Hurricane Irma SXM Relief Fund

As you all know , Hurricane Irma devastated the island of St. Maarten, leaving ~ 95% of the homes and businesses damaged or completely destroyed. As I sit in the comfort of my home in Texas , I felt a sense of helplessness and longing to be with my parents and family as they rode out the worst storm in our country's history. They have been blessed with life and for that we are extremely grateful. But the road ahead is going to be hard. Extremely hard and for that reason we humbly ask for help in this extremely trying time. This fund is set up to go towards three different goals that are near and dear to me personally as well as my parents. 1) the rebuilding of my dad's art studio which was a total loss. My dad is a well known artist on St. Maarten. Decorated by her Majesty Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands, he is known for his vivid landscapes and portraits. After my father retired from a lifetime of public and private service he opened his gallery which was located in Philipsburg. It housed his paintings and studio in our lovely garden and was a frequent stop for tourists and locals alike. It is all gone now. But rather than focus on what is gone , we have an opportunity to start from scratch and build stronger. 2) Andante music school The music school that I grew up in and later taught in was demolished. 50 years of instruments , memories , and heirlooms were all lost to the hurricane. I would like to help that sanctuary for music - one that provided a second home to many individuals such as myself and was the foundation for many prominent local artists. 3) general relief for the members of our Capoeira community. 15 years ago we created a capoeira community on the island that has thrived and its members have all gone on to do amazing work in lots of different fields. Shortly after the hurricane we tried to collect information on all of our members and their family as well as the condition of the equipment (musical instruments etc ) : a lot was lost. Some members fared better than others , but some lost everything but the clothes on their back. We want to help the community but we need to be on solid ground to do so. So please, if you are reading this , then you probably know me or my family personally. This is a cry for help. We need it. St. Maarten needs it. After the news crews leave and the headlines fade, the rebuilding effort will still need to go on and we will need all the help we can get. I appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time out to read this and hope that you can help us in our effort to rebuild. #sxmstrong Thank you -Tyrone Phelipa On behalf of: Art in the Garden Andante Music School Soualiga Capoeira


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Tyrone Phelipa 
Los Fresnos, TX
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