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$125K raised in Markham for Leyte disaster victims

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$125K raised in Markham for Leyte disaster victims
MARKHAM, Ontario–We did it! The Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (MFFC), in partnership with the Federation of Chinese Canadians (FCCM) and the York Regional Police surpassed its overarching goal of $100,000.00 at their fundraising dinner held last Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at the Crystal Fountain in Markham. At the end of the day, the dinner event raised a whopping $125,000.00 for the mudslide victims in Leyte.

Over 450 guests were in attendance, people from diverse culture and heritage, all mixing and mingling together for one common purpose - to help the disaster victims in Guinsaugon, Southern Leyte (Philippines) to re-build their lives and their village infrastructure. Dignitaries and political guests included the Consul General Alejandro Mosquero, John Tory, Leader of the Ontario PC Party and Leader of the Official Opposition; Hon. John McCullum, MP, Markham-Unionville; Lui Temelkovski, MP, Oakridges-Markham; Susan Kadis, MP, Thornhill; Mario Racco, MPP, Thornhill; Mayor Don Cousens, Town of Markham, Frank Scarpitti, Deputy Mayor, Town of Markham, Regional Councillors Jack Heath and Bill O’Donnell, and Markham Councillors Alex Chiu (Ward 8), Erin Shapero (Ward 2), and Khalid Usman (Ward 7).

Organized by the York Regional Police, the evening program included a heartbreaking video clip of the catastrophic event, visual imagery of survivors, volunteers and helpers, captured in film by media personnel. The film depicted the human destruction and desperation of the survivors, while it may be too graphic and disturbing for some people, the film challenges everyone to step up and help in everyway that they can.

It’s been over a month ago when on February 17, 2006, an entire mountainside collapsed and covered an area of 9 square kilometre of Guinsaugan, Leyte. Of the 1,857 population, only 152 bodies were recovered, over 1,000 were missing and presumed dead including 250 elementary school children and teachers. These survivors along with over 2,400 from nearby villages were left homeless and are currently in temporary shelters.

All funds raised from the dinner event will be distributed to the victims through ShareLife - Caritas International.

Event chairs Alice Chiu, Emily Ng and Denise LaBarge, representing MFFC, FCCM and York Regional Police would like to thank the presenting sponsor, Ellington Park Development Inc., platinum sponsor, Milliken Capital & Development, gold sponsor Splendid China Group Inc., and the following corporate sponsors: Ballantry Homes, Best Homes, Don Valley North Lexus Toyota, Elgin Mills Development, Greenpark Homes, Liberty Development Corporation, L & P Development Group Inc., Loblaw Properties Limited, Madison Homes, Market Village Inc., Masongsong Associates, Mattamy Homes, Metrus Development Inc., Miller Paving Ltd., Remington Group Inc., Senator Homes, Soil Engineers Ltd., TACC Construction Ltd., Thai Indochine Trading Inc., The Landmark Canada Inc., Times Group Corporation Inc., Town of Markham, Visar Group of Companies Inc., Wu Textile Inc., for their generosity and support.

Special thanks to Emcees Melissa Grelo, A Channel and Constable Roman Santos, entertainers Vonnie Beltran and Kristin Tan, MFFC Youth Group, and the committee members who helped make this event a success.

ShareLife - Caritas International

For more than thirty years, ShareLife, the charitable fundraising arm of the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, has been raising funds to support people who are going through difficult times, both locally and globally. From the onset of the Leyte disaster, ShareLife’s partner organization Caritas International has been assisting in the immediate relief and rehabilitation activities in Southern Leyte, and will continue its assistance in the re-building and long-term development programs for the village of Guinsaugon, Leyte and surrounding area. (PRESS RELEASE)

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