MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA – December 9, 2019 – The Hope for Abaco Holiday Benefit Concert will take place in Stuart Florida at the Martin County Fairgrounds this Saturday, December 14, 2019 from 2:30PM to 9:30PM. The benefit features the Barefoot Man and Friends of Abaco.
The Abaco Islands of the Bahamas were devastated by Hurricane Dorian on September 1, 2019. Wikipedia reported that Dorian was the most intense hurricane on record to make landfall in the Bahamas and is regarded as the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.
“In Marsh Harbour residences lay in ruins and some 95 percent of Treasure Cay’s homes were damaged or destroyed”, the New York Times stated. “Marsh Harbour is [was] the largest city in Abaco and the third largest city in the Bahamas.”
But, as Zachary Fagenson of the Miami New Times observes: “The nightmare in the Bahamas is far from over.”
P. Steve Calabria, one of the Hope for Abaco Holiday Benefit volunteer organizers says that Abaco will be rebuilt but that it’s going to be the challenge of a lifetime for the people.
“They need our help desperately,” Calabria adds. “Imagine rebuilding on an island without even a bridge to the mainland and without public water, sewer, or electricity. As unpaid volunteers our sole goal is to raise money to help the people of Abaco rebuild, because we love Abaco.”
Stepping up as headline artist at the benefit is the Barefoot Man from Breakers, Grand Cayman. Friends of Abaco include Gladstone “Stone” McEwan, the Bahamian One-Man Sensation, the Sea ‘N B Island Band with Mark and Bugs, England’s Piera Van De Wiel, and Florida’s Reel Ting Steel Drum Band.
According to Barefootman.com, the Barefoot Man, born George Nowak, is a singer, songwriter, composer, and author who performs regularly in the Cayman Islands. His songs are often risqué parody, pun and double entendre put to reggae, calypso and sometimes country or pop beats.
The Legendary Barefoot Man
“He’s to the Caribbean what Jimmy Buffet is to Key West,” explained Harvey Hagman of the Washington Times.
“While Barefoot may not be as huge as Jimmy, in the Caymans, the Barefoot Man is king,” wrote Mike Gruenberg of JamBands.com
The Barefoot Man may be king in Cayman, but he’s also uniquely qualified to be the headline artist in a benefit for Abaco. For one thing, he’s relevant. His latest release, “No App for That” premiered September 19, 2019 and soared to the top of Trop-Rock charts nationwide. It can be heard on Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify, and more than 100 other streaming services. It is also played on Beachfront Radio, Radio A1A, and TikiPod radio regularly. “No App for That” will be performed live at the benefit.
“More important, The Barefoot Man is living legend in Abaco where he has performed at Nippers Beach Bar and Grill on Great Guana Cay for twenty years. His concerts have been featured events listed on Bahamas.com by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Bahamian Government,” continued Calabria. “He even appeared as Grand Marshal of the Saint Paddy’s Day parade in Marsh Harbour. Marsh Harbour was rendered to rubble by Hurricane Dorian.
“I believe the Barefoot Man’s popularity in Abaco stems in part from thirty songs he has recorded in which he sings about people and places in Abaco. If you live in, or have ever visited Abaco, you feel a connection when you listen to these songs. His music has immortalized “Milo” for selling tomatoes, “Donna” for renting golf carts, and “Troy” and “Albury” for bartending at Nippers Beach Bar and Grill. When you visit Abaco and meet these people you feel like they are celebrities as well as long lost friends. He even written a song about a Fig Tree and now the fig tree is on most Guana visitors must-see list. Most people who listen to his music hear a catchy beat and witty lyrics, but for those who know Abaco his music creates an emotional connection to Abaco, and that’s one reason visitors return to Abaco year after year.
“The fairgrounds is a great venue for this event. It can accommodate thousands of fans giving this fundraiser the potential to be one of Florida’s most successful benefit for relief of Hurricane Dorian victims of Abaco.”
Nippers Beach Bar and Grill, voted the third best beach bar in the Caribbean for 2018 by USA Today’s 10Best, was rendered to rubble on September 1, 2019 by Hurricane Dorian.The Barefoot Mans farewell performance to Abaco was ironically five months before its destruction.
Tickets can be purchased at HOPEforABACO.org or at the gate. This is a great opportunity for anyone who has thought about helping the people of Abaco but hasn’t been sure what to do. 100% of the net proceeds go to the Care Community Center Inc. a 501(c)(3) charity. Funds will be transferred to vetted Abaco charities to help rebuild Abaco’s infrastructure.
“I’ve been particularly touched,” continued Calabria, “at the generosity of people who are unable to attend and donate instead. We’ve have receiving donations that range from ten dollars to $800 from good hearted people nationwide.”
Tickets are $75 in advance or $100 at the door. VIP tickets are also available for $250. 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to Abaco charities to rebuild. The group was assisted by Mirimar Commissioner Maxwell Chambers who helped set-up a charity partnership thought Care Community Center Inc. of Mirimar Florida, a 510(c)(3) charity. Ticket sales are Tax-Deductible donations made directly into trust accounts managed by the Jamaican-American Bar Association where they will be help until released to vetted Abaco charities.
If you cannot attend but would like to donate use this link: hopeforabaco.ticketbud.com/holiday-benefit/pr
We would like to thank the following sponsors who may this event possible: