You're Invited – Rise Up! Puerto Rico Fundraiser on October 15th

October 2, 2017 | by Erin Sirianni

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Mercer Island community members are invited to a local fundraiser to help rebuild the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. The event will take place on Sunday, October 15th, from 12:30 to 5:30 pm at the Mercer Island Beach Club.
Hosted by Mercer Island residents Federico Hernandez and Ana Sanchez-Jauregui, the event is family friendly and will include the following activities:

  • Salsa dance lesson
  • Domino tables
  • A silent auction
  • Face painting

Donations of $35 per adult and $25 per child are requested and include 1 food voucher (delicious Puerto Rican food served!) and 2 drink options (including Fede’s Premium Rum Selection – adults only).

All proceeds will be donated to the San Jorge Children’s Foundation, the largest children’s hospital in Puerto Rico.
Federico is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Ana is also a former resident of San Juan. Please find their invitation below:

Puerto Rico is suffering a Humanitarian Crisis. Many experts have said this is the natural disaster that has affected the most people in modern history. Maria struck September 20th, knocking out power for nearly all 3.4 million US citizens and demolishing structures on an island already struggling. Nearly 1.6 million electric customers in Puerto Rico are without power, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Energy Department, not counting those using generators as a backup.

I lived in San Juan and life was not much different from life in Seattle. You go to work, you pick up the kids, you have a few games on the weekend, and you do some family activities (in Puerto Rico, you will go to the beach or out on a boat; on Mercer Island, you will go on a hike or out on the lake). Imagine if you woke up one day and you didn’t have any electricity, water, food in the super market, or any type of communication – yep, no Wifi, or cellphone!

Everything has to be purchased through cash. Since ATM machines no longer have cash, and just a handful of central banks are in service, the lines of people can take over two hours for you to wait your turn. There are so many cars waiting outside the functioning gas stations that the roads in the streets get easily blocked. Only a share of $15 per person is distributed for the gas tank. Also, over a 100 people line up outside the gas station hours before they open with an empty gallon container to get a portion of diesel, which will be used for electric generators. The few supermarkets that open to the public are closing earlier than usual.

There are significantly less food items available and the lines of people to the cash register are very long. Tap water is available in some areas, however, there is no power to push it into the apartments (that is the case of my family). Bottled water is nowhere to be found. It is heart breaking!

The worst of all is the precarious shape of the island’s medical facilities. After the power went out, back-up generators at some hospitals failed quickly. Other hospitals are running critically low on diesel. Fuel is so precious that deliveries are made by armed guards to prevent looting. Medical staffers are also running low on gasoline for their daily commutes to work.

In an effort to raise awareness and help the most in need, we are doing an event on October 15th at the Mercer Island Beach Club. We will donate 100% of the proceeds to the San Jorge Children’s Foundation, the largest children hospital in Puerto Rico and the one that we visited many times when our kids were sick. This is a wonderful foundation we know, benefited from first-hand, and feel comfortable all proceeds will be in good hands.

This is how you can help:

1)  Attend the October 15th event anytime between 12:30 and 5:30 pm at the Mercer Island Beach Club, located at 8326 Avalon Dr. We suggest a minimum donation of $35 per adult and $25 per kid. If you can donate more or less, that’s ok. This will be a family event that includes Puerto Rican food and drinks (including wine and beer). Put Event – family name # of people and donation $ via gofundme.

2)  If you can’t attend, that’s ok! Simply donate any $ to gofundme

3) If you have any donations you can make for the event or for the silent auction, please contact me. Every contribution counts! Help us raise $5K on behalf of the Mercer Island community.

Learn more and donate >>