Family uses music to help typhoon victims
Like many Filipino families living in the United States, the Picart family sat in shock as they watched the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.
"We were taken aback by the sheer magnitude, especially knowing that whatever we saw on our TV screens or daily Internet feeds was only a fraction of the devastation," said Lulu Picart, the oldest daughter of Philippine immigrants.
Picart's parents grew up in the Philippines and they still have many family members living there.
"Hearing firsthand accounts of the effects of this typhoon is what spurred us into action," she said.
So the Picarts decided to put together a benefit concert.
"Local Music, Global Impact" will be held on December 30 at The Abbey in Thornton Park and will raise money for the children of the Philippines through UNICEF.
It didn't take the family long to figure out how they wanted to bring people together around this cause.
Music was a huge part of Picart's life growing up: both she and her sister played piano, and she performed at church and community events with her mother.
She has been an active member of the cabaret and theater scene in Orlando for many years and works nationally as a singer and actor. Recently, she played Mulan in the off-color musical "Disenchanted," which first debuted at Orlando's Fringe Festival.
A benefit concert for the child victims of the typhoon seemed to be the best way for the family to use their talents for a cause that was very near to their hearts.
"If there's one thing that draws people together, it's music. Here in Orlando we have a vibrant community of performers who are as generous as they are talented and want to help," she said.
The event starts at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 30 with a silent auction. The concert begins at 8 p.m. followed by a Cabaret Party featuring Orlando's own Broadway musician, Jason Wetzel.
Kevin Ball, a local humanitarian and filmmaker who just returned from a trip to the Philippines, will also speak at the event.
The family asks that anyone who cannot attend but wants to donate to the cause to visit crowdrise.com.
"Even donating just $10 (the price of two lattes), can make such a difference to these kids. $10 will buy 1 kilo rice, 1 kilo pork, 1 box of milk, 10 packs of instant noodles, and 2 cans of sardines. This will feed a family of 4 or 5 for a day," said Picart.
Items for the silent auction, such as gift baskets, services or prizes are being accepted.