Having already raised around $4,500 for South Asian tsunami relief efforts, the University of Calgary Red Cross Club, in conjunction with its sister club at Mount Royal College, staged A Cultural Celebration for Tsunami Relief at MacEwan Hall on Wed., Feb. 2.
A small but rancorous crowd was on hand as acts from across all cultures entertained the audience with song and dance all throughout the evening. The event featured acts such as the Sri Lankan Dancers, the Black Powder Drum Group Trio amongst many others, and was highlighted by a keynote speech from Red Cross aid worker Jean-Pierre Taschereau, who was one of the members of the Canadian Red Cross.
"We've got people from every race, every age and every walk of life, so it's been an experience, and it is going very, very well," described Kyra Derksen, co-president of the U of C Red Cross Club. "There's been huge donations too... on-campus businesses have been very good [in regards to donations]."
Along with the silent auction that ran throughout the evening, Chartwell Catering Services also donated a $1,000 tuition voucher for a raffle. Tickets were sold at the event at $15 each and the sale continues at Mac Hall on Thursday and Friday, with the drawing on Friday.
With significant donations from both the SU and the Sudanese community, the 10-member university club will have raised approximately $7,000 as a contribution to the effort to relieve the suffering and begin the rebuilding stage of the areas of Southern Asia. While it is only a small amount, it is a very important, according to East Indian Dancer Sangeeta Jain.
"It is important that this event brings together so many cultures, and it goes to show that people feel that they need to come together and make a difference," she said. "Just the fact that we all can come together and work together to raise money is very important. Also, just [the fact that] different cultures coming together shows that the world is becoming more humanitarian."