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East Coast Rising
March 16 • 11 a.m- 2 a.m.
Might As Well Bar & Grill • 250 Racine Drive
Donate what you can

From the shores of Jamaica and Haiti all the way up to Canada, Hurricane Sandy devastated homes, cities and people. Over 200 lost their lives (mostly Americans), and miles of coastline were abused so badly that towns in New York and New Jersey have become uninhabitable—filled with wreckage and debris.
However, it is America’s nature to immediately rise when disaster strikes.

187767_330247830412589_1376893167_nMany groups have been volunteering to clean and help put people back in their homes. Though Wilmington was spared the devastation, having our own fair share of hurricane disasters affect us, we know the importance of reaching out and offering helping hands. And, so, it’s our turn to return the gesture to our friends in the northern coastline communities.

The fund-raiser, East Coast Rising, will be gathering support at Might As Well Bar and Grill off Racine Drive this Saturday, March 16th, to help others who were affected by the storm. Event assistant Lauren Clapper tells, “We actually took the name of the event from the Waves for Water film, ‘East Coast Rising.’ The film covers Hurricane Sandy and its effects on the East Coast. We felt that its name perfectly captured what the event will be about.”

Having already raised $500,000 for Hurricane Sandy victims, Waves For Water (WFW) distributed filters that bring clean water to the masses. One filter provides clean water to 100 people for five years. Their latest installment has been on the northeastern seaboard and has helped 100,000 and more people. Worldwide, WFW has given clean water to 7,500,000 people by supplying over 100,000 filters. From the U.S. to Indonesia, through Africa and South America and across many other countries, WFW will receive 100 percent of donations from the event, which will go directly to their projects.

A major advocate in the restoration of NJ and NY, along with supporting families that have been suffering from Hurricane Sandy, the film “East Coast Rising” documents the struggle to return the coast to its previous state. The fund-raiser will screen the film at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Clapper says, “This is an issue that not many people know about, so we’re also hoping the film will raise awareness of that and bring more people on board to assist in restoring the coastline.”

Vice president of UNCW’s Surfrider group, Tara Smith hails from Seaside, NJ. She saw firsthand the catastrophe the hurricane caused to her community. Smith relays, “I felt a sense of obligation to serve those in my community while still being committed to my academic schedule at UNCW. Hurricane Sandy put into perspective how quickly things can change, for better or worse. In this case, I have found strength in my community and neighbors working cooperatively to help those even within our own small street to remove rubble and support those who are unable to provide for themselves.”

Inspired by her parents’ willingness to continue laboring long hours at their neighbors’ homes, all the while having so little left of their own, Smith felt the draw to do something herself. “It was heartbreaking to see so much debris from the community covering the beaches and marsh area,” she explains. “I feel that supporting a quicker recovery for those communities will also support the recovery of the local ecosystems.”

She started the project in January to raise awareness and money. It quickly gained momentum in the surf community. Though the event does not have a set goal, they hope to raise enough money to make a real difference.

“We’ve been lucky to have a lot of support from donations and sponsors, as we’re working with a very small budget on a nonprofit event,” Clapper says.

A handful of local businesses have donated prizes to help the cause, such as Carolina Beach Surf Shop, The Oceanic, Permanent Vacation, Adam & Eve, Glenn’s Tattoo, South End Surf Shop, Surf City Surf Shop, Pilot Surfboards and Michelle Leyrer’s handcrafted jewelry. “We’ve had some really awesome donations,” Clapper adds.

CLife Photography, AV Surfboards and Glassroots, who are also donating, hold close ties with the relief effort, since they are actually from New Jersey. GoPro, a cutting edge camera company which deem themselves to have “The world’s most versatile camera,” have been especially generous. “GoPro gave us two Silver Edition Hero 3 cameras, and we couldn’t be happier with that!” Clapper says.

Food and drink specials will be available, too, with 10 percent from all revenue going to the cause. Sounds of music will permeate the event thanks to Signal Fire and Dog’s Avenue, Heter Pan Jam Band, Mandy Handies and the Fiddle Folkers, and Sterling Journigan. Clapper states, “Signal Fire, Dog’s Avenue and our other artists will be perfect for the crowd that we’re trying to draw in, as the music has a wide appeal and it also provides a chill setting for people to come and go and enjoy themselves.”

Starting at 11 a.m., it’s an all-day and -night soirée, ending at 2 a.m. There is no limit for ticket sales, or raffle tickets, for that matter, and all monies go to the Hurricane Sandy relief. Around 300 people are expected to make their way to Might As Well. Check in at their Facebook page.

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