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February 10, 2010

elephantjournal.com events: Boulder: Haiti Fundraiser Feb 19: Mardi Gras for Humanity.

Haiti fundraiser to feature Chris Daniels

100% of proceeds to go to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund

BOULDER — A fundraiser to benefit victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti is planned for Friday, February 19 at the Elks Lodge, 3975 28th St. inBoulder. The event, titled ABCDEFG Haiti, will run from 7 p.m. to midnight and feature performers including Chris Daniels, Ayo Awosika, Jaden, Megan Burtt, Rob Drabkin, Kyle James Hauser and other special guests.

The Mardi Gras-themed event will be hosted by Rockin’ Robin Abb, organizer of Niwot’s Rhythm on the Rails. Attendees will enjoy gourmet food, cash bar, dancing, silent auction, costume contest and more.

Tickets cost $25. All proceeds will be given to the American Red Cross for its Haiti Relief and Development Fund.

“A group effort will be able to raise more money and awareness than working individually,” said Mike Ellis of Celume Productions, a Boulder-based event planning company. “ABCDEFG Haiti is still a work in progress. But everyone we’ve spoken with has stepped up, and we expect more artists, organizations and volunteers to come forward.

“We feel the best way to support the people of Haiti is by giving to a trusted NGO like the Red Cross,” he continued. “About 92 cents of every dollar the Red Cross raises is invested its humanitarian efforts.”

“Mardi Gras is a Haitian cultural event,” said Rebecca Espinosa, one of the event organizers. “We are raising funds to not only physically help the Haitians but also to help support their culture and help rebuild their spirit.”

About ABCDEFG Haiti

The unusual name stands for Amazing Boulder Carnival Dance and Earthquake Fund Gathering for Haiti.

For more information and to volunteer or sponsor ABCDEFG Haiti

Contact Caron Ellis, 303-443-2056, [email protected]. Find us online at ABCDEFGHaiti.com and follow on Facebook at facebook.com/ABCDEFGHaiti.

The American Red Cross name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, individual or political position. For more information about the American Red Cross, please call 1-800 HELP NOW or email [email protected]


ABCDEFG Haiti, the back story

By Caron Ellis

My husband and I are cause-driven. If it meets our criteria – environmentally sound, community oriented, dedicated to the betterment of humankind – and is legit, we’ll seriously consider writing an electronic check (more eco-friendly than mailing a paper check).

So Mike’s interest in helping Haiti’s earthquake victims didn’t surprise me. What did was the level of help he had in mind.

We hadn’t even discussed what to do yet when Mike turned to me about a week after the disaster and announced, “We’re going to put on a fundraiser for Haiti.”

Knowing my husband’s propensity for sporting events like triathlons and road races, I figured he was thinking of a 5k race.

“OK,” I said, imagining my duties would include PR and maybe heading the refreshments committee.

“It will be at Elks, will benefit the American Red Cross, have a bunch of bands including Jaden, a silent auction – you know, a big-time fundraiser.” As Mike elaborated, it was clear he had given this some serious thought.

He had already laid the groundwork by speaking with the event coordinator at the Boulder Elks Lodge, clearing it with Jaden’s mother (the 8-year-old guitar genius’ manager), and “volunteering” some of my pottery. All before letting his wife in on his plans.

The pièce de résistance was his name for the event: ABCDEFG Haiti (Amazing Boulder Carnival Dance and Earthquake Fund Gathering for Haiti). Mike certainly has a gift for branding!

He rounded up a core of volunteers via Facebook, and the next day we had the first organizational meeting. By that night we had a Facebook fan page, an event page, and had secured ABCDEFGHaiti.com as our domain name.

The next day we solidified a date, Friday, February 19, lined up our headliner, Chris Daniels, and interested Tom McNeill, executive chef and owner of The Gourmet Cowboy, in catering the event.

We also formed a nonprofit, Celume Productions, and opened a bank account to collect all funds raised and get them to the Red Cross.

Over the next couple of weeks we attracted world-class performers (Ayo Awosika, Megan Burtt, Rob Drabkin, Kyle James Hauser), emcee Rockin’ Robin and sound engineer Craig Roush, media sponsors (Boulder County Business Report and elephant journal), IT sponsor CompuER, and a trove of silent auction items.

ABCDEFG Haiti is now 11 days away, and people and organizations continue to come forward with donations and support.

Please help our Haitian brothers and sisters by buying tickets now to ABCDEFG Haiti and making this labor of love (everything from the venue to the sound system is donated) a rousing success!

The American Red Cross name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, individual or political position. For more information about the American Red Cross, please call 1-800 HELP NOW or email [email protected].

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