We’re happy to say that we have raised a total of  $2974.02 plus 6+ boxes of canned foods, toys, and clothing and raised awareness.  The current exchange rate for the Philippine peso (PhP) is approximately PhP 48 to $1.00.  Therefore, we have raised a total of PhP 142,752.96 pesos and to put it into perspective, we will be able to feed and clothe approximately 71,376 people!  Wow!  We have made a difference!  Thank you to all those involved in the success of our fundraising event!  Without your help, this wouldn’t have been possible!

As I write this blog post, I am very proud of my fellow Chicagoans who have come to support our cause this past Saturday.  After seeing all the destruction in the Philippines from Typhoon Ondoy last Sunday, September 27th, we knew we had to do something… Being so far away, we were so worried and felt helpless.  Luckily, our families were okay and weren’t as affected as some of the other people we saw online.  Every  image and video that was posted on Facebook and YouTube was so heartbreaking… We wanted to donate money and help those that are in need… But that would be the end of it… As we saw on Facebook, there was a cry for help and we felt the need to really do something about it….We wanted to draw awareness to the seriousness of the problem and hopefully become a ‘bridge’ to aid our fellow ‘kababayans’ (countrymen).  We knew we had to act fast…

We thank God every day for his blessings and his gift to us… This was a great opportunity for us to use our voice and skills to aid those who are in most need in the Philippines.  So as of Monday, September 28th, we decided to host a fundraiser… “Shoot for a cause : Relief for Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines” It was no easy task getting a location to host and hold our event for October 3rd.  Due to the time constraint and the rushed schedule, no hotel or Filipino venue would offer their location.  We started to turn to friends who own businesses.  Our first choice was Orlando Cecilio who is the owner of Health Kick in Morton Grove.  With his generous heart and his awareness of the problem in the Philippines, he willingly offered to co-host our fundraising event.  And the rest you could say, ‘is history’…

We’d first like to recognize and thank everyone who made this fundraising event possible:

Orlando Cecilio owner of Health Kick in Morton Grove, IL, DJ Mark delRosario (aka DJ DelRo), Kristine Gonzales, Khris Lee, Alvin Rivera, and Jimmy Tan of Jimmy Tan Photography for donating their time and energy for our event.   Gina Alcantara of GNG Designs, Adel Domingo of Oliveairé Artisan Events and Meetings, Ray Pryor of Emotia, Traci Fine of Fine Makeup Art, and Chris Deaño of tek-uniQue Graphics for donating goods and services for our raffle.  And Joey and Noelle Parker of J.N. Imagery and Paul and Giselle Santos of Phia Photography for donating yummy treats for our bake sale.  And last, but definitely not least, Dennis Martinez of ReDeFinition dance group for organizing and collecting the dry goods!  Orlando Cecilio of Health Kick also provided gift bags and appetizer snacks at the fundraising event.  THANK YOU!

We’d also like to thank all those that helped spread the word via Facebook and Twitter.  To the Chicago nightclub promoters: Vic Melecio, Lyle Delmundo, and Marlon Vigan!  To our photographer friends: Karatography, Otto Rascon, Kenny Nakai,  Kenny Kim, Avery House, Vergil Magsino, and Maurice Ramirez!    And to our Tweeps: Roma Christina, Capncrisp, Scarty.  And last but not least, all our friends from Facebook who helped spread the link for our great cause!  THANK YOU!

And of course, the generous online donations from people in Chicago and from across the nation, the kindhearted guests of our fundraising event who donated a generous contribution and brought dry goods such as canned foods, toys, and clothing.  And to my fellow photographers who joined us in our “New Photographer’s Seminar”!  THANK YOU!

Marie Chico, Michael Santos, Laarni Joy Pablo, Lutgarda Ramos, Ria Almaria, Marlynne & Johnny Pineda, Rowena & Marc Adajar, Josh & Gina Ensell, Farita & Chris Reyes, Loy & Myrna Gonzales, Eric & Mitzi Orlanes, Grace Ha-Kim, Kenny Nakai, Maria & Giovanni Pultrone, Mae Samiec, Gilbert Abadilla, Chris & Kelly Yap, Angie Hristova, Angie Hristova and Co-Workers, John Quilban, Lowen & Robert Rezek, Noelle & Joey Parker, Mark delRosario, Rainiel Distor, Adel Domingo, Corrie Powers, Reenah Hashem, Chris Deaño, Jon Hernandez, Velasquez Family, John Churchwell, Jessica Uzarraga, Jona Caberto, Joe & Veronica Alvarez, April Calueaqib, Katrina Beltran, Erwin Delfin, Colleen Ray, Emil Ramos, Emil Ramos-Friends & Family, Emil Ramos – Coca Cola Friends, Paul & Giselle Santos, Dan Dedios, Roxanne Alcantara, Jon Holmblad, Josephine Gentallan, Rosalind Beltran, Aimee Lee, Michael Ahn, Cheryl & Rich Cabildo, Emmanuel Cecilio, Janice Gunderson, Alvin Rivera, JR Bangit, Leujay Cruz, Christine Ong, Michael Domingo, Adrian Domingo, April Ocampo, Rodger Decilio, Gretchen Villa Luna, Eugenie Panganiban, Vanessa Frosch, Cindy Lam, Illi Ferandez, Mike and Mari Rivera, Cheryl, Mel, and Cici Quijano, Allan Palmes, Tina, Lei, Ethan & Isabella Xie, Kelly Barnett, Larry Cecilio, Crystal Clayag, and Carlo & Mia Gonzales, Stefania Presta Greco, Mylene Hamblin, Mylene Hamblin and co-workers!!!

Congratulations to the top 3 winners of the raffle:

Grand Prize of a Misha Media photo session along with makeup provided by Fine Makeup Art is: Emmanuel Cecilio – Please email us for details.

2nd Prize of an 8.5″ Digital Photo frame donated by Oliveairé Artisan Events and Meetings is: April Lomibao – Please pick up your prize at Health Kick

3rd Prize of a Lexmark Photo Printer donated by Chris Deaño of tek-uniQue Graphics is: April Calueaqib – Please pick up your prize at Health Kick

Prizes such as floral arrangements by GNG Designs and “Facing the Giants” DVD movies donated by Ray Pryor of Emotia were raffled off throughout the day live… Congratulations to those who won!

For those of you who took portraits at our mini-studio, please fill out our contact form here. We will email you the directions on how to go about downloading your high resolution images.

We can still continue to make a difference.  If you have missed our event, but would like to donate, please go to the Philippine National Red Cross website and donate there directly.  We promise to update everyone with other fundraising events that other Chicagoland Filipinos will be hosting.  If you are hosting an event in the near future and would like us to feature your event on our blog, please contact us here.  We also promise to keep everyone updated with the ongoing effort of the Philippine National Red Cross and it’s aid for the Ondoy victims.  Damages as of right now according to wikipedia:

Agriculture PhP3,216,782,587.83
Infrastructure PhP1,590,774,865.00
Total damages PhP4,807,557,452.83

Once  again, thank you to everyone!  God Bless you all.  The Bayanihan Spirit lives on!

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One Comment

  1. Hey Michelle and Andy, thanks so much for all your hard work! This event actually helped me to stop being so distant from events that I see in the news. I’m sure that God would want his children in the west to be concerned about his children in the east, right? Thank you for that reminder, and for being a such a great example of love in action.

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