Benefit concert draws hundreds to help with typhoon relief - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Benefit concert draws hundreds to help with typhoon relief

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

It's been more than a month since Typhoon Haiyan rocked the Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless. Now, the focus is on helping those affected to rebuild their lives.

On Saturday, local members of the growing Filipino community in Las Vegas did their part to help.

"It's heartbreaking," said Mona Kozel, who lost her uncle in the typhoon. "It's very sad."

Kozel knows too well the devastating impact of last month's typhoon in the Philippines. Her uncle was killed after floodwaters wiped out her family's hometown in Southern Leyte. She said other relatives are still missing and presumed dead.

"It was unexpected how bad it was," said Kozel. "It's really shocking to them. I don't want to think about the ones that I lost, but my thinking is how to go back and be able to help."

She is not alone in her will to help. On Saturday, Filipino community members in Las Vegas gave back by holding a free benefit concert at the Rio parking lot.

"It's engrained in the Filipino's heart that it doesn't matter where we come from, what region in the Philippines we are from," said Amie Belmonte of the National Federation of Filipino American Association. "We are here to help our fellow countrymen or the kapabayans."

The Jabbawockeez were the main headliners. Many of those in attendance wee young Filipino Americans including 17-year-old Justin White. He came with his classmates from Advance Technology Academy. His family is from Manila.

"The Philippines itself is just a strong community," said White. "We don't have much as it is, so we all feel united and obligated to help each other out in time of need."

Kozel said she is grateful.

"When disaster strikes, we as a people become together," said Kozel. "We become closer together and we rise above all these things."

So far, the National Federation of Filipino American Association along with the Red Dragon organization has raised more than $25,000 for typhoon victims.

If you'd like to help, you can call the National Federation of Filipino American Association at 702-664-5495.

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