COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Thousands headed into the new year homeless due to the Marshall fire out in Colorado that devastated the boulder community. One A&M couple apart of the tragedy was supported by the Aggie community to get back on their feet.
“It all started Thursday, January 30th 2021," said Stephen Wenzel, Aggie Alum & Marshall Fire Victim. "I was out to lunch with a buddy of mine, a colleague of mine. We were starting to receive notifications some from our employees some from our friends in the area that they could see smoke kind of a fire in the horizon,”
They quickly got word of the severity of the fire and sprang into action.
“Left with the clothes on our back the two cars we had and the diaper bag that we had packed in the truck because we were expecting to give birth any day now,” said Wenzel.
Just days away from their due date and the couple lost everything.
But a longtime friend and former Aggie Chris Martin started a go-fund-me for the family, receiving donations from all over - including from former A&M president Bowen Loftin.
”Selfless service being one of those key core values we cherish," shared R. Bowen Loftin, President Emeritus, Texas A&M University. "And I think this is who we are in our DNA, we are simply consumed by the idea of giving back,”
The Wenzel’s saw firsthand how strong the Aggie community is as the go-fund-me has raised nearly $45,000.
"To have that support knows how much we’re loved," shared Wenzel. "And how much we’re supported, and how the Aggie network no matter who they may be, where they may be, who you are, will always have your back,”
”We are sticking true particularly to that phrase we are the Aggies, the Aggies are we," said J Lander, Aggie Alum. "It’s not just that we have a shared background, we have shared experiences."
With the support of the community, the Wenzel's welcomed baby Claire to the world over the weekend in college station.
"We’re just taking every day one day at a time right now, every minute, one minute at a time," added Wenzel. "That’s all we can do. I mean two life rocking events in under 10 days. Just one the worst day of your life and the best day of your life,"
Wenzel says baby Claire and his wife Savannah are doing well and they’re settling into life as new parents. They hope to return to Colorado once they have the all-clear.