Help the DeMaria's Rebuild!

On Sunday, September 10th Hurricane IRMA hit the Florida Keys at a category 4 level.   This storm destroyed and flooded areas of the Keys to the likes of which have never been seen.  In Irma’s path of destruction was the home of my sister Karen Kennedy DeMaria and her family, husband Don and daughter Dora in Summerland Key, one of the hardest hit areas.  In addition to losing their home they also lost their boat which was the livelihood of Don and his friend Lee Zangrillo, who also lost his home during the storm.  The boat is now sunk in the canal in the Keys.

Karen, Don, Dora and their family pets (3 cats and a Guinea Pig) are now safe and temporarily staying with our families in Bradenton, FL.   They are very thankful to be alive and together.

There is flooding and mass destruction in the Keys.  There is no power and no timeline as to when it could be restored.  They can’t even begin to clean up as there is no power for tools, gas for trucks and equipment and services to help and assist with removal of debris.  Mold is beginning to grow on the flooded areas making it unsafe for anyone at this time. 

The DeMaria’s, as many in the Florida Keys did not have  insurance on their home or boat.   Insurance is the area is very difficult to obtain, if at all for a home of their type.  They are now left to rebuild and recover on their own.  Federal funds do not come easy and can take many months if they qualify.  However, there are immediate needs for the family, pets and getting the process started to clean up and rebuild once the clearance is given. 

This family has given back to their community and it is our turn to give back to them.   Karen is Urban Forestry Manager for the City of Key West.  Don, a commercial fisherman/tropical fish collector requires his boat for work.   Dora just finished working as the Aquatic Coordinator for the Florida Keys Community College pool.   Karen and Dora have been actively involved with Girl Scouts for over 15 years as well as numerous other charities.  

It is our turn to give back and help this deserving family rebuild and get back on their feet.   Any donations received will be given directly to the DeMaria family to use for their needs during this tragic time.  They will withdraw funds as needed.   

If you prefer to donate directly you can send checks payable to:  Karen Kennedy DeMaria to:
Kristina Kennedy Babcock (Karen's sister) 
6145 Bonaventure Court
Sarasota, FL  34243

The family will provide acknowledgements and thank you notes directly to donors.  We will also update this site with any news on the status of the rebuild and cleanup of their home.   Thank you for your generous support and helping the DeMaria family out during this time of need.

The House was built in 1950, a concrete block house, 30X30. To repair the house: buckled floors, submerged electrical, compromised walls, windows need to be replaced, all appliances (fridge stove washer dryer AC unit, Furniture. The walls are crumbling (concrete has gone soft), and the roof has weakened and is developing holes and depressions. Due to the extensive cost to repair it is best to demolish and rebuild out of the flood zone.

25 ft Panga, brand new with engine. Just built in 2017.






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Organizer and beneficiary

Kristina Kennedy-Babcock 
Sarasota, FL
Karen DeMaria 
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