Last night took me back to the good old days when everyone pitched in to help people who needed it—the days before everything was couched in political terms and all of us were so divided.
I was at Tim Finnegans in Delray at a benefit for the Keys hurricane relief—hosted by owner Lisa Walsh and some of her friends and customers, Michele Bellisari, Steve Martel, Linda Somers, Paula Tolly, Greg Weiss, Bob Wieder. The Joe Cotton band played for free and radio fun boy Paul Castronovo (The Paul Castronovo Show, Big 105.7) opened up the night with a great pitch to help the Keys we all love so much—and toasted the crowd with a Pilar’s rum and coke.
He also mentioned that Crane’s Beach House donated 17 rooms of furniture to the effort and his pals from Greek Moving and Storage stepped right up to deliver that furniture (gratis) down to the Keys to the Habitat for Humanity warehouse.
It was a packed house before it even started—and the people kept coming, and coming. Business people, politicians, old hippies, random do-gooders. People parked a block away, and everyone donated their $20, bought raffle tickets, had a cold one (or four) and rallied for the cause.
“Hurricane Irma devastated the Keys, leaving tens of thousands of people without shelter, wood, fuel, food or even basic toiletries,” said Walsh. “More than a quarter of all homes are now uninhabitable, more than half have suffered damage, and hundreds of businesses were destroyed. Our friends in the Florida Keys are going to be without power, water and employment for an extended period of time.”
Organizers of the event were hoping to raise at least $25,000; no word yet on how they did but my bet is that they exceeded that goal. And it was a beautiful thing to see.
“As Floridians always do, we band together to help our own,” Walsh said.
I could not have said it better.
If you want to help rebuild the keys, please visit the GoFundMe campaign at gofundme.com/florida-keys-hurricane-relief-fund.