EASTPORT, Maine — Organizers pulled a dinner and raffle together in less than 10 days to benefit Haiti, raising almost $4,000 Saturday night for earthquake relief.
The idea for the event belonged to John Miller, an Eastport councilor who said he “saw the need to do more than just send a check to the Red Cross.”
“I knew so many people that wanted to get involved and help the people of Haiti with more than just a check,” Miller said. “There was a need to reach out in a much deeper way and offer a hand up from our entire community.
People from toddlers to their mid-90s attended the event, Miller said, which was held at Eastport’s Marine Technology Center.
Miller said the event’s committee, consisting of Melissa Newcomb, Tyra and Laura Baker, Lisa Chapman, Mary Ann Roberts Wiles, Rob Carney, Jeff and Lesley Starling, Erin White, Skylar Cook and John Miller, set out to create a major event in little more than a week’s time.
“The small, altruistic army tapped into the incredible synergy of the region on both sides of the border,” Miller said.
The evening included a buffet dinner of homemade casseroles, hams, meatballs, chicken, Italian and Greek lasagna, salads, baked beans, pies, cakes, rolls and beverage choices. There were also a bake sale table, a Chinese raffle and silent auction.
Miller said the dinner raised more than $2,000 and the auction raised an additional $1,875. All funds were committed to a Haitian orphanage.
“Almost 50 percent of the population of Port-Au-Prince is made up of children,” Melissa Newcomb said. “Our goal was to help the most fragile and vulnerable victims of the quake in Haiti, and this will allow us to make a significant donation to the Red Cross on behalf of the people of Washington County.”
In addition to the 200 dinner attendees, Miller said more than 63 businesses from Maine and New Brunswick donated items for the raffle and auction, and more than 70 people baked and cooked.