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Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2017 3 years ago

Gilligan's organizes benefit Hurricane Irma relief

Gilligan's Island Bar Siesta Key will host its Irma Sucks Alot A Palooza fundraiser Sunday, Sept. 17.
by: Niki Kottmann Managing Editor of Arts and Entertainment

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, several Sarasota businesses and organizations are coming together to support those affected by the storm. One Siesta Key bar chose to do so the best way it knows how: through beer and music.

Gilligan's Island Bar will host Irma Sucks Alot A Palooza, a dinner and concert benefit, from noon-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. Tickets are $25, and all the money made from ticket sales will be matched by owner Scott Smith. Proceeds will benefit a to-be-determined disaster relief fund.

“We knew right away that we needed to help out the areas in southwest Florida that were less fortunate than us,” says General Manager Mike Gatz.

After Hurricane Harvey, the Gilligan's staff began planning a benefit of a similar nature, but when they heard Hurricane Irma was headed for southern Florida, they decided to shift their focus to helping people in their “own backyard,” Gatz says.

The event will feature a BBQ-style meal, beer provided by Big Top Brewing Company and performances by musical acts Mike Tozier, RPM, Scott Curts, Soundpaint, The gin and juice band and Al Donadi Band Alowicious.

Gatz says it only took the Gilligan's staff about an hour to put the event together because all of the partners they reached out to were eager to help. He thinks watching the aftermath of the storm via the media played a big part.

“We looked at that and said ‘that could be us’,” Gatz says. “Some places are totally wiped out and some of our bands play in the Keys and in Naples and places like that.”

The outpouring of support from the community has been so great, Gatz says, that many people have reached out to his staff saying they can’t make the event but want to know how they can help. Gilligan's is encouraging those residents to donate to the charity of their choice, but Gatz says the American Red Cross is a great option.

Along with the chance to hear live music throughout the afternoon and night, eventgoers can also enter raffles and purchase event t-shirts that will benefit Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

Gatz says the bar/restaurant is hoping to raise $10,000 for whichever charity they deem best after Smith concludes his research.

“We’re really hoping to knock it out of the park and get some help in that direction,” Gatz says.  

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