Mar 232005
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

When a tsunami ripped through southeast Asia at the end of last year, support poured in for the victims. But while the rebuilding efforts are underway, support has slackened and Fort Collins residents have come together to help raise awareness and support.

The Asia-Fantasia benefit will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. April 9 in the Lory Student Center Theatre and will include a multimedia laser show, ethnic music and dance performances, a silent auction and a slide show showing the early rebuilding work.

"It's not in the media but they still need help," said Dhania Iman, president of the CSU Indonesian Student Association. "I just want to do something for my people at home."

Tickets to the event cost $12 for students and $15 for general admission with all of the proceeds going to charities such as UNICEF and indigenous relief work groups.


"This is like the second wave of support," said Sreedevi Bringi, one of the organizers of the benefit. "There was interest to do something community-wide and to include CSU in a big way. It was fueled by the need and the awareness that we can do something from Fort Collins."

Iman saw the devastation firsthand while home in Indonesia during winter break.

"I was home during that time and it was so sad," Iman said.

Neither Iman nor Bringi lost any immediate family members, though Bringi lost two friends.

"I had family members who missed the tsunami by one hour," Bringi said. "I knew a couple whose child is now orphaned."

Most of the support raised by the benefit will go to help the children affected by the tsunami.

"We want to try to provide some resources especially for the children," said Anura Jayasumana, an electrical engineering professor who was born in Sri Lanka.

Many local restaurants and businesses have gotten on board to help, including providing meal tickets for the silent auction.

"What we've already seen is the combining of the different groups," said Shawna Magtutu, program coordinator for the Office of International Programs. "It's been great to see them all come together. We didn't have any students directly affected but it's a major disaster."

Jayasumana said the different cultures that will be represented should provide good entertainment for those who attend the benefit concert. Groups representing India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka will perform both traditional music and dances.

"It is also a great opportunity for you to learn about a lot of different cultures," Jayasumana said. "In addition to helping, you'll have great entertainment as well."

For more information, go to the benefit's Web site:

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