The first round of a good-natured battle of Alberta will be waged on Saturday to see which city can party the hardest to help Haiti.
Nightlifers in both Edmonton and Calgary will host fundraising shindigs to help the earthquake-ravaged nation over the next two weekends.
“It’s totally friendly competition,” Varsity Row Original Joe’s manager Trevor Belsher said, adding the race is on to see which city can raise more for relief efforts. “Any extra inspiration will make everyone push a little bit harder.”
Organizers of the multi-venue initiative — all involved in the hospitality industry — say their solution to offer help was obvious.
“We just put two and two together,” said 780VIP owner Ismail Attitalla. “Since people are going out anyway, why not a fundraiser?”
In Edmonton, those hoping to help can start by visiting 780VIP.com. Blush Lounge (2,940 Calgary Trail) management will donate $5 for each person who heads to the watering hole via the site’s guest list this Saturday.
Twitter chatter of the fundraising effort, dubbed #yegHaiti and #yyc4Haiti, spread like wildfire on the social networking site last week.
Belsher first caught wind of the idea through tweeters, and decided to offer the popular university-area eatery for the second party on Jan. 30.
He calls Edmonton (#yeg) tweeters a “socially conscious group,” largely responsible for spreading the word of the initiative.
“When something like this happens, it wakes you up,” he said.
“They’ve influenced my life in a better way.”
Original Joe’s Varsity Row (8,404 109 St.) will host the second phase of #yegHaiti, featuring local songstress Erica Viegas.
For more information on Calgary events, search #yyc4Haiti on Twitter. For Edmonton, search #yegHaiti.
All cash collected from the events will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross.