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Pine Island provides disaster relief for Bahamas

September 11, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Many islanders and island businesses are helping provide disaster relief supplies to the Hurricane Dorian damaged Bahama Islands. The Bahamas sustained Category 4 hurricane-force winds for over 24 hours leaving the islands devastated.

Brent Stokes, owner of Stokes Marine, a Fort Myers marine supply, organized an effort to collect disaster relief supplies at locations in Fort Myers, Naples and Pine Island and deliver them to the Bahamas.

The Pine Island drop-off location came about because Travis Scott, a long-time Pine Island resident and a construction manager for Stokes, contacted his mother, Ila Valcarcel, about making a donation to the GoFundMe page.

Article Photos

Some of the items collected at the Malacha/Pine Island Fire Station to be sent to the Bahamas to aid the residents there after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the islands. Islanders stepped up and provided a number of supplies for those in need.


"When I spoke with my mother, she asked if there were any drop-off locations on Pine Island," Scott said. "When I told her we didn't have one, she contacted the Pine Island Fire Department. The chief said OK, and we began collecting on Pine Island."

Sleeping bags, canned food, water, toiletries, tarps, tents, tools, batteries, charcoal, can openers, empty propane tanks, bandages, mosquito spray, towels, sheets, blankets, air mattresses, diapers, matches, candles, cleaning supplies, paper plates, paper towels, pet food and even a generator were all dropped off at Station #1.

"People began arriving immediately after word got out," Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit said. "It's always impressive how generous the people of Pine Island are. Wherever there is a need, the people of Pine Island fill it."

"The owner of Stokes Marine, Brent Stokes, jumped on this because he and his family have many ties to the Bahamas," Scott said. "They have property there and vacationed there for many years and have lots of friends there this is very personal for them."

ValCarcel, a long-time Pine Island resident, organized the collection effort on Pine Island.

"I just wanted to help in some way and saw there was a need for someone to gather supplies," ValCarcel said. "There are many people involved starting with the entire Stokes Marine company family. Donations have been very generous both through the GoFundMe page and drop offs at the firehouse."

Getting the supplies to Stokes Marine for transport to the Bahamas became a challenge until Bob Coslick, general manager of Pine Island Auto Care, donated a trailer to transport the supplies from the island to Stokes Marine in Fort Myers.

"I'd like to thank the Pine Island Fire Department for their help as a collection place for Pine Islanders to drop off disaster relief material," ValCarcel said. "I'd also like to thank Bob Coslick for the use of a trailer on Thursday. We were able to get everything to Stokes a day early. People on islands stick together."

Stokes organized a fleet of boats to transport supplies to Bahama island Friday.

Stokes' GoFundMe account is Bahamas Dorian Relief.



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