'This is home': Students of Deer Park HS partake in clean-up efforts after devastating tornado

Jessica Willey Image
Saturday, January 28, 2023
Deer Park students volunteer for tornado clean-up efforts
Students at Deer Park High School decided to help clean up a beloved skating rink that would normally see a lot of business on Fridays that was damaged in the storm.

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- On a crisp, clear day that could have been used for fun, Deer Park High School students made a dent in debris removal in their city, one broken cinderblock at a time.

"We're just here to help the community clean up," junior Ava Steiner said as she passed debris down a human chain.

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Dozens of students from criminal justice classes at Deer Park High School volunteered. The district remained closed on Friday, so instructor Mike Burgess encouraged those who could to serve.

Some may be future police officers.

"I think it's instilling a sense of ownership in our community, pride. A sense that we're supposed to give to other people when we have the opportunity," Burgess said.

ABC13 caught up with the team at Skateworld on West Pasadena Boulevard, an institution in Deer Park. It's been open for decades and is a place where many memories have been made.

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"I grew up here. Lots of birthday parties and get-togethers. So, a special place in my heart," Steiner said.

The tornado ripped the roof off, damaged the wooden skating rink and destroyed the majority of the building. Owner J. Malone, whose parents owned it in the late 1970s and 80's, promises they'll be back.

"It's going to be a long process. The insurance adjuster finally came, which allowed us to clean up and go through the process and try to rebuild this place," Malone said.

The students helped him get one tiny step closer to reopening and showed they care by giving back.

"This place is my home, and I love it, so I do what I can," Steiner lovingly said.

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