After creating a multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign to benefit areas of the Bahamas hit by Hurricane Dorian, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is aiming to bring Christmas cheer to the island nation.
Morris is planning a Dec. 16-19 festival in Freeport, Bahamas, that would include photos with Santa, a Ferris wheel, race car simulators, inflatable structures standing more than 30 feet high, fireworks, an archery range, giant snow machines, and food and entertainment, according to a news release.
“It’s hard to imagine everything the wonderful people of the Bahamas have been through in the wake of the hurricane. In hosting this event, we simply want to put big smiles on the faces of Bahamian children and create some magical Christmas memories they will never forget,” Morris said in the release. “Even as vital relief efforts continue, it’s just as important that we open our hearts to spread some joy and happiness to these children.”
Morris and Bass Pro’s Anglers for the Bahamas: Fishin’ for a Mission raised more than $4 million to support Convoy of Hope’s relief efforts in the Bahamas since September.
Additionally, Bass Pro partners including FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), Kid Casters and Tree House Kids Inc. are providing resources for the event. FedEx is supplying cargo planes to take supplies to the Bahamas, Coca-Cola is providing thousands of free beverages for the event, Kid Casters is donating nearly $200,000 worth of rods and reels, and Tree House Kids owners Todd and Johanna Schuring are sending 17,000 new toys, according to the release.
Bass Pro spokesman Jack Wlezien estimated the value of donations for the event at $1 million.
“We think this is going to be the first snowball fight in the history of the Bahamas,” Wlezien said, referencing the snow machines.
Hubert Minnis, prime minister of the Bahamas, is among those expected to be in attendance, according to the release.
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