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DeCarlo Rocks - Inaugural benefit takes place at Val’s Sunday

February 5, 2015
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Hosted by the Michael DeCarlo Foundation, the inaugural DeCarlo Rocks all-day benefit concert is taking place at Valerie's Lounge and Liquors, in the Indian Creek Shopping Plaza, 17264 San Carlos Blvd., this weekend Sunday, Feb. 8, from noon to 8 p.m.

The first of an annual event, this all-day fund-raiser will benefit the Lee County Sheriff's Youth Activity League, dedicated to facilitate recreational, educational, cultural and social activities for the youth of Lee County.

"Everything is really coming together well a ton of people reached out to donate their time in helping with the benefit, from offering to help during the event to donating their equipment and giving us a wealth of items for the raffles," said Maria Mapstone, lead coordinator of the event. "This will be an all-day event taking place both inside and outside of Valerie's, and there will be plenty of fun for the whole family."

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Want your chance to dunk your favorite bartender, musician or Sheriff’s deputy? Take a shot during the inaugural DeCarlo Rocks benefit fund-raiser at Val’s Lounge, Sunday, Feb. 8, starting at noon. Enjoy an array of activities for the whole family, along with live music all day, vendors, food trucks, 50/50s, raffles, prizes, drink specials and much more. Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER

Throughout the day, take a swing at knocking your favorite bartenders, musicians and sheriff's deputies into the dunk tank, sponsored by the Law Offices of Mary Elizabeth Fletcher. Also peruse the many vendors and merchants that will be stationed, offering anything from clothing and accessories to trinkets and more.

"We'll have local vendors Mazzee Dra and The Bag Lady set up, among many others,"?Maria said.

Raffle prizes are as vast as the vendor booths, with several local businesses donating their items, wares and gift certificates for the cause. You'll have the chance to win tickets aboard the Key West Express, multiple hotel and resort stays, gift certificates to the best local restaurants around and much more.

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"We'll also have a Coach purse up for grabs at the raffle, donated by Myn Shearer, valued at $385,"?Maria said.

Raffles and 50/50s will start around 3 p.m. that afternoon and go on into the night. But you can't have an all-day benefit without some fresh, live and local music. That's where seven dynamite bands and even more talented musicians come in.

"We will have live music going on all day long, starting at noon,"?Maria said. "Thanks to all of these guys donating their time for the cause, this benefit will really rock. A?special thank-you to JJ Armstrong and Steve McDougall, as well as Simple Jack, who were all kind enough to lend their equipment and help with the sound that day, as well as Bill Vernay, who's donating the use of his big stage."

The complete line up of entertainment that day will be as follows:

Noon: Robby Hutto

1:15 p.m.: A200

2:30 p.m.: The Oysters

4 p.m.: Three Crooked Steps

5:15 p.m.: 10,000 Views

6 p.m.: Smack Daddy (inside)

7:15 p.m. on: Simple Jack (inside)

Getting hungry? Stop by each of the food trucks stationed at the benefit, including BurgerCue, Bonez Brothers BBQ and Tubby's Hot Dogs.

Later that evening, from 8 to 10 p.m., take part in the Smirnoff promotion, featuring $4 cherry, grape and raspberry bombs.

Local 93.3-FM (93X) DJ Roach will be swinging by for a live on-air remote that afternoon, and there's sure to be all types of other fun and games going on, all while raising funds for a great local cause.

"Also, along with kicking off the raffles and 50/50s around 3 p.m., Lt. King, leader of the Lee County Sheriff's Youth League, will get up to share some words about the benefit and their organization," Maria said. "We're doing all of this for Michael DeCarlo, the epitome of what it means to help a community. Before he passed, he wanted to host a big benefit for the Lee County Sheriff's Youth League, so they are our first benefactor."

Before you leave for the evening, be sure to pick up a limited print commemorative T-shirt of the inaugural event. There aren't many available, so get 'em while they're hot! For more information or to contribute to the cause however you can, e-mail

The Michael DeCarlo Foundation

The Michael DeCarlo Foundation was recently founded by some close island friends to honor and dedicate the loss of Michael DeCarlo, a true Fort Myers Beach philanthropist who repeatedly put others ahead of himself, helping hundreds, if not thousands, of local children and families by hosting multiple benefits and collections throughout the year. His close friends are keeping his tradition and moral value alive by founding this organization, a 501-c3 charity, so he may continue to touch the lives of so many through a series of fund-raisers and other local events held annually.

Although the charity's main focus is local children and families in need, organizers plan to help in any way they can. One new venture is to become part of the Adopt a Highway program, taking over a part of San Carlos Boulevard, from Pine Ridge Road to Gladioulus. Named in Michael's honor, charity organizers plan to host a big street clean-up event in the coming months.

Additionally, when charity organizers recently heard of a local resident in medical need, they instantly held an impromptu benefit, raising $225 that evening for the woman's family. Last week, another impromptu comedy night was held, raising yet another $350.

"We plan to host many other benefits in the future, and are also collaborating with the Tabarrini Foundation for their annual Bachelor Auction in April, so stay tuned!"?Maria said.

For further information on the newly found organization, or to see how you can lend a helping hand to the cause, visit



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