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Last October, Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast and its surrounding areas. Almost a year later, we are still feeling the effects. In NYC, one of the areas hit the hardest by Sandy was Rockaway Beach in Queens. After the storm, thousands of volunteers flocked to the region to donate their time, efforts and supplies to help re-build the community and assist the people whose lives were directly impacted by the devastation.
The Rockaway Beach Surf Club, spearheaded by Brandon D’Leo (a Rockaway resident and former TFF artist in the Art Award Program), Bradach Walsh, and Beth Perkins, was one of the Queens-based organizations whose facility sustained serious damage from Sandy. Instead of falling apart, the RBSC became home to one of the first grass roots relief efforts on the peninsula, with 5,000 volunteers using its non-profit hub as a dispatch center to distribute supplies and to clear debris from approximately 700 houses throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.
Photo by Lava Girl Surf
Post-Sandy, the club has transformed its space into a multipurpose creative hub to host events for Rockaway Beach residents and the club’s many visitors. All this would not have been possible without the help of those Sandy volunteers and the community at large. To thank their supporters, the RBSC has teamed up with Tribeca Film Festival to celebrate the rebuilding and the hope for the future with a three-part secret screening series showing films that premiered at TFF. These screening will be offered at sunset in Queens at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, located at 302 Beach 87th St.
Each film selected for the secret screening series will reflect the types of volunteers who came to help. On August 24, the theme will be bikers in celebration of the volunteers, who not only biked many miles daily from all parts of NYC to lend services, but hooked up their bikes to generators to pedal for power. On Sept 21, the theme will be surfers to celebrate one of the area’s most popular pastimes, and the soon-to-be-determined date in October will be themed to honor the local community.
These events will be free and open to Sandy volunteers and the general public, with doors opening at 3pm. DJ Stylus will be providing music before and after the sunset screening. In addition to the movies and music, there will be food and drinks available for purchase, provided by the Surf Club and local purveyors such as Roberta’s.
Photo by Asha Fuller
As a bonus, a photo installation entitled Recovery to Renaissance, by Asha Fuller, which document the Rockaway Beach community, post-Sandy, will be part of the festivities. We will have more information for you in the coming weeks; so keep checking back for more details.