Citizens and organizations in Santa Maria have set up three fundraisers to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The first involves Zehra Roska, whose family set up a Facebook page called “Bangon Bantayanons,” or “Rise Up, Bantayans” to raise money and coordinate volunteers on the island of Bantayan. Roska said the small island, which is directly west of the hard-hit Tacloban City, is comprised largely of fishing families.
“The island is like 95 percent destroyed as far as their homes (and) their boats,” Roska said. “Electricity is pretty much gone. It's going to take the government three to six months (to restore power).”
Roska, whose cousin set up the Facebook page, is part of a family whose history is tied to Bantayan.
“To this day the Roska family continues the tradition of visiting Bantayan throughout the year,” Roska wrote in an article she published on facebookstories.com. “We have many relatives and friends still living on the island until now. In fact, in the town of Santa Fe, there is a street named after our great-grandfather Francisco Mansueto Roska.”
The second fundraising event will be a BBQ at the Filipino Community Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 15. Three organizations – the
Filipino-American Association of Santa Maria Valley, the Filipino Seniors of Santa Maria Valley and the Filipino Community of Santa Maria Valley – are all working together to organize the event.
“Some of us ... have some members that have families there that were directly hit by the typhoon,” said Vice President of the Filipino-American Association of Santa Maria Valley Rose Sagisi.
The proceeds from the BBQ will go to several locations in the Philippines, Sagisi said.
The association will also put on a golf tournament at the Monarch Dunes Golf Club in Nipomo on Dec. 18, she said.