Five Questions with Peter Gary, CEO of Pinnacle Advertising and
Marketing, and volunteer with Stronger & Better Together
- How did Stronger & Better Together Happen?
Not long after Hurricane Maria roared through Puerto Rico and devastated the island, I received a call from my good friend John Tolbert, General Manager of the Boca Resort. He told me he was starting a fund with his friend Tanya Collazo, a native of San Juan, to help the thousands of families struggling in Puerto Rico. He asked for my help in rallying local business for donations and organizing the relief missions. Without an ounce of hesitation, I was honored to help get this mission off the ground. They just completed their fifth trip with much needed supplies and are continuing to plan our future missions.
- What is Stronger & Better Together?
This campaign was started by Tanya Collazo and John Tolbert, both residents of South Florida, and has gained tremendous support and partnership from the local community including Boca Raton Resort & Club, Pinnacle Advertising & Marketing, Delray Medical Center, Boca Voice, Bliss Salon, American Dog Rescue, Purlife Fitness Center, Pine Crest School and Donna Klein Jewish Academy. We are asking for help in raising money and awareness for the relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Items being collected are deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, bug spray, band aids, hand sanitizer, diapers, baby wipes, baby food, toilet paper, batteries, acetaminophen, Neosporin, garbage bags, Lysol wipes, paper town, flash lights, portable chargers, generators, and animal food.
- What are the missions like?
For every box full of food and water and for every box of toilet paper or container of batteries, there is such a tremendous pride in being drenched in sweat as you load it all into the plane. The flight there is always eerily quiet, as we all prepare ourselves for what we will see. Sure, we’ve all gone through our own hurricanes here in South Florida, but nothing prepares yourself for the severe destruction that Hurricane Maria caused there. It inspires you to do more, give more and recruit more people to help. After we have unloaded the relief supplies, we seek out the hardest hit areas and what is needed next to help these innocent families survive and recover.
- What happens next?
Just because the news starts covering other stories, doesn’t mean the suffering and road to recovery in Puerto Rico is over. Hurricane Maria was a monster that inflicted terrible damage and changed lives forever. The need for relief will go on for years and the mission of Stronger & Better Together is to keep the support coming and never forget those incredible families there. There will be many more relief missions. We have also partnered with American Dog Rescue in order to provide much needed veterinary care and relocation assistance to these afflicted animals. We hope to get more local businesses involved.
- What can people do to support this campaign?
We have created a web site to educate people on our mission and how to get involved from sending money to collection sites or dropping off donations. www.strongerandbettertogether.com; www.strongerandbettertogether.com/dog-rescue
There are also two different ways to donate to the campaign:
- Through their GoFundMe page at: www.gofundme.com/uzbgk-puerto-rico-hurricane-maria-relief
- Purchase supplies through their Amazon wishlist: www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/39V2H4SHUY3IM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_ws_ko.XzbJA16RPD