Tina Turner tribute performer Luisa Marshall

Typhoon Haiyan relief benefit concert planned in Surrey

Direct contributions to Red Cross among ways to donate to Philippines aid; Ottawa to match donations.

Filipino-Canadians and their supporters in the Lower Mainland are rallying to help raise relief aid money to support victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the devastated Philippines.

A benefit concert is planned in Surrey Thursday night and Indo-Canadian car dealer Sukhi Bath has pledged to pay for the hall and 1,000 dinners – a value of about $20,000.

The $30-per-person Celebrity Tribute for the Phillipines by the Friends of the Filipino Typhoon Victims is at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at Surrey’s Grand Taj Banquet Hall and promises dinner and entertainment, including performances by Filipino Canadians and a silent auction.

Planned performers include Tina Turner tribute artist Luisa Marshall, originally from Manilla, as well as ABBA, Neil Diamond and Elvis tribute acts. For tickets call 604-580-1000 or see luisamarshall.com.

“Our goal is to raise $50,000 total,” said Bath, who said he will personally guarantee a minimum of $20,000 in proceeds to the Canadian Red Cross for typhoon relief.

Surrey has a large Filipino-Canadian population and Bath said he wants Lower Mainland residents of all ethnicities to pitch in to help and encourages business leaders to step forward with additional pledges.

“It’s no matter where the disaster happened, it doesn’t matter what colour, what religion we are,” Bath said. “We’re all humans and this is our ethical duty. We live in a wonderful country and we’re in a position to help those people.”

Up to 10,000 people are feared dead after a massive storrm surge and ensuing flooding in what’s been described as the worst storm to ever hit the country.

Millions of survivors are without adequate food and drinking water and face a monumental challenge to rebuild.

To directly contribute to the Canadian Red Cross for Philippines relief, visit redcross.ca or call 1-800-418-1111.

Sears Canada is also accepting drop-off donations at its stores and in-store donations of $1 to $10 can be made by cash or credit card with a receipt provided.

The federal government has pledged $5 million in aid in the wake of the disaster and has also said it will also contribute matching amounts to its Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund for every dollar Canadians give to registered charities up to Dec. 9. For details see: http://www.international.gc.ca/international/index.aspx?lang=eng.

Canada has also deployed members of its Disaster Assistance Response Team to the Philippines.

– with files from CTV