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Typhoon Haiyan benefit brings in $21,000

Posted: November 26, 2013 - 1:01am

Juneau was generous when it was time to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Dante Reyes, president of Filipino Community, Inc., said last Saturday’s dinner fundraiser brought in $21,000 — making it the most successful fundraiser the organization has ever had.

“We were really surprised that the project raised such a big amount,” Reyes said. “Some people came for the dinner and then wrote bigger checks.”

Reyes said more than 515 people came to the dinner. He said a young man who’s been raising money for a trip to France donated half of his funds to the organization. Reyes said Gabriel Kelly of Juneau presented the organization with a $1,000 check during the dinner.

“Here was this fine young man giving his own fundraising that he could have spent on himself,” Reyes said. “

The organization canceled its annual Thanksgiving dinner after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the central Philippines. Instead, the organization decided to hold a fundraising dinner with all proceeds to go toward relief efforts. The proceeds of the dinner will be distributed to several organizations including the Red Cross, the ABS/CBN, Catholic Relief Services and the Rotary Foundation.

Reyes said the City and Borough of Juneau’s sister city Kalibo will also receive some of the funds to match a donation from the CBJ.

The government reported Monday that 5,240 individuals are dead as a result of the typhoon; another 25,615 were reported injured and 1,613 are still missing. Nearly 3.4 million people have been displaced.

Reyes said there are no immediate plans for any future fundraisers, but that the Filipino Community, Inc. board may discuss the idea. He said donation checks are still coming in since the dinner.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to the community of Juneau for helping this fundraiser be a successful one for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan,” Reyes said. “This is the biggest so far.”

• Contact reporter Jennifer Canfield at 523-2279 or at jennifer.n.canfield@juneauempire.com. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/canfieldjenn.

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