison Piper, Katie Mehnert and Greg Travis (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Kyle McLawhon, Rachel McLawhon

Kyle and Rachel McLawhon (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper, Alyssa Wall

Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper and daughter Alyssa Wall (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper

Joni Hoffman and Allison Piper (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Katie Mehnert, Ally Mehnert

Katie Mehnert and her daughter Ally Mehnert (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper, Katie Mehnert

Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Allison Piper and Katie Mehnert (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Jennifer McKnight, Sarah Marley-Clarke, Scott McKnight

Jennifer McKnight, Sarah Marley-Clarke and Scott McKnight (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Nancy Valdivia, Brittany Haley, Jackie Rochetti, Lynne Martinez, Amanda Debroeck, Wendy Clark

Nancy Valdivia, Brittany Haley, Jackie Rochetti, Lynne Martinez, Amanda Debroeck and Wendy Clark (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Robin Blanchette, Jennifer McKnight, Sara Lou, Shelly Edwards, Sarah Mary-Clarke, Heather Craig

Robin Blanchette, Jennifer McKnight, Sara Lou, Shelly Edwards (in front) Sarah Marley-Clarke and Heather Craig (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Samantha Masucci, Phil Sotolongo, Steve De la Rosa, Gabi De la Rosa

Samantha Masucci, Phil Sotolongo, Steve and Gabi De la Rosa (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Soiana Rivera, Maria Sotolongo, Daniel Lopez

Soiana Rivera, Maria Sotolongo and Daniel Lopez (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Matt Hoffman

DJ Matt Murdock played music while guests enjoyed drink and socialized in the reception hall before and after the film. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman, Maria Sotolongo

Michael Hoffman, Joni Hoffman and Maria Sotolongo (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Katie Mehnert, Allison Piper

Katie Mehnert and Allison Piper introduce the filmmaker, Maria Sotolongo, to the audience before the screening begins. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar)  

Filmmaker Maria Sotolongo

Filmmaker Maria Sotolongo gives a brief introduction of her film. (Photo: Dylan Aguilar) 

 

Dedicating the benches

Cara Adams, the creator of the Facebook page Hurricane Moms That Need Help Memorial and Shannon Robinson, the creator of Project Memorial, dedicated benches that will be placed along Buffalo Bayou in honor of the “Westside Harvey Heroes.” 

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