TAMPA - Tropical Storm Isaac washed out many RNC-related events Monday during the day, but many of the parties are still a go for tonight.
Some of the biggest parties will be happening this week downtown under those large white tents built just for RNC events. They're invitation only. So who is throwing these big bashes - who will they benefit - and are any locals getting involved? The folks behind Liberty Square invited us in for some answers.
Despite the cancellation of Sunday night’s Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, the show is going on at Liberty Plaza. Located between the Times Forum and the protest zone, the venue will be the center for fundraising and partying for the RNC.
Liberty Plaza’s executive producer, Rob Jennings, explains, “What we’ve done here is we’ve tried to create a little village where different groups, larger groups, smaller groups, could all kind of share in this space and host events during the week and we could all come together at night, have concerts and raise money for different charities."
Those concerts include Trace Adkins, Kid Rock and Journey.
But who are they raising money for? Jennings says, “We work with a non-profit out of Washington DC called Citizens Helping Heroes and were turning back money to the Wounded Warrior Project this week.” Others who will benefit: The Navy Seals Foundation and the Green Beret Foundation.
In fact, Jennings says many of our military members from MacDill will be invited to concerts.
And that's why the regional director of Central Florida’s Jani-King decided to get involved and donate their clean-up services to Liberty Square. David Shahan says, “It’s part of our Vet Fran program that we do with the International Franchise Association to support our troops as they return from overseas and help them integrate back into the economy and society.”
The owner of the local Hurricane Grill also got involved with the cause. Bob Rodi says “We’ve been part of their veterans' programs for a long time and whenever we get a chance we like to help the veterans get into business.”
And Central Florida caterer Eric Jon Vassen says he's using local folks to help feed as many as 6,000 people a day. “This is a ten-day event for me, five or six of them with thousands of people.”
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