At the bustling Haiti relief fundraiser Thursday night, two days after Tuesday's devastating earthquake, a parade of media vans parked in front of TiGeorges' Chicken on Glendale Boulevard. Reporters and community organizers crammed into the small restaurant, and while some managed to place dinner orders at the front counter, there were more microphones held up to mouths than forks.
City Council President Eric Garcetti chatted in between bites of chicken. He held a microphone up for Chancelor Daniel, a Haitian-born doctor based in Los Angeles who addressed the crowd in a thick accent, emphasizing productive means of support, namely offering prayers and donating to authentic aid organizations.
Won-G, Haitian-born recording artist and founder of One Dome at a Time, discussed travelling home to help with Ash Robinson, president of Globus Relief. The two leave for Haiti on Monday. “We're going to assess their needs,” Robinson explained. “The real work starts in 60-90 days. That's when we'll begin repairing the infrastructure.”
TV host Sal Masekela, son of the legendary South African musician Hugh Masekela, stopped in to show his support, along with Patrick Cadichon, a first generation Haitian American who is currently concerned about the lack of communication between Haitian Americans and the victims of the earthquake. He plans to travel to Haiti with a video camera and stream live video to the internet via satellite in the hopes of taking a visual census of who is left, searching specifically for family members and friends who have not yet been contacted.
George Laguerre himself was mainly behind the scenes all night, surfacing occasionally in his chef whites to shake a few hands and introduce Dr. Daniel. The total amount of funds raised is uncertain (check back in later for an update), but a vase up front overflowed with cash and checks made out to the Yéle Haiti Foundation.