Matanzas on the Bay on Fort Myers Beach raised $7,000 during its third annual Bluegrass, Brew and BBQ event to benefit Operation Open Arms, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in military personnel and veterans. The Memorial Day weekend event attracted more than 800 guests, and featured live music from the Bugtussle Ramblers and the Cooter Creek Bluegrass Band, craft beer from Fort Myers Brewing Company, face painting for children, a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction and a $15 barbecue buffet, which included ribs, smoked pork shanks, potato salad and corn on the cob.
“We had a terrific turnout for Operation Open Arms this year, and we are thankful to all who joined us in supporting this organization and making the third annual Bluegrass, Brew and BBQ event such a success,” said Glen Petrarca, general manager of Matanzas on the Bay. “The funds raised during the event will greatly benefit Operation Open Arms and we are honored to bring awareness to the community about a wonderful organization that continues to do so much to support our U.S. military and veterans.”
For the past 11 years, Operation Open Arms has opened every conceivable door to U.S. troops returning from combat or foreign duty stations around the world. A total of 3,404 U.S. troops have received free combat leave vacations and same-day PTSD care upon request. Captain John ‘Giddyup’ Bunch, founder of Operation Open Arms, says that the real heroes of Operation Open Arms consists of our troops and the 328 sponsor and volunteers who offer amazing free benefits, such as free hotel stays, meals at great restaurants, fishing charters, golf and the finest same-day PTSD Mental Health Care network in the U.S. Bunch, who previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), presented his flight jacket to Petrarca during the Bluegrass, Brew and BBQ event to thank Petrarca and Matanzas on the Bay for their support.
“The MVP’s of Operation Open Arms can be found at www.OperationOpenArms.org. Every name within the OOA Circle of Honor has been directly responsible for breathing life into our charity at a time of greatest need,” Bunch said. “Every member of the OOA Circle of Honor is a super hero, especially Glen Petrarca.”
For more information about the organization and its cause, visit www.OperationOpenArms.org.
Matanzas on the Bay and Petey’s Upper Deck are best known for waterfront views, fresh seafood and old Florida ambience and is located at 416 Crescent St. on Fort Myers Beach on Estero Bay. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, as well as caters to special occasions and private parties. As part of its commitment to use as many locally sourced products as possible, Matanzas on the Bay offers fresh produce in partnership with Oakes Farm, rum from the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery and draft beer from Fort Myers Brewery. Its upstairs sports bar, Petey’s Upper Deck, is popularly known for its Dave’s Dockside Pizza, named the best pizza on Fort Myers Beach. The restaurant is located adjacent to the Matanzas Bayside Inn waterfront accommodations, just steps away from the Fort Myers Beach entertainment district. Free car parking and boat dockage is available. To book your party or for more information, call 239-463-3838 or visit www.MatanzasontheBay.com.