Piratefest to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) – The pirates are coming out to the Alabama-Florida line this weekend.

But instead of plundering, they’re collecting money.

The 6th annual Piratefest kicks off Friday, September 5, and is raising money for a good cause.

The dark skies made it a fitting morning for the skull and crossbones flags to go up at Happy Harbors On The Line, the Florida-Alabama line.

The restaurant and bar has a pirate theme.

Organizers were decorating for this weekend’s Piratefest.

Henry Bateman is the general manager of a co-owned facility, Happy Harbors Marina.

He said, “It really involves a lot of local and regional music acts. We bring in some of the best music you can find around in our region.”

General Manager Dominic Specchio said, “It was just something to kind of wrap up the season, something we felt we could do for a lot of locals.”

But, Piratefest has a purpose.

The $5.00 admission fee goes to benefit an organization chosen by the owners, endeared to the heart of Bateman.

He said, “They knew my son had Cystic Fibrosis. They wanted to do what they could do to help out.”

Henry Bateman’s son is, Harrison, who’s going to be seven next month.

Bateman said “Sufferers with Cystic Fibrosis have a lot of problems with their body creating too much phlegm, and it clogs up their lungs, and it also attacks the pancreas and stops the pancreas from breaking down the enzymes of the food, so, its really hard for them to gain weight and grow normally.”

But, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation offers medicine and breathing treatments.

Bateman is happy to say Harrison is doing well: well enough to take part in his favorite activity, which is break dancing.

Speaking of Harrison, Bateman said, “He is the life of the party everywhere he goes: super-energetic, little blonde headed 7 year old kid. (He) looks like every other kid.”

And, if you go to Piratefest this weekend, look for Harrison.

Bateman said, “The best part is when he’s here Saturday. He gets up on the stage and he addresses the crowd. And people love it, man.”

A performance Bateman hopes will make everyone smile.

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