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2nd Annual Bokeelia Cracker Jam Feb. 11

By Staff | Feb 7, 2012

A benefit will be held this weekend at Bokeelia Cracker Caf for Hands Up Charity, Helping Acquire Necessary Disability Supplies for Underprivileged People, to help raise funds so the organization can continue to assist those in need.

The 2nd annual Bokeelia Cracker Jam will be held on Feb. 11 from noon until 7 p.m. A donation of $5 is encouraged for the show. Those who attend are also encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

The entertainment will include headliner Sunny Jim White, the Yard Dogs, Barby Holder, Mark Northey and Tiff and Zoid.

Kip Lawrence said he thinks Sunny Jim White is going to be a pretty big draw because he is a regular on Jimmy Buffett’s radio Margaritaville.

“I have known him for years and he is a really good guy,” Kip said. “I told him about it and he jumped on it.”

Kip said that Holder is also a good friend of his that plays the hammer dulcimer, along with being a singer and songwriter.

“I want to give Jason’s charity a kick start and I like to do it on the island,” Kip said about why he got the entertainment together for the event. “Everybody helps each other out on their different various charities.”

Kip’s brother Jason Lawrence, founder of Hands Up Charity, was in a car accident when he was 20 years old that put him in a wheelchair. He is now a quadriplegic and 34 years of age.

Over time he has had to deal with a lot of different issues that lead him to starting the charity, so he could help others in need. The charity began in 2008.

Hands Up provides anything from disposable supplies that individuals need to electric wheel chairs. Jason said they provide items that are within their budget.

Last year, Jason said he was able to give two electric wheelchairs to those in need, one regular push wheelchair and another small piece of equipment through his charity.

He said he has devoted himself to trying to help other people that are less fortunate.

“It is so much more near and dear to me because I know the struggles people go through,” Jason said, adding that it means a lot to him to provide someone with something they truly need to gain their independence. “They can start going out with family because they have transportation to get there.”

When Jason provides a helping hand to those in need he said it could be life saving for the recipient.

“Sometimes it is a life saving thing that you can give to someone,” he said, because they may be dying from a broken spirit because they can’t go anywhere or doing anything.”

For information about Hands Up Charity visit www.handsupcharity.org or call Lawrence at 239-980-4397.

In addition to starting up the Hands Up Charity, Jason also began a non-paid amateur football team called the Florida Stingrays. The first scrimmage game for the team, which is comprised of 38 players who are 18 years of age and older, was held Jan. 27 at Rutenburg Park in Fort Myers. The first game will be held on Feb. 11.

Lawrence said 150 people came out for their scrimmage game.

“That is a lot of people,” he said.

All the proceeds collected from various donations to attend the game all go towards the charity, along with other charities in the area.

“The community is really getting behind us,” Jason said. “We are trying to make something that the community can have for themselves.”

For more information about the football game visit www.floridastingraysfoot-ball.com.

Jason said since Southwest Florida is the foreclosure capital of the world, he wants to show the rest of the country what a community can do when it pulls together.

“We are working on the same goal to do something good for their community,” he said.