Area residents and visitors are invited to help support the Virgin Islands victims of Hurricane Irma the weekend of Sept. 15–17 by visiting local businesses at the beach.
On Friday, Sept. 15, Fork + Flask at Nage in Rehoboth Beach will donate 10 percent of their daily proceeds, tips from guest bartenders, 100 percent of their evening flask sales. They will also hold a special silent auction.
The following day, Sept. 16, Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes will be donating 10 percent of its daily proceeds and 100 percent of the proceeds from all Mootzy Beer sales.
On Sunday, Sept. 17, the fundraiser concludes at Big Chill Beach Club in Bethany Beach. The business will donate 10 percent of daily proceeds and $2 from each Crooked Hammock beer. There will also be a $5 donation from each Wheeland Brothers show ticket purchased.
In addition to this weekend’s benefit effort, Josh Grapski, managing partner for La Vida Hospitality and its multiple businesses in Sussex County, has also set up a special fundraising page that will benefit St. John Irma Relief Effort and Virgin Unite’s BVI Community Support Appeal.
“Hurricane Irma’s devastation in the Virgin Islands is almost beyond comprehension,” says Grapski. “Throughout my life, the Virgin Islands has meant so much to me. Not just the place, but its people and the generous spirit they embody. This area was hit particularly hard and isn’t getting a ton of support to help.”
In what has been described as a humanitarian crisis, an account in the New York Times reports that 80 percent of its structures have been extensively damaged, and those who had not evacuated were huddling together in groups of up to 50 in buildings that now have no roofs.
“I wish I could do more for all the areas, but at least our efforts this weekend can bring some comfort to these victims. We have to step up,” Grapski says.