It’s not every day you can enjoy great music, have fun, and have a few beers and laughs with friends while helping those in need.
On Tuesday night, To’omalatai Mac Laban partnered up with Ariane Stevenson the owner of Cocktails on the Rocks bar to rally talented musicians to play from 3pm till midnight to raise funds to help victims of Cyclone Winston in Fiji.
Bands from the SIMAI Music Association such as: All Sorts, Samoa Trio, Afa & Maima Laban along with other talented musicians answered the call.
“When the cyclone hit Fiji and I saw the extent of the damage caused I got a flash back from back in 2009 when the Tsunami hit and the devastation it caused,” To’omalatai said.
“After the tsunami that year we held a fundraiser where I called all the musicians to join together to help the families and after the fundraiser we held a concert right in the middle of Lalomanu school to take their minds off the tragedy and to comfort them.”
This flashback led to the birth of the fundraiser for Fiji.
“Then when this happened in Fiji, I thought this would be another noble cause to use our talent. Samoans have a lot of talent but not many of them know the potential they have to help others with it,” Toomalatai said.
“I saw the government and so many people doing fundraisers for Fiji and I felt that the musicians should step up and do something as well.”
This is also a lesson for all the young people who will grow up in the music industry.
“This is a good opportunity for our children and youth to experience what it’s like to help others with their talents. Events like this will plant seeds in their souls letting them know that they can always help others with their gifts from God,” Toomalatai said.
“Music, dance and other forms of talent can all be used to help rather than just to make money.
“Fiji is part of our Pacific family and they would help us if we suffered in any way so our people need to start building on the bonds we already share.” Toomalatai said
The event started with a $10tala cover charge and after that individual donations came flooding in as people enjoyed the event.
Toomalatai reiterated the importance of using ones talent wisely.
“It is very important that the people who have talent channels it into something positive. Money will take you only so far but to be able to help others; that is a gift you can keep for the rest of your lives,” he said.
“I want to say thank you to all the musicians who gave up their time to support the cause and to all those who gave donations. Together we stand for others.”
All the funds will be handed over to Red Cross who will put it to good use.