BOYNTON BEACH LIVE
March 20, 2014 | 6-11 PM
410-422 West Industrial Ave.
Boynton Beach, Florida 33426
As Rolando Chang Barrero of ActivistArtistA Gallery at the Boynton Beach Arts District says, "BBAD for good," making a play on the district's acronym and the upcoming art walk and fundraiser.
Almost fully recovered from the flash flood in January that destroyed the district's sound equipment and many of the artists' works, he said BBAD is back and better than ever.
"Thanks to our supporters, we've raised $2,000 and met our goal," said Barrero, who had to cancel one of his signature events, Kerowacked, in February, due to the loss of the sound equipment. "My experience is that if you support your community, your community will support you,"
Barrero is planning to create a painting to be auctioned off at the event.
Thanks to a $900 donation by Glen Pearce, president of Pearce Windows & Doors, BBAD was able to purchase new equipment and will inaugurate the equipment and revitalized district on Thursday with music by Wolfcat, an art walk and fundraiser.
"I'm alive," McGray said by phone from Pinecrest Rehabilitation in Delray Beach when asked how he is doing.
"I have a great bunch of friends that I've known for a long time and am very appreciative of their efforts on my behalf. It takes a lot of time and effort. I've surrounded myself with great people all my life and now they're rallying around when I need it."
McGray's prognosis for mobility is not good and he will need a wheelchair to get around.
Spearheaded by friends Ron Ayers, 39, and his wife, Kimberly (Kimmie), a jewelry artist who sells her works at BBAD, Ayers said the accident is "heartbreaking."
The two, who grew up together in Boynton Beach, were out of touch for a number of years when they reconnected on Facebook four years ago.
"Rolando is extremely generous to host this event," Ron Ayers said. "He's an excellent example of what people should be."
He has complimentary words to say about his friend Marcel as well.
"He's a selfless individual who makes sure others are taken care of. He emptied his bank account for a good friend in need," he said.
Ron Ayers has invited McGray to move in with him and his family and is focused on fundraising and being proactive on McGray's behalf.
"I don't think the full impact of his situation has hit him yet," he said. "Our goal is to raise money for a wheelchair and to raise money to outfit a van with a lift. He's in dire need but won't ask for help. He's humble so we're trying to get it for him before he knows he will need it."
Ron Ayers, who has raised four children, said he's not intimidated by taking on the role of caretaker. "It's par for the course," he said, jokingly.
McGray's father, Mac, said, "What means the most to us is the support we've gotten from our family and his friends. Marcel has hundreds of friends. The outpouring of support is unbelievable. We have friends calling from Texas and visitors at the hospital every day."
To make a donation in support of Marcel McGray, visit fundly.com and search for Marcel McGray.