The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

ABOTA Ft. Lauderdale raises thousands for hurricane relief

Senior Editor News in Photos

'When I got to this one neighborhood, I was struck by the fact that people had three or four feet of muck and raw sewage in their homes. What you saw was these houses starting to rot out from the inside'

FLABOTA members

ABOTA Ft. Lauderdale is continuing its efforts to assist those impacted by Hurricane Ian. Recent donations have allowed Davie attorney and ABOTA Ft. Lauderdale member Mitchell Chester to begin organizing emergency supply runs across Alligator Alley to the hard-hit community of Bonita Springs.

ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates) Ft. Lauderdale, with an assist from the statewide organization, has raised thousands of dollars and donated countless hours to Hurricane Ian relief — and even produced a recovery podcast.

Immediately after the storm, ABOTA Ft. Lauderdale quickly raised $2,500. FLABOTA, the statewide organization, chipped in $5,000.

That allowed Davie attorney and ABOTA Ft. Lauderdale member Mitchell Chester to begin organizing emergency supply runs across Alligator Alley to the hard-hit community of Bonita Springs.

Ian-related flooding has devastated the area, Chester said.

“When I got to this one neighborhood, I was struck by the fact that people had three or four feet of muck and raw sewage in their homes,” Chester said. “What you saw was these houses starting to rot out from the inside.”

Supplies are delivered to a local United Way agency, the Bonita Springs Assistance Office.

In an October 11 email to fellow chapter members, Chester said the local charity was able to assist 278 households in a single day.

Chester said the effort, and the donations, are making “a huge difference.”

The group expects to make another relief run October 17.

Meanwhile, Chester has been hosting a podcast that offers hurricane victims crucial information about everything from storm debris removal to “Operation Blue Roof,” a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program that offers temporary repairs.

The podcasts also keep donors up to speed on the victims’ changing needs, Chester said.

Immediately after the storm, food, fuel, and water were an urgent priority. Now that stormwaters have receded and cleanup has begun in earnest, N95 masks are desperately needed, Chester said.

“When the media focus fades in the coming weeks, as it always does, we still need to bring attention to the people,” Chester said. “If we can make this successful, we can set it up in advance the next time.”

The podcasts, and instructions for donating, are available here.

 

News in Photos

Columns

Perry Mason and the Present Moment

Columns | Nov 30, 2022

The Future of Civility

Columns | Nov 16, 2022

Be a hospitable lawyer

Columns | Nov 10, 2022

Florida prohibits state agencies from paying cyber ransoms

Columns | Nov 07, 2022