Fido's and Friends raise funds

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 41            October 18, 2001

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Local musicians "jam" for hurricane victims - Photo by Valin Miller

A single Saturday evening of fun will result in a large supply of food, clothing, medicine and materials for a multitude of hurricane victims left homeless by Hurricane Iris last week. A well-organized group from Fido's Restaurant and Bar came through this past weekend in an effort to make up for the losses suffered by some 13,000 residents of southern Belize. They say experience is the best teacher. Having survived Hurricane Keith just last year, many on the island know the victims' pain and came to the rescue with funds totaling $21,671.

    Combining the talents of several local island musicians, and the generosity of friends and tourists proved to be the perfect recipe for fun and fundraising. "Jamming" tunes throughout the night were Dale Wallace,  Dalito Wallace, Barefoot Skinny, Pineapple Willie, James Storey, Joe Miller, Ebbe Weille, Tony Buono and Keith Newton among others. A crowd of nearly 300 joined in the merriment bidding on grand prizes donated from local businesses as the evening progressed. One of the highlights of the benefit was the auction of a shell donated by well-known local "Paisano" which fetched a whopping $100US from Wendy Wilcox of California. An outstanding contribution of $5000US was also provided by Jennifer McCreery on behalf of the Washington Zoo in the US. Coincidentally, Ms. McCreery has first-hand knowledge of these types of functions being a professional fundraiser herself. A video of the festivities was arranged by Tim Budd and is being provided at no cost by a US company to those bidding $100US or more during the auction.

    Organizing the event were Malcolm Hitchcock and Jules Escalante of Fido's Courtyard. Adding to the charity as well were the staff of Fido's who provided their services "free gratis" for the evening. The entire amount of net proceeds from the Fido's Fundraiser were part of the evening's grand total. Instead of giving cash, these funds are being used to purchase supplies for victims which Mr. Escalante and friend Peter Lawrence have already begun to accumulate. Bags of flour, rice, sugar, beans as well as clothing and medicine have been purchased and have already made their way south. Zinc and other building materials have been contributed by local hardware stores and join the supplies being sent. Managing the relief operations in the hurricane area is Ian Anderson of Caves Branch Jungle Resort. He and his Wilderness & Cave Rescue team have set up three "field kitchens" to feed victims of the hurricane and are coordinating delivery of the clothing, medicine and materials. Assistance is also being provided by British forces, who are providing transportation of the supplies from the airport camp to the various locations in need. Stated Mr. Hitchcock, "We are providing supplies to the victims on a day-to-day basis. We wait for the call and begin gathering whatever they need."

    Through this venue, the organizers would like to thank everyone who helped make the Fido's Fundraiser a wonderful time and a sensational success. Donations and supplies for the victims continue to be collected at Fido's Courtyard. Anyone wishing to offer their support in any way may contact Malcolm or Jules at 2056 or 3176.



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