Put your party dollars towards a good cause

One feels helpless watching the destruction happening in Japan after the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and consequent tsunami on March 11. The world has mobilized to help, and many music benefits are popping up all over the place to support Japan in this time of need.

While one needs to be careful who they are donating to—approximately 4,000 fundraising scams were reported following Hurricane Katrina—supporting local events is a great way to go about donating your money to a good cause.

Kamloops and Thompson Rivers University in particular have strong ties to Japan. Many students from Japan study here and are part of the local population. One cannot imagine how stressful it must be trying to find out the status of your home or the location of your family from across the Pacific Ocean.

Local promoters and event teams are already pairing up with Canadian Red Cross and other non-profit organizations to help get needed supplies, food and money to Japan.

On March 25, Party Mob Productions is hosting The Last Friday featuring Celebrity Traffic and Party Mob’s own The Diplomat, a.k.a. Jesse Faubert. This event is taking place at Rivers Night Club. Cover is $5 and profits are benefitting the Canadian Red Cross.

Faubert says that while they don’t know how much could potentially be raised, hopes are high.

“Unfortunately we don’t know what the end yield will be, but considering we’ve sold out every show we’ve put on there (Rivers Night Club), we’re hoping for the best,” he says.

Also on March 29, The Commodore Grande Café and Lounge will be hosting Rebuild Japan featuring Aaron Spohr, Dead Ravens, Bluella and DJ Hofstede. Minimum donations of $10 at the door will be accepted, and proceeds will be forwarded to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Appeal.

On a larger scale, Austin Texas’ South by Southwest (SXSW) featured a number of fundraising events. Hanson teamed up with SXSW to host a 12-hour fundraising telethon. Funds from the event will benefit the American Red Cross.

For those who would like to host their own event, you can contact the Canadian Red Cross branch in Kamloops at 250-372-2334, or visit www.redcross.ca to learn more about how to fundraise. Again be wary of scams. Avoid donating through Facebook or donating to PayPal accounts unless you know that the organization is legit. Sadly, some people enjoy taking advantage of others’ misfortune and the money you donate could benefit someone’s personal bank account. Websites ending in “.ca” or “.org” are more trustworthy than those ending in “.com”.

Another excellent organization, though not Canadian, is Music for Relief. Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda has designed a T-shirt to benefit the organization. You can check it out at www.musicforrelief.org. Funds are being donated to Save the Children.

There are a ton of ways the musically, or event minded, can help those struggling in Japan where many are homeless and may be facing radiation poisoning. While Japan is one of the most advanced nations on the planet, it will take time to rebuild this beautiful nation. And with a lot of agricultural space wiped out, Japan will need help in the long run to recover. Attend a benefit or setup your own.

Keep updated on local Kamloops events at www.kamnightout.com.

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