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Hundreds gather to help recover from Chinatown fire

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Posted at 9:44 PM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-07 22:20:34-05

CHINATOWN, Manhattan — It’s been a double whammy for Chinatown,

First, a beloved community center was destroyed by fire. Then the growing fears of coronavirus continue to hurt Chinatown small businesses.

Organizers created the Chinatown Fire Relief Fundraiser sponsored by the Asian American Arts Alliance with so many interesting performances including TIN, dolltrick, Juicy Lou and Chen Dance Center, among others.

Hundreds gathered in the gymnasium of Henry street settlement to support five community organizations that lost their Longtime home at 70 Mulberry street in the devastating fire two days before the lunar New Year celebrations.

Among them the Chen Dance center, Museum of Chinese in America and the Chinatown Senior Center.

“They are having a hard time recuperating, especially with coronavirus scare so we are trying to help,” Prisca Choe, one of the fundraiser organizers, told PIX11 News.

“We are very grateful for everyone giving their time and energy and the donations,” Michael Stewart, another organizer, told PIX11 News. “It’s really beautiful,” he added.

Supporters paid $20 a ticket to taste Complimentary shrimp dumplings and drinks from Chinese Tuxedo, bid on beautiful Asian Art, pose for pictures, nominate your favorite noodle place or sign petitions to save the Mulberry street facade.

“Being a restaurant, it’s very important to give back to the community, be a part of it,” Andrew Lam, standing next to his father, Jeff Lam, the owner of Chinese Tuxedo, told PIX11 News.

Many of those attending were happy to help the chinatown community suffering not only from the fire but also coronavirus fears.

“I wanted to support anything related to Chinatown especially after losing a building so beloved by the community,” Annette Rose-Shapiro, a fundraiser, told PIX11 News. “I really felt I had to be here to support it,” she added.

Karen Low, another supporter, talked about how the fire and then coronavirus was a “double whammy.”

Organizers are hoping to raise $10,000 from this event. They already raised $7,000 in ticket sales online.