Typhoon Haiyan decimated the area in the Philippines where Clark County Family Court Judge Cheryl Moss spent many childhood summers.
Four days after the super typhoon ravaged the island nation, Moss still has not been able to reach cousins and aunts who were in Haiyan’s deadly path.
“I’m just trying to stay very hopeful, say a lot of prayers, and hope I hear from them,” Moss said.
Moss, along with several leaders of the Filipino community in Las Vegas, gathered at the Aloha Kitchen near Sahara Avenue and Decatur Boulevard Monday night to plan their response and devise fundraising efforts to help the millions affected by Haiyan.
Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the island nation Friday, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.
On Monday, the death toll was over 1,200 according to initial reports. Officials expect that number to exceed 10,000 in the coming days.
Moss believes several of her family members have lost their homes, including her grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins who’s property was in direct path of the typhoon.
One of her aunts, Moss said, emailed her the day before Haiyan made landfall saying that she was going up on the roof with her dog, and had sent her grandchildren to a relative’s house that was safer.
Moss, whose mother’s side of her family is from the Visayas region of the Philippines, hasn’t heard anything since then.
“This is a very personal event for me,” Moss said. “Being a judge, I don’t really like to talk about my personal life. But I had to come out and show my support.
Local musicians and entertainers, including the Jabbawockeez, are planning a series of concerts and events to help raise funds that will go toward relief efforts.
“We said we cannot just sit here and do nothing,” said Ron Cabildo of Definitive Talents, who is working with the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Nevada to arrange the shows.
Having the Jabbawockeez, whose representative pledged to commit the group’s time while at the meeting Monday night, could help bring national attention to the concerts and help raise even more funds, Cabildo said.
The initial concert will be scheduled in the coming weeks, according to Cabildo, with several other concerts following in hopes of keeping the relief efforts fresh in the public’s mind.
But it wasn’t just Jabbawockeez stepping forward to join Southern Nevada’s Filipino-American community to show support for those affected by Haiyan.
At the Monday meeting at Aloha Kitchen, Desiree de Castro, vice president of operations at Origin India Restaurant and Bar, donated $1,000 on behalf of the restaurant to help kick off the fundraising.
The Jewish Federation of Las Vegas announced an initial commitment of $15,000 in relief funds Monday, with plans to raise even more.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to all the people of the Philippines impacted by this natural disaster,” said Dr. Hugh Bassewitz, chairman of the board of directors of the federation. “Our Jewish Federation is joining others from across our nation to do whatever we can to help the Filipino people who are suffering and in need of assistance.”
Cox Communications in Las Vegas is providing free access to The Filipino Channel, channel 270, which is providing coverage of Typhoon Haiyan.
Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.