Bring Back the Beach Weekend events support the Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund, which provides Misquamicut businesses with grants to help them rebuild in time for the summer 2013 season. Misquamicut, a favorite summer playground for Southern New England residents and a key to Rhode Island tourism revenue, suffered the Ocean State’s worst of Hurricane Sandy, causing an estimated $14 million in damages to a community comprised entirely of small, locally owned businesses. The Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund is run by the Greater Westerly Chamber Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization.
Bring Back the Beach Weekend begins on Friday, Dec. 7th, with a multi-band concert at the Knickerbocker Café. The concert begins at 7 p.m., and the $15 cover charge will be donated to the Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund. On Saturday, the Ocean Community YMCA – Westerly Pawcatuck branch will host a family day of summer-type fun from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Activities include swimming, a giant Bounce House, Beach Blanket Bingo, Sumo Wrestling, face painting, sea shell ornament decorating, and a karaoke dance party. Donations are $5 per child, $3 per adult, or $10 per family. Wrapping up the weekend is Sunday’s Misquamicut Beach Benefit, hosted by three of Westerly’s favorite downtown venues—the Malted Barley, Perks & Corks, and the Twisted Vine. The day-long event begins at 2 p.m. and features live music, food by local restaurants, and a silent art auction of works by local artists. Admission is by donation, with donations of $20 or more providing a raffle ticket for special grand prize.
“Hurricane Sandy’s destruction of our Misquamicut Beach community was overwhelming. But even more overwhelming in the days since has been the outpouring of local support in our effort to rebuild,” says Lisa Konicki, executive director of the Greater Westerly Chamber of Commerce. “The benefit events of this Bring Back the Beach Weekend are crucial to our efforts to raise funds that are so critical to rebuilding Misquamicut’
The Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund has a goal of raising at least $400,000. Through tee-shirt sales, various local fundraisers, coin jars on the counters of businesses throughout Westerly, and corporate donations, the Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund has raised more than $75,000 since the storm. For more information visit http://www.westerlychamber.org/
About the Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund
The Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund was established by the Greater Westerly Chamber Foundation in response to Hurricane Sandy’s devastation of Misquamicut Beach. The Misquamicut business community—comprised entirely of small businesses—suffered an estimated $14 million in damages from Hurricane Sandy in October. The Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund, thanks to fundraisers, corporate support and personal donations, is providing grants to those small businesses to help them recover and rebuild in time for the 2013 summer season. All donations will be allocated directly to recovery and rebuilding. As an initiative of the 501c3 Greater Westerly Chamber Foundation, all Jump Start Small Business Recovery Grant Fund donations are tax deductible. Donations can be sent to 1 Chamber Way, Westerly, RI 02891.