ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The owners of Taste of the Bahamas on Lake Avenue heard from family on the island nation today, after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the archipelago.
“75 percent of the islands are underwater. They lost everything,” says Jamal Roker, co-owner of the restaurant.
In response to that, Roker and his wife Gotti Perry decided to throw a fundraiser at Taste of the Bahamas, hoping to provide relief for so many islanders now left with nothing.
“That’s what we’re hoping for tonight, with all the generous donations to just do our part here from Rochester,” says Perry.
“It can be money, it can be clothes, it can be canned goods, it can be baby diapers. They’re going to need it all,” says Roker.
Jonathan Hardin, the President of the Charlotte Community Association was in attendance. He lived through Hurricane Katrina.
“Being without electricity or water, the resources that you need is frightening,” says Hardin. And he says he knows just how long it can take for a government to provide aide, which makes events like tonight so critical. “We had resources coming in from the outside, the private community, faster than we had from the government,” he adds.
People there commented on the tremendous turn out, and the relief being raised tonight.
“I have to feel tonight means a lot for them because like, where else is help going to come from, you know what I mean?” says David Pierre.
Rick Copeland says, “You know what? If community doesn’t come together, we deteriorate and we fall apart.”
All said and done, they raised $2,015 in cash and “loads of goods” according to Roker. “We’re just hoping for whatever people can help with. We don’t have a cap on it,” adds Perry.
Roker and Perry plan on holding another fundraiser next month.