Hopefest 2010 to benefit Operation Hope through concerts, child safety

FELLSMERE — A community volunteer has stepped forward to help further Operation Hope’s mission in Fellsmere. To that end, the volunteer, Dan Norris, is planning the inaugural Hopefest 2010 for next month to be held on Operation Hope’s property on County Road 512, on the east end of town.

Norris, who volunteers his time at Daily Bread, has often run into Jesse Zermeno, president of Operation Hope, he told the Fellsmere City Council Thursday evening. “He helps a lot of people,” Norris said for Zermeno.

Even though the concert benefit would be held on Operation Hope’s private property, Norris needed to ask the council for a special event permit.

The council unanimously supported the request – on three conditions.

Community Development Director Mark Mathes told the council that his proposed three conditions include making sure that the restroom facilities on site are open and enough portable toilets are there, too; hiring two Fellsmere Police Officers to provide security and assistance where needed; and that the organizers come up with a “Plan D” for parking.

Mathes explained that there are three other parking plans in place, which would accommodate parking on Operation Hope’s site. However, he added, if the event ends up being larger than organizers anticipate, off site parking might be needed.

Norris told the council that he would be in contact with the property owners at MESA Park in case overflow parking becomes necessary.

Norris, who has worked in the radio industry, told the council that he has been in touch with his radio connections and that several bands have expressed interest in playing the benefit. He did not name the bands that might perform.

Along with the concert, Norris said they plan to host child safety exhibits, including “Stranger Danger” and child fingerprinting.

All the proceeds from Hopefest 2010 are to go to Operation Hope, Norris said, adding that he hopes the event will bring people from outside the city into Fellsmere and help boost the local businesses.

With approval of the special use permit, Hopefest is scheduled for Saturday Nov. 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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