POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Mayor Paul Kanitra delivered nearly $200,000 in donations to two charities assisting Ukrainian refugees raised at a concert.

Kanitra was moved by coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to fill five suitcases with supplies and head to the border of Poland and Ukraine and see what he could do to help.

"We volunteered with some other groups. We did pretty much everything and anything from preparing food to handing out meals on the border to shuttling refugees to pretty much just buying supplies and handing them out at the refugee center," Kanitra told New Jersey 101.5's Steve Trevelise in April.

Photo Provided by Mayor Paul Kanitra
Photo Provided by Mayor Paul Kanitra

An All-Star Jersey Shore fundraiser

Once he returned to Point Pleasant Beach, he put together the Concert For Ukraine at Jenkinson's with an all-star lineup that included Bobby Bandiera, Eddie Testa, Jo Bonnano, the Polish rock band Green Secret and Steve Forber.

The Ukrainian Chorus of Dumka of New York, which appeared on Saturday Night Live, opened the concert with the Ukrainian national anthem.

The concert exceeded Kanitra's expectations and raised nearly double what he expected. He traveled to the United Nations in New York and to Washington to present a check for $100,000 to World Central Kitchen and another $92,000 to Caritas Internationalis.

"These donations will provide over a hundred thousand meals for Ukrainian refugees who are desperately hungry. It will help support and safeguard so many orphans and children," Kanitra wrote on his Facebook page. "You all have made an incredible difference in the world and should be so freaking proud."

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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