Second annual Survivor’s Jam brings locals together

Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 9:25 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hurricane Michael may have torn apart Panama City, but it didn’t dismantle the community’s bond.

Despite the devastation that followed, locals wanted to shine a light on the positives among the wreckage.

One year later, Survivor’s Jam was born.

The tradition continues Saturday as Hurricane Michael survivors gathered again.

“We created it last year to recognize the perseverance and recovery of our community,” said Scamp Entertainment owner Gary Kolmetz. “We felt there is nothing better than a music celebration.”

“It’s like, it’s a reunion, that’s what it is,” said Panama City resident Diane Cummings.

The event features live music, food trucks, and enough space for everyone to enjoy a socially distanced night. The pandemic has also proved how this community doesn’t stop fighting for each other.

“It just seems appropriate for us to persevere through this,” said Kolmetz. “The Survivor’s Jam has to survive. We’re recovering, we’re not giving up. We don’t give up.”

This year, Survivor’s Jam organizers wanted to show appreciation to the unsung heroes of the community.

“You know, these are different organizations that you don’t really hear their names,” said Kolmetz. “But there’s so many of them, I think we have over 50 of them, that actually come out of the woodwork, and helped us recover.”

Hurricane Michael taught the community that it is stronger together, which is what Survivor’s Jam represents.

“That’s what it’s all about. Our community is a lot stronger than what we got credit for, and we’re finding that out,” said Kolmetz.

“If you need anything you can still just ask your neighbor and they’re happy to help,” said Cummings. “It’s the only place I want to live.”

Hurricane Michael has forced this community to grow stronger in every way.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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