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Central Illinois Group Holding Benefit for Philippines

A central Illinois organization is holding a benefit on Saturday to help the thousands of people impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
PEKIN – Here at home, the Filipino-American Society of Central Illinois is organizing a relief effort of its own.

More than 150 families are apart of the Filipino-American Society of Central Illinois. Ten of those families have relatives overseas that they still have not heard from.

Now, they’re taking action for the thousands of people who are desperate for help.

Images of grief, hunger and pain is all Araceli Lear has to hold on to. Lear said, “I watch the news every morning and I'm on TV watching for what's going on and I see you know, scenes horrid scenes. People walking and there's nothing standing, they have no food. You can see the bodies lying around them.”

Lear moved to the U.S. more than a decade ago, but her parents, a sister, aunts and uncles still call the islands home. She still hasn’t heard from all of her loved ones. “So I'm just being anxious to hear and I have told my dad as soon as he hears from them I want to know they're OK."

In the meantime, that anxiety is motivating her. At her business in Pekin, she’s hosting a relief benefit.

All of the proceeds will go directly back to her native country. “That's why I decided to be very active and you know, volunteering a lot of my resources and whatever valuable time I have to the benefit."

She said her culture is a tight-knit community, with a motto “family always comes first.”

The benefit won’t just help the thousands of Filipinos struggling to survive, but help those in central Illinois move forward with in their daily lives. “It's also a way for all Filipinos to come and heal. We know we have a lot of worries. We still need to be able to talk amongst each other and we're here to support each other."

The dance benefit will take place Saturday, November 16 from 6:00 until 10:00 P.M.

It’s happening at the Comfort Plus Hospice building in Pekin. Cash donations will be accepted at the door.

The event will feature raffles, drinks and food.
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