Group holds fundraiser for Sandy relief efforts

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A local group hosted a fundraiser to raise money for Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.

It was held at the Mellow Mushroom restaurant in Jacksonville Beach.

"I wanted to be here to help out everyone back in Jersey, my friends and family," said Jules Beliles.

Superstorm Sandy hit close to home for Beliles. She used to live in the northeast and her family has a home on the Jersey Shore.

"Most of my family, and we have friends whose houses have been affected, which is very sad. We've had it where water was up to the sides," Beliles said.

So going to the Superstorm Sandy relief fundraiser at Mellow Mushroom was a no-brainer for her. She was among the first to donate to the cause, one which organizers say is from the heart.

"I have plenty of friends up in Jersey and in the New York area and they were amazed when I told them we were doing this," said Jocelyn Geronimo, who helped organize the fundraiser.

On the menu is food, live music, and raffle items donated by nearby businesses.

"We planned this in such short notice. It was less than a week, probably four days. We decided to put it together and the response we got from the community was incredible. Everybody wanted to donate. Everybody wanted to be a part of it," said Geronimo.

While many people in the crowd said they had friends and family in the parts affected by family, some said they didn't, but they still wanted to help.

"It's a great cause and look at all the stuff you can get here. people don't realize how bad it is up there," said Nick Boland, who donated at the event.

To learn more about donating to the relief efforts go to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to donate.

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