Bahamas holiday festival lifting spirits months after Hurricane Dorian
As Hurricane Dorian battered Grand Bahama in September, Tamar Stuart and his partner Keyon Morris scrambled to save their family.
“I was just thinking, praying, save my kids,” Morris said.
Days later, they returned to find little left to salvage. The damage goes far beyond their possessions. Stuart said their children wake up screaming at night.
“They do wake up in the night and cry,” Stuart said.
More than three months after the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Bahamas, the water isn’t safe to drink, 300 people are still missing and more than 30,000 Bahamians are homeless. That’s why Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, with the non-profit Convoy of Hope, are importing a four-day holiday festival.
“I just started thinking what can we do for the kids? How can we make them happy?” he said.
Ten thousand people attended opening night, where Christmas music, Santa Claus and amusement rides helped them put aside the pain of hurricane recovery. There was even a surprise from above: Skydivers dressed as Elvis.
Tamar Stuart and Keyon Morris left the wonderland, arms filled with toys and groceries and their hearts with joy and gratitude.
“We just want these kids to have some fun time, forget the rough times, even if it’s for a little while,” Johnny Morris said.
It’s just one effort to make sure Dorian’s smallest survivors feel the joy this holiday season.