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Tornado relief benefit set for Sunday

By Staff | Jan 15, 2016

Businesses and residents of Cape Coral are wasting no time in helping out those who need it most.

A local musician has put together a relief benefit concert at BackStreets Sports Bar on Sunday for those who suffered property damage in a tornado that ripped through neighborhoods in the southwest area of the city on Saturday.

The concert will be from 8 p.m. to midnight and will feature silent auctions, 50/50 raffles and live music. Donations of emergency items and money will be accepted. Cash proceeds will go to the Red Cross with goods distributed directly to tornado victims.

Keith Clanton, who lives a stone’s throw from the scene of the damage, sent out a call to local musicians, residents and businesses to help those people through cash donations and the collection of essentials such as blankets, tarps, clothing, canned goods, pet food and gift cards.

“It happened in my back yard and my family was in the main stream. I saw all the devastation and tried to figure out what to do because so many people need help,” Clanton said.

Clanton does a lot of social networking for his band, The Clanton Gang, so he used it to reach out to those who were in need and those who might be able to help, using music to connect them. Despite the last-minute nature of the event, the work paid off.

“Within six to eight hours it really took off. I got a lot of support from the network and my friends and associates jumped right on it,” Clanton said. “At 3 a.m. we had people making donations and helping out, we had a venue and drop-off spots.”

Clanton said he has gotten calls from the local band Myth, as well as several other bands, to form what will be The Clanton Gang and Friends, for an old-fashioned rock and roll jam session.

Dawn Gaylor of the Beach Baptist Church on Fort Myers Beach is reaching out to get raffle and auction donations together, with all cash donations going through the church to the Red Cross. To keep the money local, add Southwest Florida Disaster Relief, to the check memo line.

Monetary donations should be made out to Cape Coral Tornado Victims, and mailed to Beach Baptist Church: 130 Connecticut St., Fort Myers Beach, 33904. Tax receipts are available to those who request one.

“When Keith came up with the idea and I said I’d do it. We only came up with the idea Tuesday, so I’m pounding the pavement and trying to get it thrown together,” Gaylor said. “I’m kind of the go-getter on the beach to get people to donate.”

“Some people don’t have insurance on their house. The roofs are caved in and all their furniture is destroyed. I want to give things they need directly to those people,” Clanton said. “We’re trying to help them.”

BackStreets is at 915 Southeast 47th Terrace. For more information, call 945-7555.

Donations of daily necessities, including clothes, shoes, blankets, household appliances, pet food, and non-perishable food items, may be dropped at Gear Head Tattoo, 4425 Del Prado Blvd., and the Masonic Lodge, 244 Santa Barbara Blvd.

They also are collecting “as many raffle prizes that (they) can get!”

“Gift cards, gift baskets, hotel stays, golf packages, TVs, bicycles, and spa/hair treatments are just a few examples” of the types of items sought.

To donate raffle items, contact Keith Clanton, keith.clanton@yahoo.com; Dawn Gaylor, gaylordawn@yahoo.com , or contact Shelly at Backstreets Sports Bar, 239-945-7555, for more information. Raffle prize donations may be sent to or dropped off at BackStreets Sports Bar, 915 S.E. 47th Terrace Cape Coral, Fl 33904.