"It was such a beautiful time," Quaid tells PEOPLE exclusively about the event
Dennis Quaid rallied his friends and local resources to raise relief funds (and morale!) for his beloved hometown of Bellaire, Texas. Located just over 10 miles from Houston, the town was devastated by Hurricane Harvey in late August.
The actor, 63, recently organized a concert fundraiser, called the Bellaire Block Party, with his band, The Sharks, at his birthplace. There he was able to collect $100,000 in donations to the Bellaire Brave Fund, an organization established to help the nearly 20-percent of city staff who threw themselves into emergency duty for five days straight during and after the hurricane.
“It was such a beautiful time,” Quaid tells PEOPLE exclusively about the event held on Saturday. “It couldn’t have been any better. It was exactly what I wanted to do. This was a party for the community to reconnect. They’re such a strong community there in Bellaire. It felt so good just to have a party,” says the father of three, who brought along 10-year-old twins Thomas and Zoe.
“After Harvey, I really started to think of what I could do. This is really personal to me. My own neighborhood was under six feet of water,” Quaid recalls of Bellaire, the “ideal home for a ‘50s/‘60s childhood.”
“It was a shock—what could I do? I wasn’t an emergency worker or EMT, so I thought I would just be in the way going down there. I didn’t want to throw money at it immediately [because] I might be missing the mark,” he says.
For more from Quaid, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Another goal of the Bellaire Block Party was to recognize and thank the 40 first responders who helped rescue local people out of the wreckage caused by Harvey.
“They were out there helping to save people’s homes, lives and animals, and trying to keep services working when their own homes were being destroyed. It had to be a tough and very frightening experience,” Quaid says.
“A lot of them didn’t even live in Bellaire but they were helping the community,” he adds. “Imagine you’re out there and your home is maybe being destroyed and feeling like, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ They did it anyway. And made a real impact.”
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At least 89 casualties have been confirmed and more than 300,000 people were left without electricity while over 25,000 people were displaced.
“Neighbors and people who did not even know each other helping each other out throughout the entire thing,” Quaid says of Bellaire. “That’s the kind of community it is. It’s a great place to raise families.”