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Local Filipino residents cook up a delectable dose of compassion

The exotic flavors of the Philippines will take center stage this Saturday, Dec. 14, as Filipino friends in Carlton County seek to raise direct aid for their fellow countrymen who were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

The public is invited to stop by and savor the taste of pancit, a classic Filipino "comfort food" comprised of a savory blend of garlic, onion, olive oil, shredded chicken and noodles topped with a soy and oyster sauce, as well as chicken adobo, steamed rice and everyone's favorite -- egg rolls.

The fundraiser event will take place from 4-7 p.m. at the Cloquet Armory and is being organized by Cloquet resident Julie Podvin and State Representative Mike Sundin of Esko.

"Our brothers and sisters in the Philippines recently suffered a devastating typhoon that has left many without basic necessities such as clean water and shelter," said Podvin, a native of the Philippines. "The Minnesota Friends of the Philippines plans to do what we can to help."

Saturday's event will feature a Filipino buffet, entertainment and a silent auction. Podvin said the group is still seeking donated items for the auction and she encouraged anyone willing to donate to call her at 218-428-8101.

"The silent auction is a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping," suggested Podvin. "So whether you have anything to donate or not, come to the event to check out what last-minute gifts are waiting to be snatched up!"

Entertainment for the evening will be provided by John Riesgraf of Duluth, a one-man band, the dancers of Shooting Stars Dance Studio of Cloquet, and others yet to be announced.

Proceeds will benefit Filipino families, friends and acquaintances with connections to those living in the Northland.

Tickets for the event will be $10 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased in advance by calling Podvin or at the door.

Anyone wishing to make a direct donation to the relief effort is encouraged to make them at any branch of Wells Fargo Bank. Checks should be made out to Minnesota Friends of the Philippines.