Jack Nicklaus and Stuart pilots help with relief for Hurricane Matthew victims

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Jack and Barbara Nicklaus at recent opening of Golden Bear Grill in Fort Lauderdale

North Palm Beach resident Jack Nicklaus is helping with relief operations to regions of the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

Stuart Jet Center has collected and coordinated delivery of more than 20,000 pounds of vital supplies since launching the effort started two days ago.

More than 20 deliveries by plane—mostly single- and twin-engine aircraft—have gone out so far.

Nicklaus lent his Gulfstream jet to the effort, enabling the shipment of more than 6,000 pounds of medical supplies and other essentials in one trip.

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Relief efforts at Stuart Jet Center (Photo contributed)

“The generosity of the public has been incredible,” says Dan Capen, president of Stuart Jet Center. “It’s amazing how many supplies people have stepped up to donate in such a short period of time. But as anyone who’s seen images of the devastation can tell you, the need is overwhelming. We’re told the power in this portion of the islands might not get turned back on until next year.”

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and all this week, Stuart Jet Center is receiving and sorting public donations of nonperishable foods, water and medical supplies as part of the “West End Relief Operation.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are on site at the Stuart Jet Center to clear relief-related departures and arrivals, but they’re currently only scheduled to remain on premises through Friday.

Originally anticipating addressing the needs of about 5,000 people, relief operation organizers have since learned that as many as 20,000 people are without basic supplies.

Teams of volunteers are on hand to sort and organize donations—including diapers, baby food, canned goods, mosquito repellant, basic medical supplies and water.

This all-volunteer effort is being conducted in direct conjunction with the Bahamian government. All flights must be coordinated through Stuart Jet Center and Joe Rieger of Blue Marlin Cove Resort & Marina on Grand Bahama Island at (772) 485-8159 or jer@bluemarlincove.com. This ensures proper landing schedules and distribution of supplies through approved channels.

 

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