It’s a well-known fact that Derry people support charitable causes with great passion and this Saturday is a prime example of such.
Riff Fugees is a fundraising event which is taking place at Sandinos Bar this Sunday, May 15th at 7pm with a host of incredible talent on the bill.
The aim of the event is to fundraise for the refugees of Athens as the humanitarian crisis continues to grow and grow. Every penny raised on the night will be spent directly on the refugees as a group of local people make the trip across to Athens to help in whatever they can.
Speaking about the event, organiser Richie Huges explained: “I will be travelling with a group of friends to Athens On the 24th May for a week to help assist and support the refugees. We are paying for our own flights, accommodation and expenses but are trying to raise funds so we can bring money with us.
“We will assess the needs of the people we meet there and spend the money accordingly; this could be on food, clothing, medical supplies etc. Every penny we raise will be spent directly on the refugees and we will keep records to verify that, available at your request. As one of a number of fund raising strategies we are exploring we are organising an evening of music and entertainment.”
Richie went on to tell me about how he became involved in the trip. “I was ‘enlisted’ so to speak, by my friend Hilda Orr who had documented her trip to Lesvos in January helping refugees arriving there. I was inspired.
“I later learned that another friend Gail O’Brien was planning her second trip to Greece and I had become a bit of a ‘keyboard warrior’ constantly posting and sharing information on issues I felt passionately about. So when Hilda told me that she had plans to volunteer again, this time in Athens and suggested I join her I realised that it was within my capability to do something meaningful. I was not the only one who was inspired as I soon learned that six members of ‘The Bridge’ a faith group that meets regularly in Strabane would also be joining us.”
The aim of trip is simple “help in whatever way we can” Richie tells me. “Our plan is in two parts; firstly to provide physical help, there are a number of NGO’s (Non-governmental organisations) calling out for people to help with skilled and non-skilled work from doctors and teachers to people helping distribute food and clothes. The second part is to spend the money we raise. We will assess the needs of the people we meet there and spend the money accordingly; this could be on food, clothing, medical supplies etc.”
Speaking about the reaction to the Riff Fugees event which is planned for this Sunday, Richie said: “It’s quite overwhelming how everyone responded. Soon after I put the word out in was inundated with offers of help and support. This line up is just the tip of the iceberg!”
With a line-up including Little Hooks, Hollie Rose, Suspect Device, Glenn Rosborough, Susie-Blue, Paddy Nash & Diane Greer and Victoria Geelan, with special appearances from Aodhan Byrom-O'Brien, Gemma Walker & Sorcha Shanahan, Gail O'Brien, Paul Moore, Abby Oliveira and Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company it’s going to be an incredible evening for a great cause and one not to be missed.
If you are unable to make the event however, you can still get involved. “If you’d like to get involved we’re still looking for items to auction and prizes for our raffles. We’ll take whatever’s on offer from a bottle of wine to a haircut to a holiday” said Richie.
You can also donate online to the cause via YouCaring