June 3, 2016
Story by Mikayla Yasinski; Photo by Dan Milo
EDMONTON - A love of music and desire to help Fort McMurray evacuees brought Edmontonians together Saturday, May 28 for The Wildfire Benefit Concert, at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH).
The event was attended by more than 100 people. All of proceeds raised by the concert—approximately $4,000—were donated to Red Cross Fort McMurray Relief.
Dan Milo, a Maintenance Worker in Facilities Maintenance and Engineering (FME) at the RAH, organized the benefit concert because he knows first-hand how those affected by the wildfire feel.
“The motivation to create this event came from personal experience. Growing up in the Philippines, my family home was lost to fire, and I know what it is like to lose everything,” says Milo.
Milo partnered with the Biskeg Ng Pangasinan Friendship, Cultural and Aid Association to organize the upbeat event filled with live performances, a silent auction and 50/50 draw.
"The effort put forth by Dan in organizing the Wildfire Benefit Concert is remarkable. It was a grassroots initiative that impressed and inspired me and many others here at the Royal Alex," says Cliff Richard, Director of FME at RAH. “Other members of our FME team pitched in to help advertise and set up for the concert, and other units are taking collections of money or clothes. Plus there’s a site-wide bottle drive competition between departments which FME fully intends to dominate, so the spirit of helping is alive and well.”
Not only did Milo come up with the concept, sell tickets and seek sponsors, but he also donated his musical talents to help others. Milo’s band, Us & Them, was one of ten volunteer musical groups who contributed to the supportive soundtrack of the evening.
“Fort McMurray is a town in need, and the purpose of this benefit concert was to show its residents that they are not alone--their community is behind them,” says Milo.