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The Week in Fundraisers – How You Can Help

By Ann K. Williams
Staff Writer

After a month of bad news from the Gulf Coast, most Santa Monicans want to do something to help. The good news is that there are so many ways they can.

First, the fundraisers:

  • Saturday, September 24: The Salvation Army is promoting “Los Angeles H.E.A.R.T. for the South,” a day-long fair at Fairfax High School featuring local bands, flea market booths and a blood drive. The fair runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 7850 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. Donations will go to the Best Friends Animal Society’s Hurricane Relief Fund, as well as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. For more information, visit www.losangelesheart.org or call (310) 966-0339.
  • Sunday, September 25: Music lovers won’t want to miss “Songs of Strength” featuring k.d. lang and Jackson Browne. The concert will begin at 4:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 1008 Eleventh Street, Santa Monica and the suggested donation is $25. Proceeds to go the United Methodist Committee on Relief and will be earmarked for victims of the Gulf Coast disaster. See www.santamonicaumc.org or call (310) 393-8258.
  • Tuesday, September 27: Local master chefs including Hans Rockenwagner and Josie Le Balch invite Westside gourmets to “join us to celebrate the sounds and tastes of New Orleans” at the Buffalo Club. The feast runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at 1520 Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica. Proceeds from the $200 per ticket event will be donated to the American Red Cross. For reservations call (310) 450-8600 ext. 0.
  • Friday, September 30: Didn’t get enough music Sunday? Drive out to the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga for a night of zydeco and folk music. The natural amphitheater is located at 1419 N. Topanga Boulevard. Tickets are $30 and proceeds from the all volunteer benefit will go to Habitat for Humanity. Email rockandstone@gmail.com or visit www.rickellismusic.com for more information.

If you want to do more, local relief agencies are counting on Santa Monicans to display their usual creativity and willingness to lend a helping hand.

“Any member of the public who has an idea how to help, we’d love to hear it,” Bill Bauer, spokesperson for the Santa Monica chapter of the Red Cross told the Lookout. “There are an awful lot of generous people here.”

While the Red Cross is grateful for the $642,000 that’s flowed into the Santa Monica chapter, it welcomes continued cash donations, as does the Salvation Army.

But cash isn’t all that’s needed.

The Red Cross needs volunteers to help manage cases and interview clients.

Free memberships in the Boys and Girls Club for the children of Katrina evacuees who’ve come to town and free meals at local restaurants were a couple of examples of non-cash donations given in recent weeks that Bauer cited to whet the imagination of local philanthropists.

Your favorite organization may want to copy a page from the employees of Pacific Park, the amusement center on the Santa Monica Pier who donated $1,500 they raised at their annual silent auction to the local Red Cross.

The Red Cross has set up a toll-free disaster relief hotline, (866) 733-5010, available both for those who want to help and those looking for help.

Those needing help can also drop by the American Red Cross of Santa Monica, 1450 11th Street at Broadway or phone (310) 394-3773.

The Salvation Army is raising funds through its 1-800-SALARMY phone number and its web site www.salvationarmyusa.org

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