The Golden Isles and its residents have been through an ordeal over the past month. Hurricane Irma, while fortunately causing no loss of life, did make a huge impact in the area. Homes were damaged, some severely, neighborhoods were flooded and trees were downed.
But through it all, the community stepped up and came together to put the pieces back together, something that simply wowed Jessica Spearman.
The St. Simons Island resident who, manages a popular community Facebook page — St. Simons Live Update — first noticed the effort in the online fourm. Spearmen first noticed the community outreach and cooperation last year following Hurricane Matthew and she wanted to put together an event that celebrated that spirit.
“Last year, after Hurricane Matthew we decided to do an event. It was kind of SSI Live Update thing, but we wanted to do something to honor the people who helped after the storm,” she said.
They came up with a simple format, but one that spoke to the community nature of the effort. They enlisted the help of musicians and local dignitaries to put on a mini-concert. This year, Spearman said they plan to do the same thing.
“Since Irma came, we had the same thing,” she said. “All of us on SSI Live Update were watching these local people step up and remove trees without even being asked. So many really went above and beyond. And not the first responders, which were great, but also just the people who were helping their neighbors.”
Spearman reached out to former county commissioner Dale Provenzano and worked to secure the St. Simons Island Casino for the event. It will be held, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Several local radio stations will participate as will local leadership, including Bill Brunson, Glynn County Commission Chairman.
“We will be honoring the first responders. Then we will honor about 100 hometown heroes. We will read out their names and give them a gift cards,” she said.
The prizes were donated by local establishments like Catch 228, Iquanas and Bone Fish, as well as the Georgia Theater Co. Several musical acts will also perform. Keith Dean, a member of The Mufflers, is looking forward to taking the stage with other performers which will include Owen Plant and Suzie and the Birddogs.
“We played for last year’s celebration after Matthew, as well as the hurricane relief event on Sea Island, and it is an honor to take the stage with some great area musicians and make a contribution again this year. We’re always happy to pitch in for a great cause like this,” Dean said.