Stockin’ and rockin’ to help tornado victims

Weekend entertainment benefit aims to benefit Tuscaloosa and Birmingham

by Virginia Franco

A native of Mobile, AL, Jennifer Polvere grieved along with the nation after tornados devastated her home state. The owner of Skinnyz Bar and Grille in Stallings, Polvere felt compelled to take action to help fellow Alabamians living in the state’s most devastated areas around Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. “I’m just a Bama girl,” Polvere said, “I’ll do whatever I can to help out whether it’s small, medium or big.”

Still a member of the First Christian Church in Mobile, Polvere reached out to a pastor in Birmingham to help generate a list of supplies desperately in demand. With the goal of driving an 18-wheeler filled with supplies, Polvere along with two friends and Skinnyz customers have organized a three-day benefit weekend sure to entertain while also benefiting tornado victims in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. Kicking off Friday, June 3 at noon, the Skinny’s “Stockin’ and Rockin for Alabama’s Rolltide Country” is chalk-full of entertainment, raffles and fun.

Weekend of Stockin’ and Rockin’

There are some big names ready to make an appearance during the weekend, Polvere promises. Famed boxer Roberto Duran will be flying on Friday to sign autographs, courtesy of John Laub, owner of event-co-host Atlantic Construction Solutions. “I’m going to get him to sign some boxing gloves,” Polvere gushed. Also on tap to perform is Nadirah Shakoor of Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefer Band. “Nadirah is always willing to help, and has agreed to donate her time to perform for us on Saturday night.”

Several other acts are donating their time, including The Subject2Change Band, Josey Wails Band, Jason Everett, Old #7, Kevin Loop, L.A. Smith and Wayne Butler. “Many of these folks are starving musicians,” Polvere said, “yet they are coming out to help and play.”

The benefit continues from 1 p.m. until closing on Saturday, June 4, with a family friendly beach party featuring hula-hoop and limbo contests. And although Skinnyz is usually closed on Sundays, they are having three shows on Sunday, June 5 from 1-6 p.m. There will even be a free cookout for those who arrive with a bag of items ready to donate. Several businesses have also donated their wares to ensure there are lots of great raffle giveaways throughout the weekend.

A War Zone

Bright and early on Thursday, June 9, Polvere will join members of Atlantic and Daybreaker Express & Warehouse and head south to Alabama. Their first stop will be the First Christian Church in Birmingham’s drop and distribution center. They plan to unload half of the truck’s contents and hold a BBQ to help provide volunteers as well as tornado victims with some much-needed sustenance.

The group then will head onto Tuscaloosa, described as a “War Zone” to Polvere by Birminham’s First Christian Minister, and do the same thing. Polvere plans to pitch a tent to sleep, and is not sure when she will return. “I’ll base my return on what is going on,” she said. “It’s going to be very hard to leave when so many are suffering.”

Filling Up the Truck

Immediate need items that Polvere and her crew hope to bring include cleaning supplies, Gatorade, underwear, diapers, wipes, toothbrushes and other toiletries. To ensure the truck is overflowing with supplies, Polvere has stationed the 18-wheeler in the Skinnyz parking lot where it will remain manned by volunteers through 11 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. Volunteers will purchase items from the list with monetary donations.

Check out to view the donation list in its entirety and to see the full “Stockin’ and Rockin” schedule. Questions? Call Skinnyz Bar & Grille 704-893-2157, located at 15060 Idlewild Road.

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