By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – Martin Nievera’s intimate concert at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino Sunday has raised more than $10,000 for the flood victims of Mindanao and created an outpouring of support from Filipino-Americans here.
Letty Quizon, development director of ABS CBN International Foundation, which organized the concert for its Sagip Kapamilya -Typhoon Sendong charity, said it brought the total of three Nievera’s concerts in the United States to nearly $50,000.
A concert in Los Angeles a day after Christmas raised $32,000 and another one in Hawaii grossed more than $4,000, Quizon said.
“The support and response had been overwhelming,” said Quizon, adding that Nievera, as an individual, has raised the most money for the victims of the flood that devastated the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro in Mindano last year.
“It shows that Filipino-Americans are always willing to help our kababayans who are in dire need,” she said.
The 49-year-old Nievera, considered the Concert King of the Philippines, performed about two dozen songs with guests Bert Nievera, Vicky Nievera, Jasmine Trias and the Society of Seven before about 300 fans at the Gordie Brown Showroom.
“I sing, you save a life,” said Nievera, who last performed at the Golden Nugget in 2003. Called “An Evening with Martin Nievera,” the concert was at the same venue where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. once performed.
Quizon said that it would take a little while before the exact gross would be known because ticket sales and donations are still coming in. Tickets were priced at $75 and $50 each.
In addition, the hat was passed around with the audience giving generously, one patron contributing $1,000 as Nievera, joking with the crowd, likened it to a church collection.
ABS CBN International Foundation, which is based in Redwood City, California, is celebrating its’ 10th anniversary this year.
While the focus has been helping the Mindanao flood victims, the foundation has assisted victims of other disasters in the Philippines, Quizon said.
“We try to fill in where there’s the greatest need,” she said.