Today’s news:

Boro’s Chinese give $162K in quake aid

The American Red Cross announced Friday that it has received more than $160,000 in donations toward the Sichuan earthquake relief effort from Queens agencies in the weeks since the massive tremblor devastated central China.

Queens College, meanwhile, unveiled plans for its own benefit to aid quake victims scheduled for June 13.

Peter Koo, president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association, and members of the Chinese American Women Commerce Association presented Queens Red Cross Director Joan Foley with a check for $162,451 Friday, as the death toll in China's Sichuan Province continued to rise in the aftermath of a magnitude 7.9 earthquake shook the area May 12.

The Red Cross reported that as of Monday, nearly 70,000 people had been confirmed dead with another 18,000 still reported missing, while more than 5 million had been left homeless by the quake.

The disaster struck a particularly personal chord in Flushing, where thousands of Chinese men and women have immigrated and settled over the last several decades.

"The Red Cross is a well-known and highly trusted humanitarian organization in China," Koo said Friday. "Through our strong relationship with the American Red Cross in New York, we know that our support for the people of China will be delivered quickly through the American Red Cross."

Members of Queens College's Model United Nations Club said they were impressed by the swift action of the Asian community in Flushing following the earthquake and have been working with a non-profit group, the Tzu Chi Foundation, to plan their own benefit show.

"We were inspired by their immediate response," said Model United Nations Club President Dewan Tarek. "As citizens of the Queens College community and the global community, we felt a moral obligation to also assist the victims.

Scheduled for June 13, the Queens College event will feature a silent auction of Chinese art, martial arts and musical performances and food at the LeFrak Concert Hall. Tickets for the event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., will cost $15 and will be available prior to the event at the Lefrak Concert Hall box office.

All proceeds from the auction and ticket sales will go to the Tzu Chi Foundation to further relief efforts in China.

"Throughout the school's history, our students have embodied the college motto, 'We learn so that we may serve,' said Queens College President James Muyskens.

"As part of the rich tapestry of cultures and religions that co-exist on campus—located in the most ethnically diverse borough in the nation—this current group of young women and men organizers are true model members of the United Nations as they interact across cultures and religions to assist those in need."

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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