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Steamboat benefit to help Philippines

Kimberly Doty and Penelope Freedman are helping to put together a benefit for the Philippines on Thursday at the Ghost Ranch. The event begins at 8 p.m. and costs $5 with all proceeds benefiting UNICEF.

— When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Penelope Freedman immediately started raising money.

She took the funds, bought a plane ticket and traveled down south. When she got there, she cleaned up debris, laid tile, fixed roofs and worked on air conditioning units.

So when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last month, that feeling of wanting to help resurfaced.

So along with friend Kimberly Doty, Freedman has helped set up a fundraiser for the Philippines at the Ghost Ranch.

The event runs from 8 p.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday. Cost is $5 with all proceeds going to UNICEF to help with typhoon recovery. Local reggae band Acutonic and DJ Dra-La will provide entertainment.

Proceeds from the sale of $3 raffle tickets and merchandise from Dra-La will go into the fund. The benefit is for those 18 and older.

"For me, I think it's important in a small community, where we're tucked away, to still help out," Freedman said. "That's part of community to me."

The typhoon hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Nov. 8, ravishing six islands.

As of Sunday, the death toll stood at more than 5,900 people with more than 1,700 still missing.

In all, more than 12 million people have been affected by the disaster.

"We felt we had to do something," Doty said. "We wanted to make it a community thing and easy for everybody to help out."

Acutonic will go on first, and between sets and during breaks, there will be drawings for prizes.

Prizes include a plethora of gift certificates from local businesses as well as ski and snowboard gear.

The pair said they hope the event raises at least $2,000.

"We want to raise awareness about things going on around the world," Freedman said. "We want to show we can make a huge difference."

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham