Friday, January 21, 2022

Singer/Songwriters Hold Fundraiser for Frank Thomas

Frank Thomas during an appearance on Marco Island last summer.

Florida Singer/Songwriters from around the state assembled on Goodland recently at Margood Harbor Park to stage a fundraiser for Florida Artists Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, whose historic home in rural Polk County, Florida—affectionately dubbed “The Cracker Palace”—burned down recently.

Fundraisers are being held throughout the state for the beloved Florida folk legend.

“We’re all here to honor Frank Thomas,” announced JRobert Houghtaling, known as the Florida Fiddler—the Florida singer/songwriter who calls Marco Island home. JRobert was the organizer, master of ceremonies and accompanied the artists on his famous fiddle. “One hundred percent of the proceeds tonight go to Frank,” he informed the audience.

Among the performers were Joe Virgo, from Cape Coral via New York City, who sang a beautiful tune, “Florida My Home,” that captures all of the unique beauty we enjoy here in Florida.

Local favorite Gator Nate, a native of Marco Island who has made the Everglades his musical canvas, sang several original tunes, including “Mama Hokie’s Beer Worms,” a very entertaining story about an Everglades entrepreneur whose arm was bitten off by an alligator. Mama Hokie operated a convenience store along US 41. The store’s simple sign read BEER WORMS.

One of the most beautiful songs of the evening was provided by Marie Nofsinger of Naples who sang about a central Florida laborer named Curtis who lost his job, and his wife Noreen, who picked citrus. The couple was dealing with the reality of losing both of their incomes with the closing of the citrus season.

Donations can be made to Frank Thomas’s GoFundMe page at

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