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Local Bands Team Up For Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert At Stephen Talkhouse

Nicole Barylski

Revel in Dimes is among headliners. (Photo: Michael Halsband)

For the many East End residents that have a tie to Puerto Rico, which some consider the "East End of the Caribbean," you can help those impacted by the devastating Hurricane Maria, which left nearly the entire island without power, by heading to the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett on Thursday, November 2 for Talkhouse For A Cause - a benefit concert that supports Puerto Rico hurricane relief efforts.

Jewel Feldman, who handles promotions and public relations for the Talkhouse, and Abby Gawronski, who owns her own boutique marketing agency and has planned countless East End events, are spearheading the benefit.

From the start of the event's inception, family, surf, and localism have been a recurring theme, so the Talkhouse and event organizations have selected to support Save the Children, Waves for Water, and Mano a Mano - three organizations whose mission embrace these common threads.

"I used to be an executive assistant for someone out here and I worked a lot with Jennifer Lopez's team. Jennifer Lopez just recently put together a huge benefit concert throughout the entire nation and I thought to myself, this is a no-brainer. We need to do this on a local level, especially since the local community is so tied to Puerto Rico," Gawronski told us. "I looked into where they were going to put all their funds, they're doing a bunch of organizations and Save the Children stuck out because so many members of the local community have homes down there, they have family down there, they have friends down there, so it's very family driven." Save the Children has teamed up with the Salvation Army for storage to allocate basic necessities for those residing in shelters. The organization is also working to ensure children are safe and protected by opening child-friendly areas in shelters and assessing school damages, collaborating with mainland Head Start program to aid schools getting back up and running. To donate to Save the Children, visit www.crowdrise.com.

"Waves for Water, again supports a huge cause that needs to be helped down there. When there's any sort of natural disaster, the water gets completely tainted," she noted. "We have a friend that works for Waves for Water and the organization is providing clean water down there for everyone. It's something that we might take for granted on a daily basis, but when something like this happens it's definitely not something to take for granted. We want to get clean water down there and help as many families as possible." Waves for Water's three step process started with the implementation of portable water filtration systems to communities who needed clean water before the hurricane. Next, they address the breakdown in water infrastructure through the formation of large and centrally located depots, which can offer water for entire communities. Finally, they examine data from stage 1 and 2 to design and implement long term mechanisms to alter the way water is accessed for years to come. To donate to Waves for Water, visit www.wavesforwater.org.

Mano a Mano, a relief program, was set up by Montauk local Alexis Engstrom. "The third local charity, she's literally taking any of the money that she has raised and is hand delivering it with the people," Gawronski explained. "If they need water, she's going with them to get it. They just did their first trip down there. They spent $1,000 on tarps for people whose roofs are just completely off." The organization's mission is to get money directly from donors into the hands of those in Puerto Rico who need it the most. To donate to Mano a Mano, visit www.youcaring.com.

"It gives people a variety of organizations to contribute to, if they're a local surfer a lot of them are going to do Waves for Water," she shared. "If you have a family that has spent years and years and years in Puerto Rico, Save the Children is great. Or you can give someone $20 and help anyone down there that will need help."

Black & Blue, The Bad Hombres, The Montauk Project, Revel in Dimes, Little Head Thinks, and DJ Matty Nice are headlining the concert.

"They're all pretty much local bands - people that we grew up with. There's the Bad Hombres, he's actually a pretty well known developer out here. In his spare time, just as a passion, he has his own band," Gawronski said. "Washy Duke of Revel in Dimes, he grew up in East Hampton. Members from The Montauk Project went to East Hampton High School. Josh Brussell of Little Head Thinks, he is a teacher at the high school."

In addition to an amazing musical experience, attendees can sip on specialty cocktails from Simple Vodka and Montauk Hard Label, nosh on food from local favorites and bid on amazing silent auction items - like an Apple Watch from GeekHampton, a five series class pack from SoulCycle, a tee time for two at a local golf course, Kopari Beauty Kit, MuvStrong Fitness Starter Kit, and much more.

"We're just going from town to town. We have everything from hair salons (Warren Tricomi) to restaurants - Babette's - they gave us $100 gift card on the spot," Gawronski said. "We have places like Luigi's in Amagansett who is donating salads, because we're going to have food."

The community's outpouring of support has touched Gawronski. "I grew up here and when I'm asked to help do these types of things, and with each experience that I get to be a part of, I always think in a very big picture, imaginative way, but when it comes down to actually make the bigger picture happen, the local community is always so supportive," Gawronski remarked. "That's what makes me excited and proud to be a part of these kinds of things, and to provide a fun night for the local community - a night where they can donate to a great cause and be a part of a bigger cause outside of our little bubble out here."

Admission to Talkhouse For A Cause is $20 and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

"It's an awesome local lineup and everyone's definitely excited," she added.

Stephen Talkhouse is located at 161 Main Street in Amagansett For more information, call 631-267-3117 or visit stephentalkhouse.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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