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Mets to honor Cambria Heights Haitian group

Haitian Americans United for Progress, a Cambria Heights-based nonprofit whose profile was raised following the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti in January, is getting a boost from the New York Mets, who will be honoring the group next week during a game at Citi Field.

All proceeds from 1,000 tickets sold for the Mets-Marlins game April 7 will be donated to HAUP, which it will use to provide assistance to the storm-ravaged Caribbean country.

The Mets have previously designated days to honor other cultures, including nights paying tribute to the Jewish and Latino communities, but Friday will mark the first time the team recognizes the Haitian community.

HAUP is set to receive the NY Mets Spirit Award, which recognizes the Haitian group’s achievements and service to the Haitian community since it was founded 34 years ago at 221-05 Linden Blvd.

The Haitian nonprofit has helped residents in Cambria Heights and all over Queens with roots in the island nation contact relatives displaced by the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti earlier in the year.

It has also helped funnel donations to the Red Cross and other charities assisting in Haiti.

The organization also helps Haitian-born residents with immigration problems and provides education and job training classes.

HAUP said it would use proceeds from the Mets ticket sales to support local efforts and the Haiti-based House of Handicapped Children.

HAUP Executive Director Elsie Saint-Louis Accilien and four other representatives from the nonprofit will receive the NY Mets Spirit Award on the field of the stadium.

The Experience, a musical group co-founded by Saint-Louis Accilien that is affiliated with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Cambria Heights, and composer/songwriter Michael Capobiano are scheduled to perform the national anthem.

There will also be information tables promoting HAUP’s services, where representatives of the organization will provide resources about the nonprofit and inform spectators how they can help raise funds for relief for Haiti.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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