Ease your conscience, one drink at a time

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Ease your conscience, one drink at a time

If you’re like me, you’re touched by the generosity people all over the world have exhibited in the wake of the Dec. 26 tsunamis. You’re pleased to see that donations have been robust ― Koreans have contributed more than $50 million, according to a recent report by KBS.
But you’re also feeling a tad guilty, because you haven’t donated anything yourself. Your excuse is that you just don’t know who to give the money to, or how.
Well, you can quit with the excuses, because tonight you’ll have a chance to give easily and painlessly. The good folks at Bar Nana are hosting a benefit party, organized by a Canadian who teaches English here, and your 20,000 won ($19) cover donation will go straight to CARE Canada, which is actively conducting relief work in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Tonight’s party will feature DJs and a few live music acts playing the sorts of groovy music you usually get at Nana ― say, downtempo funk or reggae dub. Some of the performers agreed to cancel paying gigs (it is Friday night, note) to donate their efforts to the party, says the organizer, Laura Parker-Jervis.
Ms. Parker-Jervis, 26, from Vancouver, has a special affinity for Sri Lanka: Her boyfriend, Nimal Wijayana-yake, is Sri Lankan-Canadian, and the two spent a few months in the island nation a year ago.
“When I first saw the news, all I could think about were the many wonderful people we met there while we traveled along the southwest coast, like the fishermen,” Ms. Parker-Jervis said. “I felt like I had to do all I could to help.”
Also doing all they can to help are several Itaewon restaurants and bars, which have chipped in with gift certificates for a raffle. They include Thai Orchid, Ho Lee Chow, La Cigale, La Tavola, Bangkok, Moghul, Taco and Gecko’s.
Thai Orchid deserves a special shout-out. “We went there and asked if they would like to donate a gift certificate, one worth, say, 50,000 won,” Ms. Parker-Jervis says. “But the owner thought for a moment, then said that he would give three 100,000-won certificates.”
Your donation will get you two chances at the prizes, which are mostly free dinners but also include sweatshirts and other treats. You can also buy more raffle tickets, at 2,000 won each or six for 10,000 won, once you’re inside. So depending on your luck, you could ease your conscience and still come out ahead. (Also, Bar Nana’s contributing 2,000 won for each vodka, gin and rum drink sold.)
Either way, all the money will go to CARE Canada, which Ms. Parker-Jervis chose after researching various NGOs. You can see information on the work CARE is doing by visiting its Web site, care.ca. If you’re incurably suspicious, like me, you can leave your email address, and Ms. Parker-Jervis will later forward you the receipt from CARE.
The party starts at 9 p.m. They’re expecting a big turnout, so don’t wait too long.

by Mike Ferrin
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