The aftermath of Hurricane Florence left the region with downed trees, flooded homes and displaced residents in need. This destruction, however, was met with people ready to help.
As the community started recovery, it also got together to initiate benefits that would contribute to organizations that are serving others.
One of those events was Wilmington Strong, a Hurricane Florence Relief concert that benefited local charities through the United Way of the Cape Fear Area.
The concert on Oct. 13 was presented by the city of Wilmington, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, 98.3 The Penguin and Port City Daily.
It featured artists such as local folk rock group L Shape Lot, Jared Sales from Coastal Collective and Wilmington Reggae Responders, an ensemble of Wilmington reggae musicians who came together to support the concert.
In addition to fundraising, the goal of the concert was to honor first responders who were a vital part of the community during Hurricane Florence, Mayor Bill Saffo said in a video announcing the concert.
Another month-long benefit project in the area is Over Flo, a campaign in which businesses create events and sales that support relief efforts.
The campaign features different weeks of events and sales that raise money for area nonprofits including Nourish NC, The Salvation Army of Cape Fear, Good Shepherd Center and others.
Over Flo received a $10,000 matching grant from a private donor under the name of Friends from Iowa.
“We wanted to create a way to bring the downtown business community together to collaborate and make a substantial impact,” said Billy Mellon, owner of manna restaurant and Bourgie Nights, in a news release.
Justin Smith, co-owner of Husk, Yosake and Dram + Morsel restaurants, said in a news release that many business owners met informally to brainstorm ideas of ways they could help with hurricane relief even before the storm was over.
The campaign’s leadership team is made up of other business owners from Anne Bonny’s Bar and Grill, Tavern Law and more.
There are specials from 18 restaurants in the area, including Front Street Brewery, where it started donating $1 from every Oktoberfest beer sold until the beer runs out. Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria has a special pizza this month from which 50 percent of sales will be donated to hurricane relief.
The week of Oct. 15 was called “Music Over Flo” and will have a centerpiece Over Flo Benefit Concert on Oct. 20 that is free to attend. Some of the bands on the lineup are The Phantom Playboys, a local rockabilly band, and Jim Quick and Coastline, a rhythm and blues group.
The week of Oct. 22 will feature “Arts Over Flo” events including an art raffle at Art in Bloom Gallery at 210 Princess St. Tickets for the raffle are $1 and can be purchased at the art gallery Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Another benefit will take place on Oct. 21 and is hosted by Painting with a Twist and Waterline Brewing Co. The benefit will raise money and supplies for the Lower Cape Fear chapter of the Diaper Bank of North Carolina. Waterline will donate $1 for every beer sold. There will also be face painting, an art raffle, music and food trucks. People are encouraged to drop off diapers, pull-ups, baby wipes and feminine hygiene items at Waterline Brewing and Painting with a Twist locations. The event will take place 1-6 p.m.
This year’s First Fruit Ministries’ golf outing fundraiser will benefit people affected by Hurricane Florence. The golfing event will be held at the Country Club of Landfall on Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m. Rick Stoker, pastor and founder of First Fruit Ministries, said in a press release that the goal of the golf event is to feed those in need.
“This year, with the devastation of Hurricane Florence, that need is even greater, and we are seeing more people than ever seeking assistance,” he said. “We want this to be a fun day for all participants.”
CANCELED & POSTPONED
With the aftermath of the storm, many events scheduled in the area were canceled or pushed back to later dates.
2018 IRONMAN 70.3
The Ironman triathlon scheduled for Oct. 13 was canceled due to hurricane damage on the course, including U.S. 421, which is used for most of the bike race. The Ironman Foundation will match all donations made by Nov. 1 up to $25,000 to help hurricane relief efforts.
TASTE OF WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH
The sixth annual Taste of Wrightsville Beach was canceled to give the community and vendors time to recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence.
BRUNSWICK GOLF TOURNAMENT AND GAMES DAY
The Good Shepherd Center fundraising event was canceled due to damage at Magnolia Greens from Hurricane Florence.
The annual downtown Wilmington festival was postponed to Nov. 17 and 18 due to logistical issues created by the recovery process from Hurricane Florence.
ART IN THE ARBORETUM
The 23rd annual event was rescheduled to Nov. 2 through 4 because of hurricane damage to the county’s arboretum. The arboretum remains closed to the public until mid-Oct.
BRIGADE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC
The 25th annual fundraising event was rescheduled for Oct. 29 at the Country Club of Landfall due to course damage from the storm.