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Packed House at Concert to Help Ship Bottom Fire Department

'Sandy Blows' concert draws a big crowd, big local acts

After Superstorm Sandy blew through Long Beach Island, many a homeowner crossed the causeway a week later to find bay-soaked carpets, displaced boats and waterlogged cars.

But for the Ship Bottom Fire Department, the storm took an even heavier toll: about $400,000 worth of equipment lost.

Island volunteer fire departments - which have faced hurdles in the past decade thanks to a reduction in the year-round island population as real estate prices skyrocketed - have held on and are credited with countless rescues during the height of the storm.

On Saturday night, it was time for the community to give back.

Crowds packed the Surf City Fire Company building on Long Beach Boulevard to hear a number of bands perform for 10 hours straight - from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. - in support of the neighboring Ship Bottom company.

The "Sandy Blows" concert, which requested a donation of $10 per person to enter, became a standing-room-only event with a line spilling out the door and wrapping around the corner of North 8th Street and Long Beach Boulevard.

The event featured popular locals acts including Eleven:Eleven, Shorty Long and the Jersey Horns, and Chevy Lopez.

"When we were kids growing up, we would see those island newspapers, and we were so envious of all the great bands that played there and all the great venues. And finally we got a chance to play them and our names were in those papers," said John Kern, guitarist and lead singer of Shorty Long. "This community embraced us, and we can't turn our backs on them in their time of need."

Shorty Long is one of the island's most popular acts, performing frequently at the Surf City Hotel and The Shell, as well as an annual free concert in Ship Bottom.

"We just want to see LBI, and the rest of the Jersey Shore communities whole again," Kern said.

The figures on how much the benefit concert raised weren't in by the end of the night, but judging by the density of the crowd, the event was a wild success.

"Overwhelmed by the amount of people that we had come out to support us tonight," the Ship Bottom Fire Department reported on its Facebook page around 3 a.m. "So many people to thank for putting this together & making it all happen. A special thank you to Station 49 [Surf City] for letting us use their hall for this momentous event."

dedicated vol. January 13, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Awesome support for those who are dedicated to helping total strangers!
Ray January 14, 2013 at 02:18 PM
The volunteer fire depts are the greatest.
Proud Pappa January 15, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Hats off to all they attended and helped these men and women who give so much to the community and receive so little...just one question..Dont the town of Ship Bottom have insurance for this huge loss???
Proud Pappa January 15, 2013 at 03:42 PM
oops didnt proof read..hats off to all THAT,,,,,,,, sorry

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