The organizers of a fundraiser for victims of Typhoon Haiyan ran into a big problem Sunday, but it was a good problem to have.
More than 300 people showed up to the Filipino dinner at the Roseburg YMCA, after the group had prepared food for only about 250.
“I knew the people were generous but I wasn’t expecting this,” said Miriam Neely of the Douglas County Filipino-American Association. “We feel bad because so many people did not get the full menu.”
The group made $8 per plate selling a menu of Filipino dishes. They prepared two roasting containers of pork adobo, five of pancit, three of lumpia, an array of desserts, and had five rice cookers of jasmine rice going at once.
The money will go to a Catholic parish in the Tacloban area, where parish leaders in the hard-hit region will decide where to put the money, said association director Tess Loomis.
Linda Hann arrived at about 2 p.m., an hour before the event was supposed to end, but was still out of luck.
“I’m sorry I didn’t get any because I was sure looking forward to it,” she said.
YMCA Executive Director Marisa Fink said she was impressed with the turnout.
“We saw a lot of our members, and a lot of people new to the Y,” she said.
Many who attended were on their way home from church, and others were members of the local Filipino community. Others said they read about the event in the newspaper or have been following the typhoon in the news, and wanted to help.
Several of the women are from the affected southern part of the Philippines, or have relatives there who were displaced when Haiyan made landfall three weeks ago.
Fatima Gish said her brother-in-law’s sister is still missing.
Epilania Fretheim, whose three brothers were missing when the group met a week ago to discuss raising money for typhoon victims, said she received a heartening phone call at midnight Saturday
“They’re OK,” she said.
But her youngest brother had his house completely wiped out, she said, and food, power and transportation are in short supply in the area where most of her family lives.
“At least they are fine. I’m so relieved,” she said.
Icel Lohbeck is from Hilongos on Leyte island. Her village has been inundated with evacuees since the typhoon struck.
“I’m so thankful for the support of the community,” she said. “We did not expect so much support. This really does touch my heart.”
• You can reach reporter Garrett Andrews at 541-957-4218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.