"There was a fantastic spirit of cooperation between the groups during the two weeks of preparations leading to the event," said BAIVOTER founding member and Director Farshid Samsami, who was a member of the event organizing committee.
Held at the popular Faz Restaurant in Sunnyvale, CA, the event drew close to 300 Iranian-Americans and other participants who helped the organizers raise close to $100,000. The figure will be matched dollar for dollar by the Los Angeles-based international development agency Relief International. The organization will also be directly in charge of spending the funds on relief efforts in Bam. Since mid-January, a Relief International crew has been taking part in reconstruction efforts in the hardest-hit villages surrounding Bam. The group puts the cost of providing a basic two-room shelter for a family at $2,000.
Over thirty participants donated $1,000 each to receive a commemorative
brick that was accompanied by a plaque. Others participated in a live
auction of donated items.
The venue was donated by Faz, which also provided the food and drinks for the event at no charge, allowing all proceeds from the event to be spent on relief efforts. Music entertainment was donated by the Nejad World Music Center.
The participants were visibly moved when they heard Tam Dell'Oro, whose brother Tobb was the only American citizen killed in Bam. Tobb Dell'Oro was traveling in the Bam area with his longtime girlfriend Adele Caryl Freedman when the quake hit. The Redwood City couple, who had decided to get married while on tour in Bam, were pulled free from the rubble by rescuers but only Freedman survived her injuries. Ms Dell'Oro thanked Iranians for their efforts to save her brother and his fiancÚ.
As part of the fundraising effort, San Jose Vice Mayor Pat Dando today
presented BAIVOTER Executive
Director Niloufar Nouri with a blown up check in a ceremony in front of
the San Jose City Hall attended by Mehran Kamkar, Chairman of the Small
Business Development Commission, City of San Jose, among others.
Nouri received the check, made payable to Relief
International, on behalf of BAIVOTER and the organizers of the
The earthquake that struck Bam on 26 December killed over 40,000 people and destroyed most of the buildings in the city. According to a recent United Nations report, the long-term rebuilding of the quake-hit city could cost up to $1 billion.
... Payvand News - 2/2/04 ... --