Fundraiser aims to help victims of hurricanes in Virgin Islands

MIDDLEBURY — Mary O’Shea and her husband were fortunate enough to have built a small house on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They were also fortunate that the home sustained minimal damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which ravaged many Caribbean islands earlier this fall.
Most of the people in the Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory, were not so lucky.
Eight weeks after Hurricane Maria swept over St. John, 90 percent of the island is still without power, Wi-Fi, consistent mail service, fully functioning medical facilities, etc. Because it is a tiny island it often gets overlooked in the media and relief efforts.
“There is little we can do to address the needs of millions of people who have felt the impact of the catastrophic weather events of this season but perhaps we can make some difference in this one small place,” O’Shea wrote in an email trying to raise funds to help the Virgin Islands.
She and some others at Middlebury Indoor Tennis have organized a fundraiser to benefit the people, pets and national park of St. John.
On Friday, Dec. 1, MIT will host a potluck supper and tennis from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Bring a dish to share and your own beverage. All three courts will be available for those who want to play. This will be organized so everyone can join in.
The suggested donation is $40 person or $70 a couple.
In addition, there will be a silent auction, which will include:
•  Tennis related items.
•  Gift certificates from local shops and stores.
•  A week at “Molly’s cottage” (O’Shea’s house in St. John) sometime between April 15 and Dec. 15, 2018, for 4 to 6 persons. Minimum bid is half the regular rent. You can look at our house online at vrbo.com/289193.
Organizers said that anyone interested in helping out may make a donation with a check at the door or donate online to any the following organizations:
•  St. John Rescue — stjohnrescue.com.
•  St. John Community Foundation — thestjohnfoundation.org/donate.
•  St. John- Friends of the Park — friendsvinp.org/donate.
•  St. John Animal Care Center, which evacuated over 90 animals to New England right before and after the hurricanes — stjohnanimalcarecenter.com/donate.
For more information email [email protected].

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