A Florida restaurant, Siesta Key Oyster Bar, has collected about $15,000 from its famous dollar bill decorations, alongside a Bahamas fundraiser held in the popular Sarasota destination area
Multiple Siesta Key Village businesses have banded together to aid the Bahamas, which were devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
Four restaurants and bars took part in the Bahamas fundraiser It Takes a Village on Sunday, raising an estimated total of nearly $10,000. Participants included Siesta Key Oyster Bar, known as S.K.O.B. to locals, which is also donating its famous dollar bill decorations to Bahamas relief efforts.
After about a month, S.K.O.B. has collected around $15,000 in dollar bills. And it may ultimately amount to more, said general manager Kristin Hale.
"We were going to leave a bunch up for aesthetic measure," Hale said, "and we probably still are."
Daiquiri Deck, 3.14 Pi Craft Beer & Spirits and Gilligan's Island Bar participated along with S.K.O.B. for It Takes a Village, where attendees paid a $20 fee to see musicians play and get a free drink at each location. There were also $20 T-shirts being sold, with the event's proceeds going to Bahamas Red Cross.
Siesta Village restaurants and bars regularly get together for events like pub crawls, but Hale said the philanthropic motivation behind this event made it especially meaningful.
"To know that we are really going to be helping is super-overwhelming," Hale said.
3.14 Pi manager Geno Collie, who used to live in the Bahamas and still has family there, helped organize It Takes a Village. Though his family lives in Nassau and avoided the worst of the hurricane, he has friends who live in some of the most-devastated areas, such as the Abaco Islands and Freeport.
"I said, 'We have to do something,'" Collie said. "We all go down there to visit, and I think we should give back, we should put something together and help people in need.”
The turnout for It Takes a Village was phenomenal, Collie said, as was S.K.O.B.'s separate effort collecting its dollar bills. And he said after working in the restaurant and bar business where sometimes you run into people's worst behavior, the event had an uplifting feel to it.
"It brought faith back in humanity for me," Collie said. "Everybody came together as one community just to help another.”
This story originally published to heraldtribune.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.