The Abaco Club, host of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Bahamas Great Abaco Classic, announced on Wednesday that it has begun fundraising efforts for disaster relief following the damage of Hurricane Dorian.
The islands were victim to a Category 5 hurricane last weekend, with wind gusts reaching up to 225 mph, the strongest landfall winds ever recorded. As of Thursday morning, residents remained stranded on roof-tops. Lia Head-Rigby, who heads a hurricane relief group in Abaco, stated the area is totally devastated.
"It’s decimated. Apocalyptic,” said Head-Rigby after a fly-over of the Abaco Islands. “It’s not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again.”
Mark Lowcock, the United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, told news agencies on Wednesday that 70,000 people in the northern Bahamas remain in need of relief assistance. Hubert Minnis, the prime minister of the Bahamas, said the current death toll is 20 but is expected to rise in the upcoming days.
“So many families have been deeply impacted by Dorian, which has left generational devastation across Abaco and Grand Bahama," Minnis said at a press conference Wednesday. “We ask you to pray for the families and loved ones of the deceased."
According to the Abaco Club's GoFundMe page, contributions will be distributed by the Abaco-Winding Bay Relief Fund, a charitable organization created expressly for this effort with 501(c)3 status applied for and pending. All funds received from this campaign will be used to provide assistance specifically to the people of Abaco in the form of food, shelter, medical aid and supplies, and assistance in the island’s clean-up and rebuilding efforts.
Baker's Bay, a popular vacation spot for PGA Tour players that resides just off the Abaco Islands, was also hit during the storm.
"We are saddened by the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian and are committed to helping with disaster relief and recovery," the resort said in a statement. "The Discovery Land Company Foundation is coordinating humanitarian efforts to help the community of Abaco and has created the Abaco Relief Fund where 100% of donations will go directly to relief aid."