Musician, Steamboat restaurant owner deliver pizzas, music to Houston in wake of Hurricane Harvey
September 5, 2017
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With residents stranded and displaced due to floods in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, musician Mark Nuccio said it's inspiring to see communities near and far restoring hope to the area.
"It's amazing to see how everyone comes together in a time of need like this," said Nuccio, who is the principal clarinet player in the Houston Symphony and a longtime participant of the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs.
Cugino’s Pizzeria and Restaurant has teamed up with Nuccio and the Houston Symphony to deliver 1,000 pizzas along with entertainment from the symphony's quintet woodwind players to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Nuccio’s daughter Mikala Nuccio, who worked at Cugino’s this summer, helped organize the event.
On Tuesday afternoon, members of Cugino's staff were busy prepping to make their departure to Texas, bringing with them a U-Haul full of 600 pounds of flour, 500 pounds of tomato sauce and 400 pounds of cheese to make 1,000 pizzas with plans to feed at least 5,000 people.
John Gamradt and Sharon Pinney-Gamradt, Cugino's owners, said it's been moving to see the events occurring in Houston and they felt the need to do something for those who lost their homes.
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"We are very proud to be able to do this for a community in such need," said Pinney-Gamradt, who will be staying in Steamboat to oversee the restaurant while her husband travels to Houston.
Restaurant staff will arrive on Thursday at a church in Dickinson, an area in southeast Houston highly affected by the floods.
"I remember we were watching the news and then saw when it hit Houston and just watched homes and neighborhoods get destroyed," said Mikala Nuccio. "It really started with just an idea and then we realized we could really make it happen."
Although the musicians are taking a risk to play their woodwind instruments in 95 degree weather, Mark Nuccio said they wanted to help entertain people in the area if only for a few hours.
"Really, we just want to try and make it our best," said Nuccio. "You do what you have to do to try and help people in need."
For more information or to donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/u-cnnp53.