Firefly Distillery co-founders Scott Newitt and Jim Irvin watched in horror as Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas, home of the Firefly Sunset Resort. The resort owned by Jim Irvin and his wife Ann is located in Hope Town, Elbow Cay, Abaco Islands, one of the hardest-hit Islands. To help, the Firefly Distillery is donating $1 per case of Firefly Spirits purchased between now and Jan. 31, 2020. The donation applies for every case of Firefly Spirits products that it sells nationwide, where permitted by law. Firefly will also be donating other goods and services to support relief efforts.
On Sept. 3, The Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue’s Facebook post reported 30% of structures demolished on Elbow Cay; 70% of structures damaged- to severely-damaged; most docks unusable; and 99% of boats sunk. While the Firefly Sunset Resort suffered significant damage too, it provided safe shelter during the storm and now serves as a command center and volunteer-driven soup kitchen for the remaining 200 islanders.
And that is just the beginning.
Despite the Firefly Sunset Resort suffering significant damage, it provided safe shelter during the storm and now serves as an unofficial command center and volunteer-driven kitchen for the remaining 200 islanders. Lorenzo Barrigelli, resort proprietor and general manager, reports they are feeding 100 people a day. After employee safety, the first priority is to rebuild the dock so they can receive supplies and cook for everyone.
“While the destruction is overwhelming, the hardest part is what this storm has done to families,” said Ann Irvin. “People have lost their homes and livelihoods. They have to start over from scratch as they are being evacuated for safety. We are doing everything we can to help which means if our friends need a brief respite and a hot meal, we are here.”
Jim Irvin agreed. “Hurricane Dorian hit us hard,” he said. “The devastation is beyond belief, but we are blessed that Hope Town did not have any fatalities. Together we will stay strong against the coming headwinds, do whatever it takes to rebuild our islands.”
The Firefly proceeds will benefit several organizations providing relief, including:
- PERCabaco.org, a local organization where you can designate the beneficiary of your gift; https://www.percababco.org. Tax-deductible donations for U.S. citizens may be made to PERC. Donors can select the qualified charity of their choice to receive the funds.
- Hope 4 Hope Town, Abaco Islands Relief Fund. This GoFundMe project http://hope4hopetown.com was started by Nashville Songwriter Patrick Davis. Firefly gifts will be donated to Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue.
“The minute the skies darkened over Abaco, I reached out to my friends at Firefly and in Hope Town,” Davis said. “I watched in disbelief as the island was destroyed. I am devastated and I acted fast. I started raising money the day after the storm hit and I will continue to use my resources to help rebuild the Bahamas.”
On Sept. 16, Firefly supported Davis’ Hope 4 Hope Town benefit show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Davis and friends performed Hope Town, an island favorite song that was written at the resort. The all-star line-up included Dierks Bentley, fellow Charleston-native Darius Rucker, Florida Georgia Line, Randy Houser, Patrick Davis, and many other generous performers. Adding to the over $427,000 raised to date, Firefly is making additional donations to their online auction that is live now through 8 p.m. EST Sunday, Sept. 29, at https://qtego.net/qlink/bahama.
To stay up to date on Firefly news and fundraising efforts, visit http://fireflyspirits.com/hope-4-hope-town or the company’s social media pages.
ABOUT THE FIREFLY DISTILLERY
Firefly Distillery was founded by Jim Irvin and Scott Newitt. It is currently located on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina, 30 miles south of Charleston, and is the largest distillery in the state. A new distillery in North Charleston is now under construction and scheduled to open January 2020. Firefly products include Sweet Tea Vodka, Straight Vodka, Lemonade Vodka, Ruby Red Vodka and a full line-up of Lowcountry moonshine flavors: Apple Pie, Blackberry, Caramel, Cherry, Peach, Strawberry, and White Lightning. For more information, visit: http://www.fireflyspirits.com