The horror stories of Hurricane Dorian aren’t making daily headlines anymore, but the protracted suffering of the Bahamian people hit hardest by the killer storm continues as they try to clean up and rebuild their broken lives.
Efforts large and small are on-going from big charities to grassroots organizations.
In fact, there’s a Bahamas benefit in Wellington on Sunday, Dec. 15 you might want to go to even if it wasn’t for a great cause.
“If ever you were going to help out, the time is still now,” said Paul Goldschlag, who performs as Bruce Springsteen in the Boss Project, a popular tribute band that frequently plays at the Wellington Amphitheater.
Right after Dorian stalled over Abaco in September, destroying parts of the northern Bahamas, Goldschlag put his music to work to help.
“We were playing at the Venice Performing Arts Center on the west coast of Florida, and I heard a story of a man who watched helplessly from across the room, balanced on furniture, as his wife drowned on the second floor of their home during the hurricane,” he recalled.
Goldschlag decided to donate his earnings from the gig to the Bahamian people, and all nine of his bandmates agreed. They all donated and invited the audience to join with them. “We raised a nice sum of money, and I knew I wanted to organize a benefit in Wellington to raise even more money,” he explained.
That show will be held this Sunday, Dec. 15, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Wellington Amphitheater, and nine great acts have all agreed to donate their time to perform at “DiVinyl Intervention: A Classic Rock Benefit for the Bahamas.”
Many residents know the great line up of bands that frequently play in the area and at the Wellington Amphitheater, and some of the best are scheduled, including: a Michael Buble Tribute, All Heart – Heart Tribute, Crystal Visions of Fleetwood Mac, an Aretha Franklin Tribute, Turnstiles – Billy Joel Tribute, the Long Run Band – Ultimate Eagles Tribute and the Boss Project – Bruce Springsteen Tribute, plus comedic genius Michael Panzeca.
Goldschlag said that everyone is donating their time and not taking a penny, including the lighting and sound people, even the RVs used for the green rooms for the upcoming act to use to get ready.
To distribute the funds in the Bahamas, Goldschlag said that he reached out to Cristina Zenato of the organization People of the Water, a nonprofit organization that typically helps with marine biology and environmental education in the Bahamas.
“She can get the money into the hands of the people, so 100 percent of the money goes to the people in need and not a portion of it going to the large organization handling it,” said Goldschlag, who added that Zenato has been providing videos of the work being done.
Goldschlag said that the Village of Wellington has helped out and that Cleveland Clinic agreed to be a major sponsor for things that could not be donated. “The food trucks will all be there, and it is going to be fantastic,” he said.
He stressed that the need is great and hopes that many local residents attend the benefit.
“I read that more than $34 billion in damage was done to that part of the Bahamas, and people are still needing food, water and clean clothes. The infrastructure has been destroyed, and the people need help,” Goldschlag said.
Tickets start at less than $20 and are still available. Children under 12 are free. “The outpouring, especially in Wellington, has been wonderful, and the tickets are pretty cheap. People get to see all these great bands for about 20 bucks — that’s unheard of,” said Goldschlag, who added that the benefit came together quickly. “It was so quick, so easy. Everyone got on the bandwagon. Now we hope the community will come out for a great day of shows from great, top-tier bands.”