Nov. 9, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
A fundraiser dedicated to Puerto Rico relief efforts will take place in Sunnyside, where participants can dance through the entire day while raising funds to send to Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria’s passing in September.
The event, called Dance for Puerto Rico!, will take place on Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Sunnyside Community Services on 43-31 39th St.
“Join us to support our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico who endured the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Maria…and are struggling to survive while much of the island goes without adequate drinking water, food and electricity,” reads part of the event’s description.
Bands and individual artists will perform live salsa, merengue, and bachata, while several DJ’s will play hits from the Billboard Top 40 list.
The event will also include a cash bar, a raffle, and a cash photo booth. Food and dessert come with the entry ticket, priced at $30 and for people 21 and over only.
Proceeds will go to the non-profit Hispanic Federation and the grassroots organization Tainas Unidas, which has been distributing water, food and supplies to communities on the island.
The event is organized by David Espinoza, an associate director at Sunnyside Community Services. Espinoza, a Puerto Rican-American, said the effort is personal for him. “Puerto Ricans are fellow Americans,” he said. “When one American is affected in a humanitarian crisis, its incumbent upon us all to take action, no matter what our backgrounds are.”
Tickets for the event can be purchased online, and can also be bought at the door in cash. Reservations for groups of four to 10 people can be made by calling in advance. The lineup of performers can also be viewed on the ticket page online.
Espinoza hopes to raise between $7,000 to $8,000 to send to Puerto Rico, and hopes that others are inspired to “pack the house for Puerto Rico”.
The island, with a population of over 3 million, was devastated after Hurricane Maria tore through on Sept. 20. Recovery efforts have been steady but difficult—a month after Hurricane Maria made landfall, it was announced that 80 percent of the island still lacked power.
Richard Rossello, governor or Puerto Rico, said he wanted power to be restored to 95 percent of the island by mid December. On Nov. 9, however, when roughly half of Puerto Rico had electricity, a failed power line brought the island down to 18 percent capacity.