Several South Florida businesses gather supplies to donate to the Keys

SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - A host of local businesses, organizations and prominent figures are working together to gather supplies for Hurricane Irma victims in the Florida Keys.

Among those involved were South Florida Ford, the Florida Panthers, Hoffman’s Chocolates and more.  In total, 80 pallets worth of donations were collected and will be taken down to the Keys.

The donations were gathered at a weekend drive held at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

It all began with a phone call from Gregg Snowden of South Florida Ford.

“He called us last Thursday, said, ‘Matt, what do you think about collecting up all the unused hurricane supplies that all our constituents and fans and people of the market have and bring them down to Monroe County and to the Florida Keys,” said Matt Caldwell, the President and CEO of the Florida Panthers.

“In 24 hours, we had this initiative moving. It was amazing the support and how the community came together for thousands and thousands of items that they brought out,” Snowden said.

About 20 vehicles will be delivering the items to the Keys.

Dan Marino was also a supporter of the cause. “I’ve been down here for over 30 years, and you see the people and the great community we’ve had,” he said. “I would just encourage everybody as much as possible.”

Florida State senator Anitere Flores, who represents the Keys, expressed her thanks on behalf of those in the Keys. “Beside every home that is destroyed and crushed, there is a human being that is happy,” she said. “It is amazing to see how these people in Monroe County are just so overwhelmed with the support that they’ve received.”

DJ Irie was also on hand to deliver supplies to the Keys.

He said he knows how it felt after Hurricane Andrew to get the supplies he and his family needed.

“I cried opening that first package of clean clothes and fresh water,” he said. “I literally cried because we had nothing.”

The group are expected to make several stops to distribute supplies in Marathon and Big Pine Key. 7News will keep you up to date on those stops as well.

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