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Originally published Friday, January 14, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Weekend concerts to raise money for tsunami victims

Chris Mackay has spent almost a year in Thailand traveling and leading tours, including near the tsunami-ravaged areas of Phuket on the southwest Thai coast. Now the Seattle woman...

Seattle Times travel staff

Chris Mackay has spent almost a year in Thailand traveling and leading tours, including near the tsunami-ravaged areas of Phuket on the southwest Thai coast.

Now the Seattle woman and several colleagues, who've traveled in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the two hardest-hit countries, are trying to help tsunami victims. They've organized Dance Across Water, a tsunami benefit concert at The Premier club in Seattle Friday, and are organizing a volunteers' work trip to help rebuild a fishing village in southwest Thailand later this year.

Mackay is a co-owner of the Seattle-based Crooked Trails. The nonprofit company specializes in small-group trips, mostly in Thailand, Peru and India, that immerse participants in the daily life of rural communities through home stays and local guides.

The tsunami benefit concert features the soul/funk band Soul Provider. All proceeds will go to the Bellevue-based Northwest Medical Teams International, said Mackay, to help them send medical specialists and supplies to tsunami-affected areas of Indonesia and beyond.

Since the tsunami hit Dec. 26, Mackay has been in contact with a village on the small island of Koh Yao Noi, near Phuket, where her company operates home-stay programs.

Tsunami damage to the more sheltered village was not as extensive as in coastal resorts on Phuket Island, but there were three deaths and fishermen lost boats in the tsunami, said Mackay.

Information


Benefit concert: Featuring the soul/funk band Soul Provider, 8 p.m. Friday, at The Premier club, 1700 First Ave. S., Seattle. Tickets are $15 per person (21 and older), available for cash at the door or in advance through www.ticketswest.com

More information: Crooked Trails, 206-372-4405 or www.crookedtrails.com

More concerts: Other tsunami benefit concerts are being held around Seattle, including the all-ages Mix for Relief concert at the Showbox Saturday, starring rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot. Info: 206-628-3151 or www.showboxonline.com. See related story for more information on other benefits.

"We're working out what we can do, if we can help rebuild docks and homes," said Mackay.

"This has wrung our hearts, and we wanted to reach out."

Travel companies big and small in the United States and worldwide are contributing to relief efforts.

Many travel companies have posted links on their Web sites for donations to the Red Cross/ Red Crescent, UNICEF and other disaster-relief organizations.

Northwest, Delta and United airlines are allowing frequent-flier miles to be donated to relief groups. Cathay Pacific and British Airways are earmarking donations to their Change for Good programs, an on-board collection through which travelers donate unwanted coins and bills to UNICEF, to tsunami relief.

Carlson Hotels, the parent company of Radisson and other luxury-hotel chains, is encouraging guest donations and matching a portion of employees' donations for disaster relief. InterContinental Hotels also is matching a portion of guest donations to UNICEF.

The Seattle-based Holland America cruise line, which employs thousands of Indonesians on its ships, has made a corporate donation to the Indonesian Red Cross and will forward guests and employees' donations to the organization.

Kristin Jackson: 206-464-2271 or kjackson@seattletimes.com

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