Point Restaurant feeds evacuees during time of need

Point Restaurant feeds evacuees during time of need

The hospitality of Northwest Florida was on display on Monday.

A community meal from a local restaurant was prepared for the many people who came here to escape the dangers of Irma.

This looks like a picnic at Big Lagoon State Park, but for the 150 evacuees who spent the weekend here, it was a meal with some new friends.

"A hot cooked meal instead of Spam and Vienna sausages was great," said evacuee Wayne Dykes.

The meal came from courtesy of the Point Restaurant. They remember getting a helping hand themselves after Hurricane Ivan blew through 13 years ago.

"We all put our heads together and said it was the right thing to do. I've just wanted to put our best foot forward and pay it forward," said Buzz Veladao.

It was a welcome moment and a brief escape from a life-changing event that has left many of these lives in limbo.

"We would really like to go back down, but we really don't have any place to go down to. The RV park that we were all staying at probably all destroyed now," said Venice evacuee Matthew Lalawa.

People with the means to go home know that getting there will be a challenge.

Dykes is from Green Cove Springs, just outside of Jacksonville.

"All the bridges in Jacksonville are closed and there is a curfew in Clay County, which is where we are at," he said. "So again, it made a lot of sense to probably wait until tomorrow morning."

They share fellowship with other evacuees and the people lending a hand.

They know coming here was not only the right choice, it was the only choice.

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