The New Paltz Flood Aid for Farmers, Families and First Responders is approaching $60,000 in donations for those affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, according to K.T. Tobin, member of the Flood Aid Committee.
After collecting over $30,000 from their Oct. 2 kickoff event, sponsorships, donations and pre-concert ticket sales, their Oct. 16 benefit concert at Hasbrouck Park helped to increase the amount to more than $52,000.
The benefit concert featured musicians including Ratboy Jr., Mark Sager and the Black Horse Riders, the Trapps, Connor Kennedy Band and Mr. Roper. Flood Aid All Stars included many members of Levon Helm’s Band, like Steven Bernstein and Jim Wieder.
Sponsors for the benefit included Dedrick’s Pharmacy & Gifts, The Gilded Otter, Dirk R. Dewitt, Main Street Bistro and WDST. Donors included 36 Main, Catskill Mountain Massage, Coldwater Creek, Rhinebeck Artist’s Shop and Rock and Snow.
“We received many donations large and small. The outpouring from the community was tremendous,” said Tobin.
The money raised will be distributed specifically to cater to those that were affected the most by storms. According to Tobin, half of the money will go to farmers based on how many acres they’ve lost and whether or not they have insurance. Approximately 35 percent will be spread out to impacted families via Family of New Paltz and the remaining 15 percent will go to first responders (fire, police and emergency medical responders).
“Moreso surprising than the financial contributions, was the outpouring of support from the community,” said Theresa Fall, part of the Flood Aid Committee. “We had to turn away volunteers, they were coming out of the woodwork.”
Fall said the raffle donations from the Water Street event were worth over $8,000 from local businesses.
“Typically we have to go out and hustle hard for these and it can take months. In two weeks time we got over $8,000 worth,” she said. “The energy and the teamwork from the volunteers created a spectacular working environment. It overwhelmed me in a good way.”
T-shirts were also made to support Flood Aid and were sold at the benefit concert. Short and long sleeved shirts as well as hoodies are still for sale at Mixture and In Good Taste in New Paltz for $10.
Aga Pigeras, an employee at Mixture, said the store still has about 300-400 clothing items left for sale. 50 percent of the proceeds will go to Flood Aid.
“Not many hoodies left, but a lot of T-shirts,” Pigeras said. “Come and get them!”
Although Flood Aid does not have any future plans right now for more fundraisers and events, people can still watch the full benefit concert at the Flood Aid website, www.new-paltzfloodaid.org. Donations can also be made via the website or sent to the New Paltz Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1112, New Paltz, N.Y. 12561. Checks can be written for the “New Paltz Community Foundation” with “FLOOD AID” in the memo.