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INDIO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 27: Rickey Medlocke and Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd perform onstage during the 2019 Stagecoach Festival at Empire Polo Field on April 27, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach)

Southwest Florida is hosting three concerts to benefit Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The Rotary Club of Bonita Beach Sunset will host the HumanitarIAN Music Festival to support local artists. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office and mental health nonprofit Grounding Wire will put on the Kickin’ the Blues Show. Lastly, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Lynyrd Skynyrd will rock the stage at Hertz Arena for the Boots on the Sand Benefit concert.  

HumanitarIAN Music Festival 

When: 2 to 7 p.m. Nov. 13 

Where: Riverside Park, 10450 Reynolds St., in Bonita Springs 

Admission: Free; donations requested 

Five years ago, The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs hosted a successful Hurricane Irma benefit concert and decided to do something similar following Hurricane Ian. There will be over 10 Southwest Florida artists performing at Riverside Park. 

“Some of them have been very impacted by the storm as well, so it’s incredible that we can come alongside them,” 6960 Rotary District Governor nominee Kelsey Mitchell said. “My club in particular has three people who have had significant flooding in their homes and one of which who lost her home completely. So we definitely have felt this storm significantly on our home front as well as some of these artists.”  

The rotary club visited some of the hardest hit areas, such as Fort Myers Beach and Harlem Heights, to distribute more than 200 personal invitations to residents who experienced significant loss from the storm. 

“I’m just hopeful that this brings a sense of community back to them,” Mitchell said. “Some of the people on Fort Myers Beach, I know in the beginning kind of felt like they were forgotten because it was closed down and it was hard to get there. I really don’t want them to feel that way. I want them to know that their community loves them, their community supports them and all of Southwest Florida can come together for this and just enjoy the time and relax and show each other the support that they all need.” 

The HumanitarIAN Music Festival will also have local food trucks, a bounce house for kids, and artists doing painting displays. 

Kickin’ the Blues Music Night  

When: 4 to 9 p.m. Nov. 19 

Where: Riverside Park, 10450 Reynolds St., in Bonita Springs 

Admission: VIP Tickets are $65, general admission is $25. Children 12 and under are free. Purchase tickets at the Kickin’ the Blues website 

Kickin’ the Blues was planned before Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida in late September. After witnessing how the storm destroyed so many people’s lives, Grounding Wire co-founder Frances Borschell and her husband decided to donate 25% of their profits to Hurricane Ian relief through the Lee County School fund. Meanwhile, 75% will be going toward mental health in the area. 

“There’s been some suicides with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and people just devastated by their loss and not able to cope,” Borschell said. “They may have been experiencing stress before and then that drove them over the edge. And then there’s untold amount of PTSD with people who experienced water rushing into their homes and being faced with death.” 

First responders attending the event can receive free admission by showing identification at the gate. 

“With first responders, many of them had to choose which people to save when they were doing those rescues, they couldn’t save everybody,” Borschell said. 

Big names are coming to Riverside Park for the event, such as original members from Chicago and John Paris from Earth, Wind and Fire. 

“We co-founded and created Kickin’ the Blues Festival for mental health, to give back to the community and to fill a gap and a majorly need for our community,” Borschell said. “It was created with the intention to bring people together because music is a universal language and people heal through music.” 

Grounding Wire’s mission is to revolutionize mental health and erase the stigma around mental health by mainstreaming the conversations surrounding the issues. “About 70% of people who need help aren’t getting it,” Borshcell said. “And Florida is number 49 out of all the United States in terms of access to care. So we’re at the bottom of the barrel.” 

Grounding Wire has a client advocate program that helps people navigate the system of seeking help. 

“We do the research for them. We find help for them whether they can afford it or not,” Borschell said. “And for folks without insurance and for folks who can’t afford help, Grounding Wire provides scholarships to help people get the help they need.” 

Boots on the Sand Benefit Concert  

When: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1 

Where: Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, in Estero 

Admission: Tickets range from $65 to $250 at Boots on the Sand’s website and Ticketmaster’s website 

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Lynyrd Skynyrd is headlining the Boots on the Sand Hurricane relief event at Hertz Arena on Dec. 1. Country fans will see performances by Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line and Tracy Lawrence. The lineup includes eight artists. Funds from the event will benefit Volunteer Florida, the Collier Community Foundation and the Charlotte Community Foundation. 

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