Jenkinson's, Bobby Bandiera, Point Pleasant mayor to host Ukraine benefit concert

As people watched the atrocities happening over in Ukraine when Russian forces invaded, many wondered how they could help those fleeing the country.

One mayor in New Jersey felt the same way, so he packed his bags and headed to Poland to help those refugees.             

Point Pleasant Mayor Paul Kanitra posted images from his journey to social media informing constituents what they could do for the people he met who'd lost everything and needed so much help.

Now that he's back, he's not done helping.

"There's so much that will honestly stick with me for the rest of my life," Kanitra recently told Fox 5 NY in an interview.

"It's disproportionately women and children and elderly people who have had to flee their homes that were getting shelled in a matter of minutes. And you see these people and they're basically dragging one carry-on suitcase, which contains everything in their lives, their homes are destroyed, they don't speak the language, they may not be going back for a very long period of time," said Kanitra.

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The mayor's experience is now inspiring others in his community, including guitarist and Garden State native, Bobby Bandiera.

"To offer what I can lend in the way of music," Bandiera told Fox 5.

Bobby, who played rhythm guitar for Bon Jovi and was lead guitarist for Southside Johnny for two decades, is helping to organize a concert. on the famed Jenkinson’s boardwalk in Point Pleasant  with all proceeds going to Ukrainian charities

"We're gonna raise the roof my friend, we're gonna do a little bit of everything for everybody all age groups," said Bandiera. "I could only promise a good time and that people will not be let down for a fun day."

He will be joined by Ukrainian Chorus of Dumka of New York, Joe Bonanno and the Godsons, Ed Testa Band, Steve Forbert, Green Secret, Bobby Bandiera and Friends, + other special guests.

Mayor Kanitra says there's also a historic connection between eastern Europe and many Jersey Shore communities many people don't realize.

"For years and years and years Eastern Europeans have been coming to Point Pleasant beach and other Jersey Shore towns up and down the coast to help operate the rides and the attractions and enjoy themselves for a summer here," said Kanitra.

The mayor says they are on track to raise $200,000 right now. To put that in perspective -- it only costs $1 or so in supplies to make a hot bowl of food for someone who's crossing the border in the middle of the night.

"We have a strong history with the Ukrainian community in Point Pleasant beach.  Our residents form relationships with them. Their kids form relationships with them that really have lasted lifetimes as well."

Tickets are still available. Go to and search ‘Ukraine.’ Two of the charities they'll be donating to include World Central Kitchen and Caritas Poland - which is amongst the largest charities in Poland.