In 2004 Hurricane Ivan slammed into the tiny island of Grenada. This Category 5 storm sheared rainforest trees to shrubs, ripped the roofs from 90% of the homes, killed dozens of inhabitants, and left many other devastated. As word spread of the destruction, a small group of highly passionate people, led by actor Morgan Freeman, were moved to intercede on behalf of the island and its communities. People were sick, dehydrated and in danger of dying, and relief efforts were painfully slow. “I had to try and help,” Freeman says. Thus the Grenada Relief Fund (GRF) was born.
Members of the GRF focused on publicizing the islanders’ stories of survival and perserverance to the outside world. With the help of international partnerships between the Grenadian government, non-governmental organizations, U.S. nonprofits and private corporations, Grenada became a shining example of how to recover from severe storms and hurricane disasters.
In December 2007, The Grenada Relief Fund was renamed PLAN!T NOW. With the assistance of Mr. Freeman, PLAN!T NOW has enlisted the talents of celebrities with regional connections to hurricane-affected areas, such as singer Kenny Chesney, actor Michael Douglas and NASCAR star Marc Davis. During August and September of 2008, Hard Rock Cafe teamed up with Kenny Chesney to help find the Next Big Star during his Poets & Pirates Tour, solely benefitting PLAN!T NOW and raising money and awareness for PLAN!T NOW’s cause.
Marc Davis, teenage star of the NASCAR circuit, displayed the PLAN!T NOW logo on his stock car during a race at the Talladega Super Speedway in 2008.