Generosity Proves Contagious as Palm Beach Civic Association Directors Answer a Call for Help

Tim Malloy  |  Hurricane Relief  |  Our Leaders  |  September 12, 2019

Palm Beach Civic Association Director Matt Smith talks about helping out in the Bahamas

The lives of the residents, and the landscape of the islands they call home, were forever altered by Hurricane Dorian.

The category five storm tore across the Northern Bahamas, inflicting more than 7 billion dollars in damage, killing more than 50 people, a number that will certainly grow, and leaving 70,000 people homeless.

Literally within hours of when the first shocking video of the damage done to Abaco and Grand Bahama appeared on television, several Palm Beach Civic Association Directors and members rolled up their sleeves and organized a relief effort.

John Scarpa and J. Ira Harris, two long time Palm Beach residents, collectively pledged to match 200,000 dollars to be donated to the relief effort on behalf of The Town of Palm Beach United Way and the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties  

“If you try to put yourself in their shoes, it certainly opens your heart to try to reach out and help”, said Mr. Scarpa. who serves on the board of the Town of Palm Beach United Way.

“Seeing what has happened to these people, how could you not want to reach out and help”?

said Mr. Harris.

Civic Association Director Michael Ainslie, and his wife Suzanne have offered additional support. 

“Their drive and determination to help others, and those that they may never meet, is always reflected in their philanthropy. They inspire this community to do our best” said Mary Robosson, the Civic Association president.

Matthew Smith, a Palm Beach Civic Association Director, and his wife Tracy have pledged a 50,000 dollar matching gift to the Town of Palm Beach United Way Bahamas Relief Fund.

The relief fund was established in collaboration with the Town of Palm Beach United Way to support long term efforts to restore a semblance of normal life to the Northern Bahamas.

“Tracy and I were heartbroken when we saw the devastation of the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island”, said Smith.

The donation will come through The Matthew & Tracy Smith Foundation.

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