By Patrick Donachie
Hundreds turned out for a benefit Sunday afternoon that raised money for victims of the earthquake that hit Ecuador April 16. The event, which was held at La Boom Restaurant in Woodside, raised more than $10,000 for UNICEF to assist quake survivors.
“Whatever we raise, Queens is going to send that message of hope, that we’re going to put our little grain of salt in to help our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters,” said state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst). “The other day it was Ecuador, but tomorrow it could be any other country.”
The death toll from the earthquake has exceeded 650 people and some 16,600 people were injured. Several people in the audience at the benefit said they had friends and family who still had loved ones missing in Ecuador. The earthquake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and it demolished nearly 7,000 buildings.
On Sunday, 20 members of LIUNA Local 78 flew out of New York City to Ecuador to assist in recovery efforts. Local 78 represents employees who specialize in asbestos, lead and hazardous waste removal and were going to work with the Ecuadorian government in helping with any dangerous materials in the air that had been released by the quake.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona