By Robert Fullingim / Staff Writer
and Leslie Agis / Contributing Writer

In a county with a Filipino population of nearly half a million, LBCC students are directly affected by the strongest typhoon in recorded history that killed thousands of people after striking the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 8.
In an effort to help the victims, Dream, the City of Angels International Christian Church club at LBCC, will sponsor a dynamic worship service on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Best Western Golden Sails conference center in Long Beach. Breakfast will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the service at 11 a.m.

LBCC sophomore Lizette Abarca said, “It has nothing to do with religion. When disasters like these occur, we have to put aside our differences to help each other out.”
The international community is scrambling to send aid, but the problem of an underdeveloped infrastructure added to the sheer volume of destruction from the recent earthquake and typhoon are severely slowing relief efforts. Many Filipino communities are starting their own grassroots charity events to send aid of their own to their home country.

Rachel Gunther of Long Beach belongs to one such group. Gunther’s organization, Team Zumba U.S.A., is hosting a charity event Saturday, Nov. 16, in cooperation with the Filipino TV network ABS-CBN and Central Visayas from 5-8 p.m. at the Cerritos Regional Park. Gunther said, “We are having a ‘Zumba-thon’ to raise funds for the victims of these disasters. Many of us have family over there, so we planned the event weeks ago to send aid to the victims of the earthquake in Cebu, but then the typhoon hit, so the need for aid increased.”

Therese Rizarri, 20, an LBCC biochemistry and molecular biology major, and Gunther’s niece, said, “My uncle lives in Cebu City. He refused to leave his house, but Cebu City is fairly modern and his house is new so he was alright, but the north part of the island is where most of the damage has taken place.”

Rizarri said she would be dancing with her aunt Saturday. The event is called East West ZUMBAFusion & Philippines Quake Relief. It features O.C. Zin Manny Ruiz and New Jersey Zin Tara Romano with donations starting at $20 a ticket and a special for buying one ticket and getting the second for $15. Donations may be made on the Team Zumba USA’s Facebook page where a Pay-Pal account has been set up to handle the donations. Gunther said, “Even if people donated a few dollars each, the exchange rate is 40 pesos per $1, so $3 could feed one person for a week.”

Rachel Gunther of Long Beach belongs to one such group. Gunther’s organization, Team Zumba U.S.A., is hosting a charity event Saturday, Nov. 16, in cooperation with the Filipino TV network ABS-CBN and Central Visayas from 5-8 p.m. at the Cerritos Regional Park. Gunther said, “We are having a ‘Zumba-thon’ to raise funds for the victims of these disasters.

Many of us have family over there, so we planned the event weeks ago to send aid to the victims of the earthquake in Cebu, but then the typhoon hit, so the need for aid increased.” Therese Rizarri, 20, an LBCC biochemistry and molecular biology major, and Gunther’s niece, said, “My uncle lives in Cebu City. He refused to leave his house, but Cebu City is fairly modern and his house is new so he was alright, but the north part of the island is where most of the damage has taken place.”

The event is called East West ZUMBAFusion & Philippines Quake Relief. It features O.C. Zin Manny Ruiz and New Jersey Zin Tara Romano with donations starting at $20 a ticket and a special for buying one ticket and getting the second for $15. Donations may be made on the Team Zumba USA’s Facebook page where a Pay-Pal account has been set up to handle the donations.