By Mary Jeneverre Schultz | Asian Avenue magazine


Last February 23, more than 300 people attended the Colorado benefit for typhoon relief in the Philippines at the Wings of the Rockies venue from 4 to 9 pm.

With 20 breweries and six food trucks, brew lovers and foodies alike sampled a variety of brews from the Front Range to food trucks, specializing in Asian fusion cuisine.

“Approximately $7,500 dollars were raised in ticket sales,” said Giselle Larush of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA). “A generous $500 donation from a gentleman was donated, too.”

A customized, three-ounce taster was handed out to all those who prepaid $45 or paid the full price of $50 at the door. Other highlights included sitting inside the cockpits of amazing aircrafts at the Wings of the Rockies.

A silent auction was organized, showcasing artwork, Japanese kimonos, spa baskets and basket of brews with matching glasses. Larush shared the silent auction raised about $1,700.

Entertainment was provided by a local band called Hey Lady!, Hip hop dance company Hype 303, FACC Cultural dances from the Filipino American Community of Colorado (FACC) and a slide presentation from Javier Andres of the destruction visible in Tacloban, Philippines.

Dynamic duo Stephanie Vi Nghiem (2012-2013 Miss Asian American Colorado) and KVDR’s news reporter Chris Jose emceed the event, moving the program along.

Food cart owner Kathy Gietl did not get a break from serving food from her cart, A Taste of the Philippines. “The event was wonderful with such a great turnout,” she said, adding that she served about 300 sampler of lumpia (Filipino eggroll packed with meat).

Gietl enjoyed the camaraderie of meeting other food trucks and breweries.

The funds will go directly to the Philippines Disaster Recovery Foundation ( “Almost everything was donated and those who charged us gave us a deep discount because of the worthiness of the cause,” Larush said. “Coloradoans are really wonderful people who do not mind digging into their wallets even when times are hard.”

To learn more about the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), visit their website at