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Lending a hand

Local organizations pitch in to help Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

September 5, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

All it takes is one person with an idea - and a group of friends to help make it happen.

A group of friends from North Fort Myers decided they couldn't sit still while those impacted from Hurricane Harvey still needed help.

Within a matter of a few days, Nick Haupt and friend Johnny Leiter had assembled a crew of men with boats and trailers to help with rescue efforts and make supply runs to Texas.

Article Photos

This group of friends decided they had to do something to help the relief effort in Texas.

While he traveled to the disaster zone, his fiance Crystal Bohanon and sister Miriam Haupt gathered up the rest of their friend to pitch in for a "Lonestar Relief" effort Saturday at the Salty Crab.

"Nick and Crystal and I were talking about it. We're all good friends, and we said do you want to do something?" Miriam Haupt said. "Everyone wanted to be a part of it."

Joan Cursi, Bohanon and Haupt teamed up with Shannon Snow, founder of the Pit Bull Crew Dog Rescue, and Martha Johnson, owner of Marker 27 handmade swimwear, to solicit monetary donations and relief-item drop offs.

By mid-afternoon, the Salty Crab's entry way was full of diapers and dog food as people pulled over to drop off goods or give the group a donation. The Salty Crab gave a free drink to anyone who made the donation.

Snow has hosted events for her dog rescue at the Salty Crab, so she knew the bar and restaurant would be more than willing to offer up a place for them to gather. She's preparing her network of fosters to take in as many dogs as she can from Hurricane Harvey.

On Sept. 20, the group of friends will take off to Texas with another round of supplies and will be volunteering in the temporary shelters. Snow said she plans to bring back as many displaced dogs as she can, and she's looking for fosters now who can commit to giving a dog a temporary home.

"There are so many displaced animals," she said. "There are animals that were just left, tied up. If they don't have a microchip or aren't reclaimed, they'll probably be euthanized."

The group loaded up the donations in a trailer and headed to Texas Monday for another supply run.

The group will be accepting donations until Sept. 20. They're looking for supplies for both humans and animals; donations such as clothes, socks, toiletries, diapers, dog and cat food, leashes and collars are all welcome. Donations can be dropped off at Zaxby's two locations, 11791 S Cleveland Ave. and 17500 Ben Hill Griffin Parkway; Brooke's Restaurant and Lounge, 4450 Hancock Bridge Parkway; Brevard Prosthetics, 13240 North Cleveland Ave.; and MANscape salon at 710 Pondella Road, Suite 4, North Fort Myers.

The Salty Crab wasn't the only local business who pitched in for Harvey victims.

The Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce began a collection box last week to gather toiletries and supplies. It is accepting donations through the end of the day Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Beach Records donated all of its profits from sales on Saturday to the relief effort; Val's Lounge hosted a fundraiser; and Captains for Clean Water organized five drop-off locations for supplies and left for Texas on Monday.



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