Sat, Sep 24, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Expatriates to hold fundraiser for Katrina victims

BY JEAN LIN  /  STAFF REPORTER

A "Southern Comfort" fundraiser will be held by the Descendants of African People (DAP) tomorrow to help raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Elissa Russell, one of the founders of DAP and a native of Mississippi herself, organized the event with co-founder Jaleea Price, hoping to raise funds for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and at the same time share American southern culture.

DAP is an organization for the black community in Taiwan, providing services for black people in this country as well as educating the Taiwanese public about black culture in general.

"Southern Comfort" is the first charity event to be held by DAP, and will include plenty of favorite southern dishes, such as gumbo, sweet potato pie and Cajun chicken wings, Russell said.

A quiz bowl is part of the event, and participants with a donation of NT$500 can enter. Categories will include music, geography and other facts about the American south, a chance for non-southerners to learn about the southern culture, Russell said.

"Did anybody know that Jim Henson is from Mississippi?" she said, referring to a possible quiz question.

All the funds raised will be transferred via the International Red Cross to Hurricane Katrina victims. Donations such as packaged food items, health and personal care items, as well as new baby clothes are also welcome.

The donated items will be sent to the Mississippi Donation Warehouse in Jackson, Mississippi.

The fundraiser will also offer live jazz and blues performances for a donation of NT$200.

"We hope that the jazz and blues concert will encourage more people to come," Russell said. "If you don't know anything about the south or don't feel comfortable with an all-English quiz bowl, you should at least come for the music."

Russell hopes that the event will help to promote southern culture.

"These victims have to move to other places, leaving not only their homes behind, but their culture," Russell said.

The American south is a mix of Creole and Cajun French culture, and is perhaps best known for its spicy cuisine.

The fundraiser will be held from 4pm to 11pm at the Citizen Cain Restaurant and Pub in Taipei.

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