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Event raises funds for typhoon victims
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Hope for The Philippines volunteers including, from left, Jerlyn Spicer, Gina Bastsa, Rose DeMille, Thelma Mix, Maryann Branesky, Maam Alvarez, Maria Allego and Ching Phillip, help raise money for victims of the typhoon.
LARGO – New Life International Church and 4Ever40 Sisterhood Association raised more than $300 Nov. 30 for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the record-breaking storm that hit the Philippines last month.

The Hope for the Philippines fundraising event at Oak Ridge Wesleyan Church featured a carwash, yard sale and live music. Volunteer Reggie Canezo said there was a great turnout for the event.

“It was so nice to have people come out and support us,” he said.

Rose DeMille, the founder of 4Ever40 Sisterhood organization, said she decided to host the event after she heard that all of the organization’s officers and several board members had family or friends affected by the typhoon.

“I wanted to help people in the Philippines that have been affected by the typhoon,” she said.

Thelma Mix, who serves as the organization’s vice president, was one of those personally affected. Some of her family members drowned in the typhoon.

“My nephew’s house was damaged by the typhoon,” Mix said. “The money that we raise from the (Hope for The Philippines) will go toward helping some of the families rebuild their houses.”

Connie Solano, secretary for 4Ever40, also has family directly affected.

“After the typhoon hit, I called my family, and my heart not only went to my family but for the entire island, which consists of four townships,” Solano said. “The entire island is in need of food, shelter and medical supplies.”

4Ever40 Sisterhood Association had planned to hold the event a week earlier, but ran into logistical problems. So DeMille contacted Pastor Billy Bay of New Life International Church.

“My wife and I were burdened by what happened in the Philippines, and we wanted to help,” Bay said.

The 4Ever40 Sisterhood Association was formed to empower women and promote unity, friendship and common goals, which include providing scholarships to poor children in remote areas of the Philippines and inspiring women and girls everywhere to finish their education to become self-sufficient.

To donate money or clothes to Hope for The Philippines, contact Connie Solano at 813-335-0927. For more information about the organization, visit

Revised to correct gender of Reggie Canezo.
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