Popeyepalooza – For Our Kids!

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    Just in time to kick off a great summer, Popeyepalooza VII returns to the Beach Pub next Sunday, June 26th, and host and founder Michael ‘Popeye’ Dearden is busy getting everything together to make this annual island tradition the best one yet!

    “This is our seventh annual fundraiser for youth athletics on Fort Myers Beach,” Popeye told us this week, as he continues to beat the streets collecting prizes and money for our local youth. “Hopefully – like we crushed $5,000 last year – we can crush $6,000 this year and, in that case, I’ll add in more beneficiaries related to youth athletics.”

    “The festivities will include our traditional Beach Barbecue, Live Entertainment all day long, Door Prize Raffles, 50/50 Raffles, Silent Auctions,” he said. “BBQ plates stuffed with chicken, ribs, beans, cole slaw, rolls and butter will be available for $15, and we will also have t-shirts for $15 – with all the proceeds going to the kids. This year, we will also have hats for sale!”

    Popeyepalooza VII will feature live music by Lucky Daizy, Life is Good, Cross Eyed Chicks, and headlining the event will be the John Allender Blues Band.

    Popeye gave us a sneak peek at some of the raffle items he’s already collected from generous local businesses, and they are amazing – some lucky soul will even win the Grand Prize – a 3 day/2 night stay at DiamondHead (a value of $620)!

    “On the silent auction we’ve got three $350 value photo packages from Cason Studios; some beautiful jewelry from Beach Jewels and Miss Olivia as well as many hotel and resort stays, amongst other things,” Popeye said. “In fact, every prize or prize package won in the raffle will be worth between $50 and $300.”

    Popeye told us that this year’s event will feature something extra special.

    “We’re going to do at least one live auction of a Brit Floyd acoustic guitar,” Popeye continued, excitedly. “How this happened is: I went to a benefit last year and bought a Jasmine Dreadknought acoustic guitar, and over the last year I’ve been having local artists autograph it – plus all the artists performing this year will autograph it – but my biggest coup was taking it to the Brit Floyd concert at Barbara B. Mann last year. They also autographed it for me, so we’re auctioning it off for our kids as the Brit Floyd Guitar!”

    Dearden told us he is still collecting prize donations, so those who are interested are asked to call him at 239-645-2402. Want to help out but can’t afford it? Donate time instead and be a volunteer! He also wanted everyone to know that his event is once again getting back-up from the Florida Helps Foundation – a 501c3 organization that allows those making cash contributions over $250 to write the gifts off on their tax bills.

    Those who want to help can write a check made out to ‘Florida Helps Foundation’ and put Popeyepalooza on the notation line and mail to: Popeyepalooza, PO Box 6056, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, 33932.

    “They reimburse the charity penny for penny, and that way it’s tax deductible,” Popeye told us. “Each year this event has raised more and more money for our kids, and this year we’re looking to shatter records like we do every year. And I’m so glad to be holding the event at the Beach Pub again – I love having them as a sponsor as it’s been a great association.”

    “There is no greater cause than our children, so come out and enjoy a great Beach Event and support a great cause!!!

    Keri Hendry Weeg