Concert to benefit Samoas, Philippiness
Since the news of the tsunami that hit Samoa and American Samoa and the flooding that devastated parts of the Philippines last month, there have been many relief efforts, big and small. Hawai'i's connection to these distant islands is strong, and the compassion and concern run deep. But what often happens when a natural disaster strikes a community is an initial rush of outside attention and aid followed by a kind of forgetting, a false impression that everything has been taken care of and the immediate need has passed.
At the Word of Life Christian Center in Honolulu, church members know that things are still tough in the Philippines and Samoa. They have family abroad. They've heard the first-hand accounts. Some have been to the scene of the devastation and witnessed the suffering themselves.
"One of our members just returned from Samoa to attend her auntie's funeral," says Pastor Joe Onosai. "Her auntie was driving her daughter to school when the tsunami washed ashore and pulled her car into the ocean. Both died."
Ashley Sepulveda, daughter of Word of Life pastors Art and Kuna Sepulveda, came up with the idea for a benefit concert, something that would raise money for the relief efforts and be uplifting for families here. "She felt that as a church that has Filipino and Samoan members that we needed to take action," Onosai said.
Concert promoter Ben Sesepasara of Big Ben Productions is partnering with Word of Life to bring in a number of favorite local acts, including B.E.T., Natural Vibes and the woman with a voice as pure as rain, Ilona Irvine. If you've never heard Irvine sing live, it's like living in Hawaii and never going in the ocean.
Filling out the evening will be local Christian hip-hop groups Big Break and Blessing Crew. All the performers are volunteering their time to raise money for the cause, which Word of Life is calling "Operation Life." It's a hip, danceable, good-times local lineup in a family atmosphere where the evening has an end time. Not many concerts have an end time.
The concert will be held this Saturday, Nov. 7, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Word of Life Christian Center at 544 Queen St. Tickets are $20, and event T-shirts are only $5. All of the proceeds will go to help the victims of the disasters in the Philippines and Samoa. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Word of Life Christian Center or www.honoluluboxoffice.com
, or call 447-5590.http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091105/COLUMNISTS02/911050326/Concert+to+benefit+S%C3%A4moas++Philippines