By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
A group called the Steiner Ranch Dudes has been helpful to the community, especially over the past year.
“Steiner Dudes really blossomed and the community took shape during the pandemic and again during the ice storm (in February),” said Bill Wiemann, who founded the group in late 2016.
“The Dudes really kicked it into high gear during the ice storm. Everything from advice on wrapping pipes, how to access main water lines as pipes burst, lending a hand to jumpstart a battery, helping clean up trees that had fallen,” Wiemann said.
New members joined and the number of interactions skyrocketed during this time. Today the group is nearly 800 members strong.
Noticing the hard work of Travis County Water Control & Improvement District 17 and Lake Travis Fire Rescue, Emergency Services District 6, the group shared a big “thank you” not long after the mid February freeze.
“The folks that worked these facilities put in countless extra hours during a very difficult time and we can’t say thank you enough for that,” Wiemann said on behalf of the Steiner Dudes. The group organized a fundraiser for the WCID 17 and LTFR teams and raised several thousand dollars to donate as a thank you.
Several Dudes started the “thank you” effort and they also posted on the Steiner Moms and Tots group as well to bring the entire Steiner community together.
Chris Martin, one of the Dudes who coordinated the “thank you” effort, shared: On March 9 at the Mansfield Water Treatment Facility, the P. Terry’s Burger Stand truck paid the WCID 17 workers a visit for lunch on behalf of the thankful residents of Steiner Ranch.
“They (WCID 17) were all blown away by the gesture and extremely thankful to the Steiner community to have even thought of them in this way,” Martin said.
The WCID 17 general manager, Jason Homan, expressed their gratitude.
“I even had a guy come up to thank us and tell me that his coworker who’s been there for 30 years said that in all that time there’s never been anything like this done for them and that it will go a long way with them to have experienced,” Martin shared. “Several humbly told me that they were just doing their jobs but I also heard that they worked in 24 hour shifts, sleeping in the plants and not seeing their families for days to keep the water flowing for their customers.”
In addition to providing lunch in March, another Dude, Charlie Brown, was doing a follow up with H-E-B gift cards with the remaining funds.
Interaction like that is exactly why the Steiner Ranch Dudes group was created.
Wiemann moved to Steiner from Round Rock and noticed Steiner had several thriving FB groups like Buy/Sell Steiner and Steiner Moms and Tots, “but there was nothing to connect and provide value for the ‘Dudes’ here in Steiner,” he said.
So he did something about it and started the group nearly five years ago.
The Facebook page description reads: “Guys only group in Steiner. If you are a dude that lives in Steiner Ranch and aren’t going to cause problems, then you can join! What’s going on? How to fix stuff. Borrow a ladder. BBQ. Cars. Guy stuff!”
Wiemann graduated from University of Texas in the mid 1990s and cut his teeth selling internet advertising on the UT campus with print outs and a three-ring binder for his first “real” job. “I got hooked immediately with the internet and the possibilities for growth and advancing access to information and the fast changing advertising space,” he said.
The native Austinite moved to Steiner in 2015 for “the great neighborhood, scenery and better access to the lake.” He grew up “going to the lake and making the trek to the 360 bridge or the ramp on Quinlan to access the lake.”
He combined technology and community when forming the Steiner Ranch Dudes group. Its intent is to provide a connection for the local men on such things as BBQ tips, recommendations for plumbers, masons or mobile car detailers, tips on the best home networking setups, etc.
It isn’t a buy and sell group or one to publicize a business but rather, Wiemann said, “you are getting real questions and answers from the Dudes that live in this community and have experiences themselves or with the local businesses and vendors.”