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"Organizer Raize is just 23 but was galvanized by TV coverage. 'The faces of the people displaced from their homes were so overwhelming'."
--USA Today

 




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<< New York Daily News excerpt on fundraising for Kosovo

USA Today
Stars Stand Up to be Counted for Kosovo
by Jeannie Williams
May 5, 1999




''If you've got an ounce of humanity in your blood, you will be moved,'' musician Isaac Hayes said just before he went onstage Monday at the first major New York event for all victims of the Yugoslav war. The purpose was to raise awareness of the American Red Cross' toll-free Help Now fund-raising number, 800-435-7669, not to ask for bucks. But a lot of heavy hitters -- from Quincy Jones to CBS Television CEO Leslie Moonves -- flocked to the Kit Kat Klub, where performers included Hayes, Deborah Gibson and Gloria Gaynor. Speakers included Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who said as she arrived, ''I'm not political, but coming out of Nazi Germany, I know what it means to be a refugee. We must stand up and be counted.''

But opinions differed on NATO's actions. Moonves was to receive an award Tuesday, and Dan Rather was to present it. ''But he's still in Belgrade. That's more important,'' Moonves said. He added, ''I think we're doing the right thing. I totally support the president.''

But Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, delighted that Jason Raize of The Lion King and publicist Robert Zarem had planned the event, was angry about the bombing, calling it ''imperialistic.'' ''It reminds me of the rutting season with two male deer butting heads,'' she said. ''It's always the women who have to separate them and say, 'OK, guys, it's time to talk.' They should bring back the legitimate inhabitants of Kosovo.'' She plans to return to the area and to ship medicines. (The princess's family was exiled by the Nazis, then by the Communists after World War II.)

Elaine Kaufman of famed Elaine's eatery said: ''You can't leave the people there starving to death! We have so much, we have plenty to give away.'' She thinks bringing some refugees to the USA is ''terrific.'' The war has been personalized for her. One of her waiters is frantic because ''his parents wouldn't leave the house (in Kosovo). He's had no news.''

Organizer Raize is just 23 but was galvanized by TV coverage. ''The faces of the people displaced from their homes were so overwhelming.''

So he got the event moving. The Red Cross projects spending $100 million in the crisis; it has $13 million and hopes to raise $1 million each week.

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