Jersey threw a rocking party and everyone was invited—except Sandy.
On Sunday, a crowd of over 400 turned up for Unite 2 Revive, a benefit concert held at Jersey’s Sports bar & Grill in Neptune. The event raised $5,800 for the Jersey Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross to help with their Sandy disaster relief efforts, according to Unite 2 Revive publicist Deirdre Anne Lopian.
“It has been an extremely stressful two weeks. Everybody is affected by the storm in one way shape or form. Why not come out, have a good time, listen to the music, dance to the bands. And at the same time, you’re giving back to your community,” Lopian said.
The idea for the fundraiser came about when Dru-Anne Palaima, owner of Stars that Shine Entertainment, and Sandra Marafioti, owner of Tourpax Services, approached John and Wendy Bruzzese of Synergy Event Planners about organizing a group of Jersey Shore bands to raise money for the area, according to Lopian.
The bands brought on board included Eddie Testa Band, Guy Smiley Band, Rome, Undercover, Marc Ribler & Friends, Kindred and Nobs Overdrive.
Actor Tom Pelphrey, a native of Howell, came in from Brooklyn to attend.
“Just like anybody from New Jersey, I just wanted to do anything I could to help,” Pelphrey said.
Long Branch residents Karen and Glenn Jaffe said they felt lucky to have escaped the worst of Sandy.
“We live on the shore. We were very lucky. We wanted to support those who weren’t as lucky,” Karen Jaffe said.
The American Red Cross only accepts monetary donations rather than clothing or household items so that the organization can buy materials in bulk and to utilize their resources efficiently, according to Jersey Coast Chapter Readiness and Response Coordinator for Monmouth and Ocean County Ellen Korpar.
Additionally, local volunteers will continue to be needed in the weeks and months ahead as out-of-state helpers return home.
“This is going to be a long term effort,” Korpar said.
Liesle Ewing Mims, a district executive director for the American Red Cross, said the organization frequently spends the money it raises following a disaster within the community that has been impacted.
“It’s about helping the individual recover, the family recover and the whole community,” said Ewing Mims, who came up from Alabama to assist with recovery efforts.
In addition to the $20 ticket price, Unite 2 Revive raised money by selling bracelets, t-shirts and accepting donations and corporate sponsorships.
The event’s sponsors included Patch, Bridge Financial Group, RAC Consulting, Remedy Intelligent Staffing, MyMonmouth, Breakthrough Wellness Center, Strategic Business Solutions, Vero Luce Photography, Showerman and Click, Crop & Create.
Unite 2 Revive will continue accepting donations through Nov. 30 at its Web site.