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For the Love of John -- Beach Pub hosts recovery benefit for local blues musician Saturday

September 8, 2016
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Local blues music phenomenon John Allender was recently involved in a bad accident, hit by a car on U.S. Hwy 41, and needs the help of the community, as he has a long path to recovery. According to his mother, Linda, "Many of John's friends have been asking for an update on his condition. John is still in SICU?(Surgical Intensive Care Unit) and still in critical condition. He was struck by a car walking across U.S. 41 in Fort Myers Aug. 13. His body sustained extreme trauma with multiple fractures. Because john is immobile, he has developed additional complications that impede his progress. The hospital staff has been wonderful and he is being cared for in the best possible way. Many thanks to all his friends who have offered prayers and well wishes. Each day is a step forward for John."

With such a tragic event happening to a member of the island community, the folks of the Beach Pub, 1668 I St., along with many island volunteers have been coming forward, hosting a benefit to help John through his time of recovery, Saturday, Sept. 10, starting at 11 a.m.

"John has been a member of our community for several years and is always there to help out with all fund-raising events. Now John needs us!" said Dina Caleca, co-owner of the Beach Pub with her husband, Lou, as well as Tim Miller. "All funds that are raised that day will go to help in John's lengthy recovery."

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"Johnny always steps up he works for me here at the Pub as a musician every other Sunday, and whenever we have a benefit or special event, he always steps up, comes down and plays. This is a must-do benefit for him," Lou encouraged. "Everything has been coming along really well so far. We have a whole line-up of volunteers already, which is great. Gary Van Gorp, Johnny's drummer, has been taking care of organizing all the bands for the benefit Saturday, and I'm sure there's going to be a ton of musicians performing that day."

There will be tasty, savory food platters available throughout the afternoon, along with raffles, 50/50s, prizes, and, of course, a wealth of live music with several special blues performances taking place.

It's all about the blues, baby

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Gary encourages that, indeed, there will be a great amount of musicians coming and going that day, joining each other on the stage throughout the benefit.

"Mr. Burnell Caldwell will be out and about taking vids (and rocking the stage), 'the crazy talented pitbull of blues' Josh Rowand has indicated that he and his father, Deny, will be on hand early in the day before helping at another benefit in Fort Lauderdale. They have graciously committed to make the trip over just to be at John's benefit. It appears at this point that our entertainment that day is full. There will be plenty of pickers there to step up during the day the last two will be Marty Stokes and John's former band mates. Mark and Richie with Joe Connors, Laizy Daizy will also be on hand to throw some tunes in around 2 p.m. I hope to see you all there."

Still seeking raffle prize donations

Raffle prize donations to additionally help raise funds for John's recovery have been a bit scarce so far, and organizers ask that any donation would be greatly accepted, whether it be company merchandise, such as T-shirts, hats and coozies, gift certificates, or anything else.

"It seems we need lots more raffle-prize items for the benefit, as we have only received a few items so far," Gary said. "Any help in this area is greatly appreciated, so if you know any business owners who could donate, please feel free to inquire and let us know. We are looking to raise as much money as we can for John. Thank you."

Anyone wishing to offer prizes for raffles, or a monetary donation, please call the Beach Pub, 239-765-6102. Also, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds for John's recovery. Visit

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, John has been a member of the island community for years, performing soulful blues and rock music with Casey's Houserockers, the House Rockers, and the John Allender Blues Band, among others. He says musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis are among his influences, along with a score of blues and jazz birds of another era.

"Come on out and support Johnny he needs help. He supports everyone else, now it's time that we take care of him,"?Lou concluded. "We're hoping for a great day, and are sure to start the benefit an hour early at 11 a.m., so we'll see you there."

Toys for XMAS Beach Pub benefit

Always held in November precluding the Christmas holiday, the Beach Pub crew is currently organizing its annual Toys for XMAS toy drive and benefit for the children of Fort Myers Beach. This year, there will not be a poker run part of the cause, with all of the Estero Boulevard construction, but that will just make the Pub benefit even bigger. Donations are currently being accepted in the form of new toys for children of all ages. For more information, call the Beach Pub, 239-765-6102.



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