Fundraiser helps storm victims

A SOLDOUT fundraiser brought in nearly $5,000 to help rebuild the lives of people washed out of their homes in the Philippines last year.

BRIANA SEGOVIA

A SOLDOUT fundraiser brought in nearly $5,000 to help rebuild the lives of people washed out of their homes by a tropical storm in the Philippines.

Organizers sent $4,600 for housing in Illigan City and Cagayan de Oro on Mindanao Island to Emmanuel International from the fundraiser at Terrace Pentecostal Aug. 11.

Emmanuel International is a Christian relief and rehabilitation organization whose programs and projects transform thousands of lives around the world. It has been working in the Philippines since 1980.

In December 2011, tropical storm Washi hit areas of Mindanao Island without warning in the middle of the night.

Up to 1,000 people lost their lives and many houses were completely destroyed.

Many of these people are still livng in tents, which have also been flooded. Emmanuel International wants to build replacement housing in Illigan City, that’s sturdier and stronger. Homes will cost about $2,000 to $2,500 each. The organization is part of a consortium in Cagayan de Oro with groups such as Habitat for Humanity, where they will also assist in building houses.

More than 140 people attended the fundraiser and had a wonderful time, including a meal with everything from roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and sushi, prepared and donated by Cafenara, to curried chicken, chicken adobo, Sudanese and Ethiopian dishes, and Panamanian pork , and more. All that was thanks to a variety of chefs from Korea, Panama, India, the Philippines, Canada and guest speaker Mel Middleton pitched in as a chef from Ethiopia and Sudan.

“As always our kitchen crew under the guidance of Muriel Hubbard did an absolutely amazing job!” says organizer Kathryn Vandermeulen.

Entertainment included some of the Latin folk dances from Riverboat Days, three children did a folk dance called Little Frog, Elijah Bowen did a fine rendition of a poem called The Wind, compete with actions, Rosaura Diaz performed a Panamanian folk dance and Sandra Yoo played Amazing Grace on her violin while her sister Julia sang and their mother Yoon Yoo accompanied them on piano and signed it.

“It was all very beautiful,” says Vandermeulen.

Middleton showed his powerpoint presentation and spoke on the situation in the Philippines.

“It was very moving and people were very attentive,” says Vandermeulen. “With all of his experience overseas, he really has stories that captivate people.” Donations were accepted and there was a silent auction.

“We were thrilled to be able to forward the money to Emmanuel International and are looking forward to hearing back from them as the project progresses,” says Vandermeulen. “We really appreciate Terrace Pentecostal Assembly for graciously allowing Emmanuel International the use of their facilities, and appreciate the amazing generosity of so many people in Terrace, who donated time, material goods and donations toward making this fundraiser the success that it was.”