Entertainers and corporations unite to help Haiti

Keynote speaker Lelei LeLaulu of CMEx

Canada (April 18, 2010) – More than CAD $350,000 was raised for the survivors of the Haiti earthquake from West Indian musicians, an Israeli entertainer, three Canadian companies and a Jewish philanthropy.

And, if that’s not multinational enough – the fundraising drive was organized by a young lady from the South Pacific working with a Caribbean media organization.

Maria Noa Habchi said the campaign, held in concert with the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) at Toronto’s Lula Lounge, was anchored by a glittering evening of music and entertainment and augmented by direct approaches to individuals and organizations. She noted it “was a heartwarming reminder of how generous Torontonians of vastly differing backgrounds can be.”

Recalling the “Haiti Carnival” at the Lula Lounge clashed with the Olympic hockey final between the US and Canada, Habchi said she was moved and impressed by the number of people who turned up to support the evening’s bill of stellar Caribbean musicians and the Canadian-Israeli entertainer, Haim Goldenberg of TV fame.

Haim Goldenberg (right) thrilled the audience with his skills

Habchi, who hails from the Pacific island of Samoa and received her education in Lebanon, said she was delighted when celebrating hockey fans reached by phone added their contributions after the momentous Olympic Gold Medal game.

She issued a special note of thanks to Canadian philanthropist Walter Arbib who orchestrated more than $350,000 worth of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

Arbib assembled a shipment of medicines for Haiti from SkyLink Aviation, Shalom Life Canadian Jewish On Line News, the United Jewish Appeal on behalf of Israel, and the airport security company, AviSecure.”A few people went home very happy indeed carrying with them stays at the top resorts in the Caribbean,” recalled Habchi. Top world resort, Jade Mountain, its sister property Anse Chastanet, and the favorite of professionals, Coco Palm, all from Saint Lucia, along with the Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa contributed prizes for the evening’s auction.

Roby Apaulere Joseph from Haiti gave a passionate update on developments in his country

Nancy Rivard, president of Airline Ambassadors International, and major recipient of the fundraising campaign, said she was “humbled by the generosity of Torontonians,” adding the support, “comes at an important time as the rains start bringing with it an increased danger of infection and disease.”

Airline Ambassadors, made up of volunteers drawn from the staff of 12 airlines, has arranged and flown into Haiti some 600 doctors and nurses as well as close to three million pounds worth of medical and other assistance to the clinics and orphanages it supports.

Set up almost a decade ago, CMEx provides a neutral platform for the discussion of tourism as a development tool.

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