A group of concerned Cubans and Caymanians with ties to Cuba came out over the weekend to raise money for victims of a tornado that struck Havana on Jan. 28. That natural disaster killed four people and injured 197, leaving many families in the Cuban capital district homeless.

A garage sale was held at the main Tortuga Rum Company facility on Saturday to raise funds, and the relief effort brought in a total of US$6,669.75. The group fundraiser was titled “Help us Help Them – Stay Strong Cuba,” and it was made possible by donations from the community.

The group sold clothing and shoes, furniture and appliances and other items. All of the items sold had been donated by community members in the week immediately preceding the sale. The event began at 7 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m., and all unsold items will be donated to the Cayman Islands Red Cross.

The group also solicited donations from people who did not want to purchase anything. People offered pennies and $100 dollar bills and everything in between, said the fundraiser organizers. More than $1,000 of the $6,669.75 came in from donations alone during Saturday’s fundraiser.

Liane Hydes, Gema Brett and Suly Rodriguez joined in Saturday to help raise funds for the victims of the tornado that struck Cuba last month.

The money raised will go toward assisting victims and focusing on elder members of the community with no family assistance, single mothers and the physically or mentally impaired.

“We knew we could count on the generosity of the Cayman Islands community,” said organizer Cesar Cruz. “We put the call out on behalf of our Cuban brothers and sisters in need of help, and the true Caymankind spirit of the people who live here rose above and beyond, as they always do.”

A fundraiser at Tortuga Rum Company over the weekend brought in more than $6,500 for victims of a tornado in Cuba.