The social dance community of New York gathered last March 23 to raise funds for the typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors to the tune of Latin beats and salsa rhythm at the Dance for the Philippines benefit party in South of Brazil Restaurant in Manhattan.
Stand Up Speak Out founder Susan Goodman, the JCI Philippines New York and Piel Canela Dance studio co-produced the sold-out event, where more than 200 people attended. At the end of the night, the organizers were able to collect about $4,500 from ticket sales and donations that will benefit the Philippine Consulate General’s Build-A-Shelter Project (BASP). More donations were expected when sponsors fulfill their pledges to the organizers.
Speaking on behalf of the Consulate, Vice Consul Khrystina Corpuz thanked the producers and attendees for keeping the plight of Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors in the consciousness of the international community. She reported the developments of the BASP, which in partnership with Philippine Jesuit Foundation and Gawad Kalinga in the Philippines, has so far finalized plans of building two villages in Eastern Samar. Proceeds from the Latin Dance party will help supplement funds for the third village to be built in Tanauan, Leyte.
The party-goers were treated to free salsa lessons by Piel Canela dance instructor Joe Burgos and Ruedame instructor Ethan Wagner. Music and live performances by Frankie Martinez & Abakua Afro-Latin Dance Company, DJ Alejandro, Piel Canela Dance Company, LFX, Pura Vida, Luis LoudMouth Camacho, and Sounds del Caribe provided entertainment throughout the night.
Additional prizes for silent auction and raffle provided by Jazz at Lincoln Center, BB King Blues Club, Chelsea Piers, Adorable Bakeshop, Mud Sweat Tears Pottery, Piano Playground were given out at the end of theprogram.
More donations are welcome to help build more villages for the typhoon survivors. Checks may be made payable to Philippine Jesuit Foundation, with “Yolanda Calamity Fund-Build A Shelter” in the memo line, and mailed to Philippine Consulate Cultural Section, 556 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10036.