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Residents, groups support relief effort

Posted: Friday, September 02, 2005

Skot Pierson has left CNN on his television 24 hours a day since Hurricane Katrina swept Louisiana on Monday.

His brother and his family, who live in Kenner, La., are missing. His sister and her son, who live in Metairie, La., are missing, too.

"Nobody has heard from any of them," said Pierson, 43.

He wanted to help all of the affected families. He decided to raise money by doing something he has been making a living at: holding a karaoke event.

Pierson hosts karaoke nights at Rodfather's Broiler and Viking Lounge and Pull Tabs. About 300 people showed up to his fundraiser between noon and 10 p.m. Wednesday at Centennial Hall.

"I cannot say I am merging happiness and sadness," Pierson said. "My job is to make sure other people enjoy themselves and redirect them from their pain. You have to take your joy where you can find it."

Pierson raised about $1,103 from the event and donated it to the American Red Cross, Southeast Alaska chapter.

Besides Pierson's contribution, the organization has received about $4,000 from various sources.

The United Way of Southeast Alaska will send $20,000 to the hurricane relief efforts. Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho asked residents to view the United Way's gift as a challenge grant.

"Last winter, Juneau residents demonstrated their support for tsunami victims in Southeast Asia," Botelho said. "Now we have an opportunity to help our neighbors to the south."

•I-Chun Che can be reached at ichun.che@juneauempire.com.

How to help

People interested in volunteering at disaster areas or donating can contact American Red Cross, Southeast Alaska chapter at 463-5713. Nationally, 90,000 volunteers are needed.

Also: People can drop off donations at the Red Cross Office in Juneau, 3200 Hospital Drive, Suite 203.



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