July 19, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A local bar will be hosting a fundraiser tonight to benefit a group that has made headlines in recent weeks for raising thousands of dollars to help reunite parents and children separated at the U.S. and Mexico border.
The fundraiser, to be held at Maggie Mae’s and organized by a group of local moms, will raise money for Immigrant Families Together, a grassroots group founded by a Long Island City resident that is posting bail for mothers in ICE detention centers and helping them travel across the country to reunite with their separated children.
Ellie Dunn, a Sunnyside resident and one of four local moms putting the fundraiser together, said the idea came a couple of weeks ago as a way to do something impactful and immediate about the situation at the southern border.
Dunn said Immigrant Families Together is unique in that 100 percent of the money raised by the group goes toward bailing parents out and other expenses associated with traveling across several states, including food, gas, and stay.
Once the target group, which has helped eight women so far, was selected, Dunn immediately contacted the owners of Maggie Mae’s, who immediately agreed to hold the event.
Several neighborhood businesses have also donated thousands of dollars in goods and services to the fundraiser’s silent auction portion, including yoga classes from Suryaside Yoga, a package valued at over $400 from Sabrina’s Play Studio, $100 gift certificates for a number of restaurants, and haircuts at local beauty salons.
“It’s been really positive and just this incredible feeling of people coming together to try to make an impact where we all feel so down,” Dunn said.
The fundraiser and silent auction will be attended by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Meredith Maskara, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York.
Dunn and the organizing group are hoping to see “every Sunnyside resident” at tonight’s event, but are aiming for at least 100 people to come and donate while having a good time.
In addition, a GoFundMe page has been created by the group to benefit Immigrant Families Together for those who can’t make the fundraiser to donate, with over $400 raised as of press time.
The fundraiser and silent auction will be held on July 19 at Maggie Mae’s, located at 41-15 Queens Blvd., from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Whiskey Room downstairs. All money spent in the Whiskey Room during this time will go toward Immigrant Families Together. Money posted during the silent auction will also go toward the grassroots group.