Jorge Ariza jammed on the drums like a rock star Sunday. But his reality is currently far from the rock star life.
The Rockinghams' drummer was displaced from his split-level house in Island Park because of superstorm Sandy. He now resides in a two-bedroom apartment in Valley Stream with his wife, Marie, and their 10-year-old son, Jorge Jr.
“We lived in our home for eight years. The damage that Sandy did is unbelievable,” said Ariza, 45. “My entire house was flooded and everything in my home is waterlogged. I don’t perceive us moving back into our house in Island Park for about 12 months."
But Ariza was feeling better as he performed 1960s hits on stage for “All You Need Is Love: A Benefit for Families Affected By Hurricane Sandy” Sunday at the Nutty Irishman in Bay Shore.
The event drew 210 people and raised $6,500 that will benefit United Way’s Sandy Recovery Fund for Long Island.
The event was created because coordinators Tony Graffeo, of Mount Sinai, and husband-and-wife Frank and Sylvia Negron, of Miller Place, wanted to support the community.
“Tony is friends with members of the Jukebox Explosion and it was great because all four bands were happy to perform and help families affected by Sandy,” Sylvia Negron said of the lineup, which also included the Rockinghams, Liverpool Shuffle and 45 RPM.
Nina Fenton, United Way of Long Island’s vice president of major gifts and gift planning, was thankful for the generosity from the community.
“This benefit is a wonderful sense of community to raise money for the aftermath of Sandy,” Fenton said.
Blue Point resident Dawn Banks, 47, owner of Dave Banks Auto Service in Lindenhurst, knew she had to attend the benefit. While her business lost power for two weeks, Banks was more concerned with families who lost their homes to Sandy.
“One of my customers who is a single mom came in crying, all she had left was her car and a cellphone. Sandy destroyed her home. It’s important that I came today because I have been helped in my life and you should always pay it forward,” Banks said.
If interested in making a donation, visit www.allyouneedisloveli.org.
Above: The Rockinghams perform 1960s hits at All You Need Is Love: A Benefit for Families Affected By Hurricane Sandy at the Nutty Irishman in Bay Shore. (Dec. 9, 2012)