Just over a month after Superstorm Sandy caused severe damage throughout Hopatcong, the borough is coming together to raise money for those victims still suffering from the aftermath.
The Hurricane Hopatcong - We Hit Harder benefit will bring the community together at Pavinci's Italian Grill on Sunday to raise money for the three families in the borough whose homes were destroyed from the storm.
The event, which will go on from 3 to 9 p.m., will be filled with family-friendly activities, including music entertainment from local musicians, giveaways, door prizes, and more.
Local musician and Hopatcong resident Robin DeLorenzo organized the event, after she had the idea to put her music and marketing skills together, and help the town out.
She approached Mario Ferra, the owner of Pavinci's, about her idea, and said he immediately agreed to host the benefit. After meetings with township officials, she created a website and a Facebook event and said it was an instant hit.
"I was pretty confident that I had enough friends and people in town that it could explode," she said. "And it did."
DeLorenzo said within two days, over 100 people joined the Facebook event for the benefit.
As of Wedneday, more than 230 people said they're attending.
"The outpouring of support has been incredible," she said.
Nationally recognized comedian, impressionist and actor Pete DeLorenzo will be the Master of Ceremonies. Pete DeLorezno has been on David Letterman, Comedy Central, and the Soprano’s.
Local bands, including Robin DeLorenzo's band, the Danny Nova Band, Who’s Johnny, and Lost in Place will perform throughout the event.
Over 50 local businesses, which are all listed out on the event website, have contributed to the event by donating gifts and gift cards for prizes for the live auctions, raffles, and tricky tray.
"One of the main goals for me was to keep it local as possible so it could benefit three of our families, but also our business owners in town," DeLorenzo said. "It creates a bigger picture of the community pulling together than just the six-hour event."
Those who wish to attend can purchase a ticket for a $5 minimum donation. DeLorezno said organizers are suggesting residents 21 and over to donate $20, and $10 for 20 and under.
DeLorenzo said donations and volunteers are still needed and are welcome. She said the tickets, T-shirts, and monetary donations can all be made through the website. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.
Mayor Sylvia Petillo, who will be at the event on Sunday, said the beneift provides a "wonderful opportunity" for residents to help families impacted by Sandy.
"People have been asking how can they help, who can they donate to," she said. "This is one way that the money will go directly to families that had homes damaged and have been displaced."
For more information about the event, visit www.hurricanehopatcong.com