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BEYC Launches Irma Relief Fund to Support BEYC Employees & the Virgin Gorda Community

October 6th, 2017

On September 6, 2017, Irma, the strongest Atlantic hurricane in the past fifty years and the most powerful ever to strike the eastern Caribbean, caused massive destruction throughout the region. Irma’s eye and her most destructive winds passed directly over Bitter End, North Sound and the island of Virgin Gorda. The entire Virgin Gorda community was devastated, miraculously with only one storm-related fatality.

Just as Hurricane Irma relief efforts were being mobilized, another Category 5 storm, Hurricane Maria, battered the Caribbean, bringing more destruction and paralyzing supply lines and relief efforts. The combination of Irma and Maria destroyed or severely crippled most of the British Virgin Islands’ infrastructure, including water, electricity, transportation and communications. In Virgin Gorda, virtually all homes, businesses, healthcare and educational facilities were demolished or extensively damaged. the two storms have displaced thousands of people from their homes and employment leaving a humanitarian crisis that will require immense resources and support to achieve recovery.

Bitter End has been our family’s business in Virgin Gorda for over forty years; and we are committed to helping rebuild the Virgin Gorda community and the greater BVI in any way we can. Today, we are asking for your support in the enormous task in front of us. Our mission began with our hands-on relief efforts in the Virgin Gorda and with the You Caring crowdsourcing fund we have created for our employees and the broader Virgin Gorda community that have lost so much to Irma. To make a donation, you can visit our fund by clicking the link here. 100% of the proceeds will go to rebuilding lives of a community that we all share a love for. The community will be grateful for every contribution; no amount is too small.

For those partners and friends of Bitter End who would like to support our efforts on a larger scale, be it individually or through corporate contributions, we have established a donor advised fund, known as the Bitter End Irma Relief Fund in partnership with The Resource Foundation to coordinate disaster relief efforts in Virgin Gorda. The Resource Foundation is a NY based non-profit organization that partners with local organizations to provide long‐term reconstruction and recovery assistance in areas afflicted by natural disasters. These organizations can quickly assess needs on the ground and develop initiatives that offer ongoing assistance in the medium and long-term so that victims can rebuild their homes, schools and healthcare facilities; and reestablish their businesses and restore their livelihoods. The Resource Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and all contributions to this fund are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers. To make a donation or to learn more about our partnership with The Resource Foundation, please visit our donor advised fund on their website at http://resourcefnd.org/funds/bitter-end-irma-relief-fund/. For more information on making a donation or the work we are doing in the region, please contact Kerri Quinn Jaffe, our Chief Marketing Officer at 203-656-5008 or kjaffe@beyc.com.

Throughout these challenging circumstances, it has become even more apparent that Bitter End is far more than a travel destination. It has reminded us that the BEYC experience transcends the typical family vacation, and that there is a real connection between BEYC visitors, and the people of Virgin Gorda. One annual Repeater Guest has recently stepped forward with a Donation Match Program. This family is matching “dollar for dollar” all donations up to $100,000! Help us reach our goal and please consider a donation today. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to this family for their overwhelming generosity.

Although it’s too soon to put a timeline on Bitter End’s recovery, there is no storm of any category that could extinguish our spirit and our dedication to that very special place in North Sound. This kindred spirit is a part of every one of us, past and present, who has experienced Bitter End’s magic. My family and I will do everything we can to find a way to make sure that the spirit and the substance of Bitter End continues on. Thank you in advance for your consideration of support for this important mission. And thank you all for your friendship over the years to Bitter End, Virgin Gorda and the entire BVI community.

Richard Hokin            

Managing Owner, Bitter End Yacht Club