Band Bar Crawl and fundraising weekend planned for Charles (J.R.) Hawkesworth


The Topsail Island community does not mess around when it comes to helping neighbors. In less than a week after Island Taxi driver Charles (J.R.) Hawkesworth suffered severe injuries from an assault by a passenger, many individuals, bars, restaurants, local bands and other businesses have joined forces to raise money to help with medical bills and living expenses during his recovery. The resulting benefit for Hawkesworth — Toes in the Sand Band Bar Crawl — will take place on Sunday, September 16, from 2 to 8 p.m. at participating businesses.

Island Taxi owner Rex Bowen has arranged shuttle service between venues: $25 gets you admission to all venues and includes bus transportation between venues throughout the day.

“I’ll add more details as we confirm them, but we hope to see you all out there and once again thank you for all the support,” stated Bowen in a Facebook comment on Wednesday. “You have shown us that this is the best community on the planet.”

The crawl will be an afternoon of live music, auctions, raffles and more with special events at each location. Admission and raffle tickets can be purchased from any of the participating bars.

Local resident Amanda Dail is one of many helping plan Sunday’s benefit. Dail said, “There is a really nice weekend getaway being donated for auction.” Dail is also offering two photographs of her own for auction. Direct auction donation inquires to Dail at

Participating entertainment venues include: Brass Pelican, The Trailer Bar, Margaritas, Hulas, The Bistro, Hunga Bunga Java, Gilligans, Sears Landing Grill and Boat Docks and The Sandbar Saloon. (Dale’s Pub and Loreleis will be holding benefits but are not included in the crawl). Participating bands include: Matt Bowlin, Bail Money, Harry Slick & the Mikronites, Gene Gregory, Soul to Sea, and Carolina Band. Benefit sponsors include: Loggerhead Inn, Quartermasters Restaurant, and Topsail Advertiser.

For updates on added sponsors, bands, venues and events, visit Facebook and search for either “Help Charles Hawkesworth, our Surf City Cabby,” “Rex Island Taxi Bowen” or “Toes in the Sand Bar Crawl/Benefit for Charles.”


More ways to help:

• Saturday night, Sept. 15, The Bistro will be donating 100 percent of beer sales and $10 from every shrimp & grits plate sold to the cause.

• Sears Landing will donate 100 percent of their Sunday, Sept. 16, bar sales (food and beverages) to the cause. A donation jar will also be placed in the restaurant.

• 211 Beauchaines will donate $5 for every bottle of wine sold on Friday, Sept. 14 to the cause. The servers will be donating 5 percent of their tips as well.

• Friends and family plan to set up an official donation account at a local bank, but for now the only official way to donate monetarily is through the crowd-funding website