Wednesday 16 October 2019

Bar staff pull notes from walls to donate £11,000 to Bahamas hurricane relief

Staff at Siesta Key Oyster Bar in Florida could not believe how much they had collected.

Siesta Key Oyster Bar staff pull notes from the wall (Siesta Key Oyster Bar)
Siesta Key Oyster Bar staff pull notes from the wall (Siesta Key Oyster Bar)

By Alistair Mason, PA

A bar with walls covered in banknotes has pulled them down to donate more than £11,000 to Bahamas hurricane relief.

The Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB) in Florida has the unusual decor thanks to a long-standing tradition which sees customers staple notes to the wall when they visit.

“Every few years we take the money down and donate to local charities,” general manager Kristin Hale told the PA news agency. “This time the owners felt that we should give to the Bahamas.”

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It took staff a month to pull all the notes from the wall (Siesta Key Oyster Bar)

The Bahamas was devastated by the effects of Hurricane Dorian, with 56 confirmed dead, 600 missing and around 1,500 still living in shelters in the country, according to the World Health Organisation, over a month after the storm hit.

A huge fundraising effort has taken place around the world and in particular in nearby Florida, with SKOB one of a number of businesses in Siesta Key coming together to collect money.

With so many notes built up over the last three years since the walls were last cleared, staff at the bar had a mammoth job taking them all down.

“It took the staff a full month to get down what we did, and there are still some hanging,” Ms Hale said.

Everyone’s working hard taking down the dollars for our donations to the Bahamas! #skoblove #dollarsforacause

Posted by Siesta Key Oyster Bar on Monday, September 16, 2019

When the notes were tallied, the SKOB staff had a total of 13,961 dollars (£11,346) to hand over.

“We never expected it to amount to as much as it did,” Ms Hale said.

She added: “We are super thankful that we were able to do this for the people in the Bahamas.”

A further fundraising event with three other restaurants and bars in Siesta Key on Sunday collected an additional estimated 10,000 dollars (£8,130).

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