Half of the homes and businesses in Lambertville, N.J., were damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, and recovery is far from over for many people.
Capitol Health and The Lambertville Chamber of Commerce plan to help by presenting the Lambertville Helping Hands Benefit Concert on Oct. 9 and 10.
“It really truly is exciting to me to see neighbors playing for neighbors,” said Bryan Schreck, music director for the festival. “Those that can chip in to literally help their friends, their families, their neighbors. This is Lambertville helping Lambertville.”
The concert will feature local favorites like The Shackers and The Swiss Guard. On Sunday, local resident Darius de Haas will perform. De Haas sings the part of Shy Baldwin on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
“Our goal,” said Chamber President Jane Wesby, “is to raise enough money to significantly help the flood victims recover.”
The Chamber’s not-for-profit arm, Delaware Rivertowns Charities, has started an account specifically for flood relief for residents and businesses. Wesby reports that the first donation in the account tugged her heartstrings. It was a $700 donation from the children of Bordentown to the children of Lambertville accompanied by a card saying we are thinking of you. Lambertville Station and Suez Water Company have also donated to the fund.
“People’s lives have been literally turned upside down,” said Wesby. “We want to be able to fill in gaps in insurance coverage and help residents who in some cases have lost their entire home to condemnation.”
The two-day concert will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, and noon Sunday, Oct. 10. It will take place at the Hunterdon County Fairgrounds, 1207 Route 179, Lambertville. Tickets are $50 at the door or $35 in advance. Advance tickets are available online at lambertvillechamber.com/helping-hands/.
Festival-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic, but food will be available as well. Attendees will have an opportunity to support some businesses and organizations that were severely impacted by the flood. The American Legion, whose headquarters was destroyed, will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers to help fund its recovery, and Owowcow, which has yet to re-open its Lambertville location due to flood damage, will be on hand to sell its ice cream.
Lambertville Chamber Board Member Dina Finelli, who has been instrumental in organizing volunteers to provide help for flood victims and organizing the fundraiser said, “Our goal is to help rebuild a long-term, sustainable and resilient community. The foundation meets this mission by developing and managing a comprehensive base of funds. These funds represent an expanding pool of charitable dollars, committed to meeting the needs of the people and businesses of the Lambertville area, including Stockton, directly impacted by Hurricane Ida.”