The owner of the Skokie Theatre says being stuck in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico for 12 days has left her rattled and ill, yet--she remains motivated to give back.
"I wake up sometimes, I think I'm still in the room in Puerto Rico," Wendy Kaplan told NBC 5 in an interview Wednesday. "When I hear airplanes, I'm like whoa, where, what?"
Kaplan and her husband were vacationing for her birthday when Hurricane Maria hit.
"They shuffled us room to room to room where it wasn't actually raining in the hotel," she said. "Then we crawled up nine flights."
After being scammed by someone who they thought was helping them get a plane ticket--Kaplan says she finally broke down in front of hotel staff.
"I'm not moving until I get on a plane. I'm staying right here," she said. "And I'm going to keep crying. And that's what got us out."
After the hotel helped get them on a humanitarian flight home--Kaplan started planning.
"I want to tell the story of the Puerto Rican people that didn't get out," she said. "And I want to raise some money for them."
Later this month--the Skokie Theatre will hold a fundraiser.
Music and other performances will share the countless stories yet to be told, Kaplan said.
"It's a tribute to Puerto Rico.
The fundraiser will be held on Oct. 27. Tickets can be purchased here.