Halloween party at Stingaree to benefit Sandy victims

Owner wants to aid victims from his hometown

SAN DIEGO - Scary ghouls and spiders have been set up at one of San Diego's most popular clubs. But for Stingaree nightclub owner James Brennan, his mind is not on the party but on the victims left homeless by Sandy thousands of miles away.

"There is a lot of anxiety and grief and desperation right now it sounds like a lot of people are still in shock," James Brennan told 10News inside his Stingaree nightclub on Wednesday.

Those people include Brennan's own immediate family. He and his business partners are from Rockaway Beach, New York. It was the same community left devastated Monday night by flood and fire.

"My family is all still back there," said Brennan. "My brother, who's a New York City fireman, my sister and her kids, my mom, my dad [and] my wife is from there as well."

Brennan said neither he nor his wife has reached their parents on the phone yet he heard they are physically okay.

Brennan is on the first plane out Thursday morning bound for New York. He just bought 75 generators and three satellite phones to help Rockaway victims.

Thinking about what he will see up close is overwhelming. Brennan's voice broke up as he spoke about what he might see once he is on the ground.

"A lot of my friends that I spoke to… they have no paperwork," he said. "They don't have any of their insurance papers. They don't know even where to start."

On Wednesday night, his "HalloWeird" party will benefit his newly created Rockaway Hurricane Victims Fund for water, more generators and daily living needs. 

"It's going to take a lot of money to alleviate a little of pain but we'll do what we can to do it," he added.

Brennan says he hopes to be a calming presence.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from Wednesday night's Halloween party as well as proceeds from Friday night at all five of the restaurants that he co-owns will go into that relief fund. He hopes to raise at least $500,000.

Along with Brennan and his partners, the local Catholic Charities chapter is also helping to raise money to the victims in Rockaway Beach and Breezy Point, New York. Click here for more information.

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