The Japan Disaster Relief Fundraiser culminated in an evening of good tunes at the Miners’ Hall on March 31, and raised more than $2,000 for the Red Cross effort in Japan, and an additional $500 for BEAKS, the Bird Emergency and Kare Society in Castlegar.
The star act was Shane Philips, a talented multi-instrumentalist from Quadra Island. He had the dance floor packed with some 140 people until 1 a.m., preceded by stellar acts including Alissa Arnasson, Peter Reed and Brad Mackay, and the rock-folk jam band, Five Horse Death.
“People were dancing the whole night away,” said Dave McCarthy who co-organized the event with Byron Whitlaw of AreaOne Events.
A silent auction received many donations, from a day of cat skiing offered by Valhalla Powdercats to toys from Jelly Bean Junction. Jenny Baillie donated some of her art, as did Rouge Gallery artists Louise Drescher, Julie Macdermid, Sue Parr, and Ann Popoff.
Delicious appetizers were donated by Red Mountain Resort, and Misty Mountain Pizza donated slices. Angela’s B&B housed Shane Philips and the engineer from PB Pro-Audio, who provided excellent sound for the night.
“It was needed,” McCarthy said about the fundraiser. “I think it helped raise awareness for what’s going on in the world.”
“Japan’s not letting too much out about how much help they need,” he continued. “It’s hard to say. We’re looking at an unstable economy that’s even more at a breaking point than before.”
“The biggest thing now is what’s happening with the nuclear plant, and providing housing and food for people in the north.”
The Red Cross is working to supply many relief items to affected Japanese populations, such as family blankets, sleeping mats, hygiene items, and medical supplies and equipment. The Red Cross is also deploying emergency personnel.
BEAKS, a non-profit organization that accepts and cares for injured or orphaned birds, “everything from a hummingbird to a goose,” is not involved in the relief effort, but came to Whitlaw and McCarthy’s assistance when it was needed for the event — McCarthy volunteers for BEAKS.
“We couldn’t get any of the local non-profit societies to help out with the liquor licence for the event,” McCarthy said, “so we had to look elsewhere and BEAKS were eager to help.”
Profits from liquor sales were split between the Red Cross and BEAKS, and all other proceeds were given to the Red Cross.
More about BEAKS can be found at beaks.kics.bc.ca.
Donations to the Red Cross relief effort can be made at www.redcross.ca, your local bank, or at Drift Izakaya.