Fundraiser to help those in Philippines

LIHUE — Four Kauai-based organizations with close ties to the Philippines will host a free fundraiser Sunday at Kukui Grove Center to benefit survivors and families of victims from Typhoon Haiyan.

The event, hosted by the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce, Kauai Filipino Community Council, Kauai Visayan Club and Filipino Catholic Clubs, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the main stage area near the food court.

Entertainment will be provided by a number of local groups, including the Filipino Chamber Chorale, Kauai Rainbow Hula Team, Kasibulan Dancers and Lihue Seniors dance troupe. Solo artists will include Christine Valenzuela-Calzado, Daphne Sanchez, Micah Viluan and Marley Pereira.

The fundraiser comes nearly three weeks after Typhoon Haiyan struck the island nation with the strength of a Category 5 hurricane.

To date, the storm has killed 5,240 people, injured 25,615 others and displaced about 752,279 families across 44 provinces.

“We’re all affected in some way,” said Oscar Portugal, one of the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce’s founding members. “There are lot of people here in the community who are from the Visayas and are just starting to hear about what happened to their friends and family.”

Portugal, born and raised in Manila, received a phone call a few days ago from the University of the Philippines Los Banos Alumni Association, informing him that one of his fraternity brothers, Frankie Cruz, and his two sons were killed by the typhoon in Tacloban, the capital of Leyte Island.

“I’m really touched by this,” Portugal said. “I was so shocked when I heard about it.”

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Kokua For Philippines effort and be forwarded to authorized nonprofits assisting with disaster relief in the Philippines.

Donations made at the event will be matched by the Honolulu-based nonprofit Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation up to $2 million. The Filipino Chamber of Commerce will also match donations up to $1,000.

Entertainers wanting to perform at the event can contact entertainment chair and emcee Art Umezu, 651-1758.

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