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Bert’s annual Redfish Challenge helps island music duo

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Oct 13, 2021

The winning team: left to right, Summer Dooley, Amanda Jones and Mark Jones. Photo provided by Jason Snyder

pleblanc@breezenewspapers.com

After suffering a pulmonary embolism in 2020, Gary Harvey of the music duo Gary and Kerri made a long slow recovery back to the stage. According to the duo, islanders who know and love them have shown the couple unwavering support, including donating $10,660 in proceeds from this year’s annual Redfish Tournament, at Bert’s Bar in Matlacha.

“He’s doing a lot better at getting his guitar chops back, since his hand was immobile. He worked really hard for nine months until he could play again,” Kerri said of husband Gary.

The couple has been trying to get back into a limited work routine, playing as many gigs as Harvey’s health will allow. Kerri said playing, for the couple, is simply therapeutic and true to who they are, emphasizing that it isn’t about money or fame in any way. The annual Redfish Challenge Tournament, she said, is something they always participate in, since they have played at Bert’s for a number of years, although this year was their first time at being recipients of the event.

“We found out we had an enormous fan-base of people who really care about us,” Kerri said.

Left to right, Kerri, Courtney Snyder, Gary Harvey, Jason Snyder (event coordinator), and Kathleen Borgert. PAULETTE LeBLANC

No strangers to playing for charity in the past, the couple has once again set its sights on helping raise funds for others who may find themselves in a similar situation. Doing what you love for the benefit of others, said Kerri, is a recipe for happiness all around.

Harvey, who says he’s feeling a little better with each day, has been amazed by the support he and his wife have been shown.

“I’m astonished and completely dumbfounded and humbled that people like us as much as they do. It’s one thing to come and listen and applaud, it’s another thing to go through the effort to participate. To me it’s just God everywhere and in everybody. It’s just really amazing how it came when we needed it,” Harvey said.

The first place $2,000 winning team, from left, Shane Earhardt, Summer Dooley, Mark Jones and Amanda Jones. Photo provided by Jason Snyder