San Marco Strong fundraiser seeks to bring normalcy to neighborhood

Fundraiser hosted by Beer: 30, San Marco Preservation Society

By Allyson Henning - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - On Saturday, a benefit concert will be held to help people whose homes and businesses were damaged by Hurricane Irma. Performances include Firewater Tent Revival and Beau and the Burners. 

It will be at 1904 Music Hall from 7p.m. until Midnight. Donations will benefit the San Marco Preservation Society. $1 from every drink wil be donated to helping in the recovery. 

People from all across San Marco came together Saturday to help their neighbors and friends at the San Marco Strong fundraising event hosted by Beer: 30 and the San Marco Preservation Society.

News4Jax reporter Allyson Henning went to the neighborhood to see, firsthand, what “San Marco Strong” means to the community.

The San Marco area was hit hard by Hurricane Irma. The neighborhood experienced severe flooding and downed trees.

The streets of San Marco are still in ruins, with some homes and businesses are empty. Debris is still scattered across the area and businesses left underwater are now being torn to pieces.  

Beer: 30 owner Jeff Burns said the most important thing is to get people back to the feeling of normalcy.

“It's going to be a long time for some folks until they can actually feel that way, but I think this is maybe the start,” Burns said.

The community is working together to get things back to normal one piece at a time.

“You show your support in a lot of different ways,” Riverside resident Alicia Smith said. “If it's with the cleanup, or if it's a monetary donation, or if it's food or if it's clothes, you do what you can to try to help the neighborhood and help your community.”

San Marco resident Ryne Samson told News4Jax he wanted to help those who have lost everything.

“To see other people going through hardships and everything like that, we wanted to come out and support,” Samson said.

Cindy Platt is the co-owner of Grease Rags Clothing Co. Because Irma flooded her shop, much of her merchandise is packed in the back of her car.

“We didn't anticipate the level of water that came with the storm at all,” Platt said.

Platt told News4Jax that it’s going to be a while until they’re back in their store. But, in the meantime, the community is holding her up.

“I put a request on Facebook (saying that) if any businesses want to host a pop-up for Grease Rags to please let me know, and we got such a great response that I had to take the post down,” Platt said. “The support is overwhelming almost.”

The San Marco Strong fundraiser runs through Oct. 1.

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