"Love would never leave us alone," is a simple yet powerful verse that iconic reggae singer Bob Marley used to sing.
Since the devastating earthquake near Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12 that left tens of thousands dead and many more displaced, the world has shown that Haiti is not alone through the countless acts of love and kindness during the massive humanitarian response. The community of Juneau is looking to show its love this Saturday by holding a reggae dance party hosted by KXLL Excellent Radio to benefit Haiti.
"We were planning to do kind of an island, some sort of Caribbean-themed party anyway. It just seemed like a fun thing to do in the middle of winter," Program Director Andy Kline said. "Then it turned into a good thing to maybe focus a little of attention on (Haiti) and raise some money."
The fundraiser will kick off at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. Admission is $5 and all proceeds will go toward the nonprofit organization Partners in Health for its Haiti relief efforts.
"You can't do an island party and not acknowledge that there's been this massive tragedy," Kline said.
DJ Lukewarm and DJ Gift will be spinning a variety of reggae music throughout the dance.
"Both of those guys are so totally into dub and reggae and rock steady, the old school and newer reggae too," Kline said. "They will put together a really cool dance."
People are encouraged to come dressed in Island colors and clothing.
"We're just encouraging people to come in dreads and bathing suits and whatever," Kline said.
The fundraiser is an all-ages event, however there will be a full bar set up by Marlintini's Lounge in a cordoned-off area for people 21 and over. Several kegs of Alaskan Brewing Co. beer have been donated and proceeds from the $5 pints will also go to Partners in Health.
"Partners in Health is a pretty cool organization," Kline said, adding that the nonprofit is highly respected and known for actually using the funds for people in need.
On Monday, Feb. 1 the radio station will also be teaming up with its two sister stations to host a 2-hour telethon to raise more funds for the nonprofit to go towards relief efforts in Haiti.
"We are going to set up the phone banks just like our pledge drives," Kline said. "We are going to ask people to call in and we will give all those proceeds to Partners in Health."
The telethon will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. simultaneously on KTOO News at 104.3 FM, KRNN Rain Country Radio at 102.7 FM and on KXLL Excellent Radio at 100.7 FM.
"It's a pretty high listening time for us," Kline said.
Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.