Gawkers can't get enough of the doomed-from-before-the-start Fyre Festival, and the dueling documentaries chronicling the trainwreck and its aftermath. And while the schadenfreude may be real when it comes to fraud-committing founder Billy McFarland (currently serving a six-year-sentence) and his sidekick Ja Rule, it definitely did not extend to the festival's caterer, Maryann Rolle.
The owner of the Bahamas restaurant Exuma Point Resort told her emotional tale in the Netflix documentary Frye: The Greatest Party that Never Happened. She described blowing through her life savings of about $50,000 in her desperate attempt to keep her contracted commitment to provide food. She paid her workers for their efforts — they all worked around the clock — but she was not paid.
Humbly, Rolle launched a GoFundMe campaign to tell her side of the story and ask for compassion. "It has been an unforgettable experience catering to the organizers of Fyre Festival,” she wrote. "Back in April 2017 I pushed myself to the limit catering no less than a 1000 meals per day." And while it's “embarrassing to admit that I was not paid,” the incident left her credit ruined.
This time, her efforts did pay off: In just over a week, fans who recognized Rolle as among the festival's innocent victims contributed to help her surpass her goal of $123,000 — in fact, the page had gathered more than $160,000 in donations.
More more than 5,000 people contributed, mostly small amounts from individual fans. That said. large donations totaling $30,000 also came from Jerry Media and its creator Elliot Tebele, who were contracted to help promote the festival and also executive produced the movie.
For his part, Ja Rule sent his thoughts and prayers to Rolle on Instagram; it wasn't clear whether he had contributed to her campaign.
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