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John McInnis, owner of the Flora Bama and president of the Kenny Chesney Love for Love City Foundation, greets “Foxy” on Jost Van Dyke, an island in the British Virgin Islands. The Foundation has been making weekly supply trips to the Virgin Islands to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Irma slammed into the area in September.(Photo: Courtesy of News of St. John)McInnis, 39, has traveled to the Virgin Islands every week since Hurricane Irma devastated the area in early September. McInnis teamed with his friend, country superstar Kenny Chesney, to deliver disaster relief to residents of St. John, the smallest of the three main Virgin Islands St. John, St. Croix and St. Thomas.
“We’ve been delivering food, water, generators, medicine, bug spray all the things they need immediately,” McInnis said. “They have no infrastructure. They’re totally dependent on outside supplies and we’ve been blessed to be able to help supply them since the hurricane.”
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McInnis is president of the Kenny Chesney Love for Love City Foundation, an organization set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma to help get aid to the Virgin Islands. The group is also delivering supplies to Jost Van Dyke, a small island that is part of the British Virgin Islands.’Forbes’ highest paid country music stars listChesney has a home in St. John, and McInnis said the Virgin Islands “are like a second home” to him, as well as to his Flora Bama employees.
“Ever year, we send 30 Flora Bama employees to St. John,” McInnis said. mainland to the Virgin Islands. The missions are ongoing, McInnis said.
John McInnis and Kenny Chesney’s boat captain, Ben, head to Jost Van Dyke, an island in the British Virgin Islands. McInnis is president of the Kenny Chesney Love for Love City Foundation, an organization set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma to help get aid to the Virgin Islands. (Photo: Courtesy of News of St. John)
“We’re still operating 24 hours a day,” he said. “We’re buying supplies stateside and literally buying in bulkand shipping everything down in these private planes. I’m going down again (Wednesday). The situation on the ground is horrible. There’s limited communication, so I’m going down there and finding out what’s needed then I’ll come back and get more supplies and ship them. We have a supply chain that we’re operating.”
McInnis’ family has extensive experience in building and contracting, and have built bridges across the United States and worked to rebuild areas after disasters on the mainland, including local and regional disaster’s like Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
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“My background is in large government contracts,” McInnis said. “So Kenny and I talked and decided I would go down there and do what I’m good at overseeing disaster projects.”
Generators are loaded onto a relief plane in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The supplies are part of efforts by the Kenny Chesney Love for Love City Foundation, an organization set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma to help get aid to the Virgin Islands. (Photo: Special to the News Journal)
In 2014, the country star performed at the famous Flora Bama, which is known as one the nation’s great honky tonks.
“He’s every humble,” McInnis said of Chesney. “He doesn’t want publicity for himself. He just wants to do what he can to help and keep a spotlight on what is happening there.”