NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Bright Ideas Brewery will host a benefit for Puerto Rico with an art sale and silent auction Wednesday.
Puerto Rican native Zorelly Cepeda Derieux watched Hurricane Maria devastate her home on the news from North Adams in September and inspired by her brother's actions, harnessed the power of the local arts and business community to help bring relief to the commonwealth.
"My brother and a couple of friends hosted a similar fundraiser at a bar in New York City and raised thousands for hurricane relief efforts," Cepeda Derieux said. "I figured I could do the same in North Adams. Before that, I was just sharing addresses of friends and family on the island with people who offered to help so they could send supplies, but I wanted to do something bigger."
Cepeda Derieux said there will be a silent auction featuring artists and fellow colleagues from North Adams and New York City.
There will also be an art sale featuring Colorado-based and Kidspace artist Wes Sam-Bruce and North Adams graphic designer Nicholas DuPont.
"It is a foundation devoted to assisting communities in their recovery efforts by installing water filtration systems, distributing medicine, helping special needs individuals and providing building materials for damaged homes," she said.
The event itself will take place from 6 to 9 Wednesday night and Crisp, in addition to their usual menu, will serve Puerto Rican Arroz Mamposteao, or "dirty rice," with pork and chicken.
Cepeda Derieux, who is also a dance instructor, said there will also be a Puerto Rican Christmas dance party with impromptu dance lessons throughout the night.
Cepeda Derieux said there is still a lot of work to be done in Puerto Rico. She said over 50 percent of the island still does not have power and clean water drinking water is still scarce.
In the three months since the hurricane devastated the island, residents have been dealing with lack of electricity, water and supplies, and numerous buildings and roads were significantly damaged.
"Many still have no homes or jobs, hospitals and senior citizens cannot get the medical help they need and municipalities are still sheltered from aid due to infrastructural damage," she said. "So if you see any news concerning Puerto Rico, talk about it with a friend, co-worker, share it on social media, anything, but stay informed."
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