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15/10/2009: Lea Salonga Events in Washington DC Raise more than $19,000 in Fresh Contributions to Funds for Typhoon Victims; Total Contributions so Far Reach more than $100,000

15 OCTOBER 2009 WASHINGTON DC – Drawing on the beauty of her voice and the power of music, Tony award-honored Lea Salonga helped raise more than $19,000 in additional contributions for typhoon relief funds in twin events here.

Ms. Salonga made a special appearance at a “Solidarity Mass” at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle and had a reception for donors at the Philippine Ambassador’s Residence.

At St. Matthew’s, Salonga sang “The Lord’s Prayer” in Filipino and made a special appeal to the attendees saying, “Much has been done… but there is so much more that still needs to be done.”

At the donors’ reception, Ms. Salonga made a similar appeal and urged everyone present to do his or her part for the typhoon victims in the Philippines.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa thanked Ms. Salonga for her commitment to help raise awareness and funds for typhoon victims in the Philippines.

“Her extraordinary voice is matched by her extraordinary heart,” said Ambassador Gaa.

“We thank Lea for what she has done and what she will continue to do for her country,” added Ambassador Gaa at the donor’s reception.

At the reception, a cheque for $10,000 was turned over by Covington and Burling representative Martin Gold to Ambassador Willy C. Gaa.

A cheque for $1,000 was likewise turned over by the George Washington University Hospital Women’s Board.

The events brought to more than $100,000 or 46 million pesos the amount raised for typhoon victims by the Filipino Community under the consular jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C.

More than half of the amount have been turned over to Philippine relief agencies and NGOs of choice by the donors and Filipino-American associations.

The World Bank Group-IMF Fil-Am Staff Association announced during the reception that the Association’s members had raised $40,000. The amount will be matched by IMF-WB under its Community Connections program.

The Filipino American Community of Central Virginia also announced it will match up to $10,000 donations made for typhoon victims under its continuing program.  FAACV had earlier donated $5,000 to the Philippine National Red Cross.

Organizations such as the Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc. – the umbrella organization of Filipino associations in the Greater Metro DC area - had, last week, donated $5,000.

Feed the Hungry had released $8,000 in the immediate aftermath of typhoon Ondoy for rescue and relief operations of its partner organizations in the Philippines.

The Philippine Nurses Association of America donated more than $4,000 to its partners in the Philippines.

The Ateneo Alumni Association of Metro Washington DC and the De La Salle Alumni Association each raised $3,000.

The UP Alumni Association in Maryland, DC and Virginia had already raised $2,000 in its continuing drive.

Maryland Coalition Help Philippines and Katipunan Maryland raised $4,000 in the Metro Baltimore area and had conveyed the donation to various NGOs and partners in the Philippines.

Mission of Mercy Fil-Am Community of Hampton Road in Virginia raised $3,000 and the Travelers’ Association donated $2,000 to the relief agency of its choice.

The Filipino community in Georgia meantime transmitted – through Philippine Honorary Consulate General Atlanta - $3,485 in funds for the Philippine National Red Cross.

The ASEAN Ladies Circle too donated $1,500 to relief efforts in the Philippines.

The Philippine Embassy continues to coordinate with Filipino organizations within its consular jurisdiction and assists queries on how to best assist the relief and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines.

In thanking the Filipino community and friends of the Philippines, Ambassador Gaa noted that the “tremendous outpouring of support and expressions of solidarity serve to further strengthen our resolve as we move towards rehabilitation and reconstruction.”

“The Filipino spirit remains strong and unbowed; together with our kababayan and friends here and around the world, the challenges we now face will be overcome,” said Ambassador Gaa.  END