By Nona Tepper
By the time you read this, Forest Park resident Beti Vere will be back in Puerto Rico, touring remote areas of the island, talking to nonprofits and looking for other ways she can help those affected by Hurricane Maria.
It's Vere's second visit in the last week. After helping to organize, "Forest Park 4 Puerto Rico," a Feb. 28 fundraiser that raised at least $8,000 for the devastated island, Vere jetted to Puerto Rico for two days, hoping to tour World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit that will receive the proceeds from the fundraiser. World Central Kitchen is comprised of celebrity chefs who have served more than 3 million meals to victims of Hurricane Maria.
Edilia Powers, who works in accounts payable for the village of Forest Park and also helped organize the fundraiser, has said it's important that funds generated from "Forest Park 4 Puerto Rico" bypass politicians and go directly to help the people. Powers said that U.S. mainland politicians have shown indifference to the island's plight, and Puerto Rican politicians have been unable to coordinate relief efforts.
But Forest Park played their part last week. Some 150 attendees of "Forest Park 4 Puerto Rico" enjoyed pizza, pop and live music by The Redmonds at McGaffer's. They also bid on a silent auction items.