East End Cares, a local online forum that connects those in need with humanitarians who want to lend a helping hand, is continuing its fundraising efforts for Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization made up of military veterans and qualified civilians, during Help is Here – Hurricane Response Project. The Oktoberfest-themed benefit will take place at Solé East in Montauk on Sunday, October 15.
“The ongoing crisis of hurricane after hurricane and the will of the community to come together and help,” Melissa Berman of East End Cares told us is what inspired the event. “Solé East was generous enough to offer their wonderful venue to us and we had a whole team of volunteers who were super interested in putting together an event. It’s part of our partnership with Team Rubicon – we have three East End Cares volunteers who have now gone and worked with them on the ground.” Jon Schoen of Sag Harbor, who just got back from volunteering with Team Rubicon, is expected to be at the event.
From 5 to 8 p.m., attendees will enjoy a plethora of fall favorites, like s’mores, pumpkin crafts for kids, beer, snacks, hot cider and more.
“It’s an Oktoberfest theme, very family friendly,” shared Berman. “There’s going to be activities for kids and some kids treats. They’ll be music and a really great raffle, for adults and kids alike.”
Proceeds will support Team Rubicon, who has been tirelessly aiding those impacted by the hurricanes. “Since Harvey made landfall, Team Rubicon has deployed over 800 volunteers to Texas in support of the ongoing hurricane relief effort. An additional 148 provided remote support from our National Operations Center in Dallas,” Marc DeNofio, Communications Manager, Region II, Team Rubicon, explained. “Volunteers have serviced over 200 homes and are currently serving the following communities in Texas: Houston, Rockport, Port Aransas, Beaumont, Magnolia, Friendswood, Dickinson, Port Arthur, Katy, and Wharton.”
In response to Hurricane Irma, Team Rubicon has teams based in Jacksonville, Melbourne, and Immokalee, FL, providing assistance in Clay, Brevard, and Collier Counties. “Over 75 volunteers have deployed to assist with damage assessments, debris management, chainsaw operations, and expedient home repair,” DeNofio shared.
“On top of that we are now on the ground in Puerto Rico and Dominica with medical assisting communities and recon teams gathering information on damage from Hurricane Maria,” he said.
“Puerto Rico and Dominica could be a year from getting power. It’s really, really dire,” Berman addded. “And it’s not in the news anymore, but people in Texas and some of the Keys, it looks like carpet bombing. They need help too. There’s so much need for help it’s really overwhelming.”
With natural disasters occurring from the West Coast to East Coast, Berman hopes to take preventative measures to protect the region. “One thing I’m hoping to do is work with East Hampton Town to talk about our recovery plan. You think of what it would be like out here to get fuel for instance, if it’s flooded and destroyed and without power,” she noted. “I think we could really engage the volunteer network that we have so that when something happens here, people can help each other and there’s things in place. Even if volunteers have solar charging stations in different neighborhoods so that people could at least get their phones charged and find out how to get help. Little things like that that will be super important.”
While you can’t predict everything that will occur during a natural disaster, Berman hopes to help the East End become as prepared as possible. “Even under the best circumstances, the government and powers at be aren’t able to respond in those situations as perfectly as they could because of the nature of what happens, the chaos that it is and limitations of things,” Berman said. “We have to be able to train ourselves so we can help each other.”
Tickets to Help is Here – Hurricane Response Project range from $10 to $25.
“It’s been a very inspiring effort by a great group of volunteers to put everything together,” Berman told us.
Solé East Resort is located at 90 2nd House Road in Montauk. For tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com. For more information about Team Rubicon, visit teamrubiconusa.org.