June 27, 2022

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Houston bars have quietly raised thousands for Uvalde in wake of school shooting

2 min read

It was a feeling of helplessness that spurred Mary Ellen Angel to rally Houston bars for a collective fundraiser after the May 24 Uvalde school shooting that left 21 peopled dead, including 19 children.

Angel owns Angel Share HTX, a charitable bar that collects donations for different groups each month. Formerly known as Okra Charity Saloon, the bar has raised $1.3 million since 2013. After the tragedy outside San Antonio, Angel was approached by David Lam, one of the leaders of the Stop the Hate nonprofit that launched last year: Would Angel Share want to focus on Uvalde victims as its featured cause?

Angel said yes, but could do one better: She could rally other bars in Houston to do the same.

It all happened very fast, but on May 27, several businesses announced they were participating in an Old Fashioned Week, raising money for Moms Demand Action and the Robb School Memorial Fund by donating a portion of proceeds from the classic cocktail.

“We wanted to pick a classic cocktail that everybody could make in their different bars,” Angel said. “Most people like old fashioneds and you can put your own spin on it.”

Houston mainstays such as Poison Girl, 93 ‘Til, Grand Prize, Little Dipper, Trash Panda Drinking Club, Tikila’s, Social Beer Garden, Reserve 101 and more ran the special for a week, with some extending it longer.

Together, they have raised about $5,000 so far, according to Lam, pouring more than 500 old fashioned cocktails.


Angel was able to raise $250 from Old Fashioned Week for the Robb fund—Memorial Day weekend is pretty quiet downtown, she says—but Angel Share will continue to have Moms Demand Action as the bar’s charity feature for the rest of June.

Nobie’s, Toasted Coconut, J-Bar-M Barbecue and Rosewater joined the cause, also raising money through the entire month, both for Moms Demand Action and the Robb fund.

Lam says he’s in early talks with some Houston establishments to keep the campaign going throughout the summer. She’ll also potentially be visiting Uvalde for an initiative—the details for which are in the works—that would have a bigger impact for the town and its grieving residents.



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