As I am sure you are aware Hurricane Dorian ripped through the Abaco Islands of The Bahamas. It was a catastrophic category 5 hurricane, the worst recorded in this region in decades. As of 2:00PM on September 2, 2019 the people of Abaco are digging themselves out of the rubble of their completed destroyed homes. The airport and most of the town are completely under water as they wait for the flood waters to subside.
As we wait for the airport to become passable now is the time to start to gather resources and stage them to be taken to Abaco to be dispersed.
My name is Mike Bodamer. I fell in love with Abaco when I moved there in January of 2000 and soon after married local resident Lydia Weatherford. It was a few months after hurricane Floyd hit the island. I saw the community coming together and I really fell in love with the people if Abaco. I started a computer business named Computer Creations as a one man shop in a garden shed in the back yard of Eugene and Linda Weatherford's house. The community embraced me and my business and allowed it to grow and I moved into a retail location on Don MacKay Blvd. Over the years the business grew and we were able to, at one point, employ 10 Bahamians. Together we weathered a few notable hurricanes such as Jeanne and Francis, and each time we rebuilt. Due to personal reasons Lydia and I split up and I relocated back to the US, however we have remained good friends. Currently I am on contact with Lydia on the ground and others and I am trying to coordinate a relief flight into Marsh Harbour with some much needed supplies. I have many friends and family there that need our help desperately. A charter airline, Tropic Air Charters, out of Fort Lauderdale is ready to leave as soon as the Marsh Harbour airport is clear for landings. I personally know the owners of Tropic Air Charters and have had a business relationship with them since opening my store in 2000. I used their services hundreds of times chartering planes to carry cargo from Ft Lauderdale Executive Airport to Marsh Harbour. I chose to start this campaign because of my love for the local community and because I wanted to know that the money being raised was really going to people that needed it and not into some large corporations funneling money through non-profits with no way to ever track how the money is spent.
To ensure I am who I say I am you can Google me. You can confirm my details.
Mike Bodamer Bahamas, Mike Bodamer Abaco, Computer Creations Abaco, Lydia Bodamer (weatherford) Abaco, Tropic Air Charters Fort Lauderdale
It is estimated it will take a few more days for the flood waters to subside enough for flights to get in with supplies. Let's act now to ensure that we can get them the help they need. We are already over 25% of the way to our goal.
I am estimating an initial cost of $5,000 for the first relief flight. The cost of the charter itself with fuel, taxes, and fees is around $1700. ALL of the money raised will be used to buy supplies, either have them picked up or delivered to the hangar in Fort Lauderdale, fly it to Marsh Harbour, and have it dispersed to recipients on the other side. The more we raise the more flights we can do. The money raised will very specifically go to:
#1) paying for the charter flight itself
#2) purchasing of whatever supplies Lydia and others on the ground are telling me are in demand. (currently very basic necessities such as food, med kits, batteries, flashlights, tarps, bug spray, etc)
#3) evacuating a few people per trip (if we raise enough funds for multiple trips)
In order to maintain transparency I am prepared to fully fund the charter on my own personal credit card, display all receipts for what is purchased and shipped over, and then withdraw funds from the campaign to pay for those expenses only. If additional funds are available we will attempt to make multiple flights. If we fall short then we will make a decision on whether to refund the donations or ask each donor if they want us to forward the money to a specific relief effort that could better utilize the funds.
I will be posting updates and photos as I get them. I have extremely limited communication with persons in Abaco but it is ongoing sporadically. The situation is dire, and we need to act now. I am completely open to anyone asking me any questions regarding the campaign, how funds will be used, when we will used them, etc...
Thank you so much for you help and please share this with everyone you can.
- Barb Kuntz
- Sarah Smith
- Liza Kaleel
- Brenda Lawson
- Chris Ring