Several community leaders in Elmont and Valley Stream, as well as the office of New York State Senator Craig Johnson, have organized a benefit concert to raise money for people in Haiti.

The event is scheduled to take place Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Elmont Memorial High School, 555 Ridge Rd. The event will feature singers, church choirs and other performers.

>>PHOTOS: Newsday's Charles Eckert in Haiti | Frantic rescue effort in Haiti

Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for Johnson (D-Port Washington), said he hopes the event will enable locals to contribute to ongoing aid efforts for the earthquake-battered island. "As soon as it happened, we, like many people, tried to set up efforts to get donations to the Red Cross," he said. "This is just another extension of that."

Admission for adults will be $10 and $5 for children under 12, according to fliers circulated Wednesday. Proceeds from the concert will go to the International Rescue Committee for its Haitian Relief Effort.

Mimi Pierre Johnson, president of the Argo Civic Association in Elmont, said she hopes the event will help centralize groups interested in assisting Haiti. She fears that unscrupulous groups may try to scam unsuspecting donors. "We want people to know which organizations are legal," she said Wednesday.

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Anyone interested in learning more about the event may call 516-860-9305.

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HOW TO HELP

* You can help immediately by texting "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill and given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts.

* Wyclef Jean, a rapper and hip-hop artist from Haiti, urged people to text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5 toward earthquake relief. Yéle Haiti is a grassroots movement inspiring change in Haiti through programs in education, sports, the arts and environment, according to its Web site.

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* The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. The Red Cross has also set up a Web site to help family members find and contact relatives.

* You can also go online to organizations such as the Red Cross and MercyCorps to make a contribution to the disaster relief efforts.

The FBI warned Internet users to be wary of e-mail messages seeking donations in the aftermath of the quake. People who want to send money or assistance should contribute to known organizations and should be careful not to respond to unsolicited e-mails, officials said.

 

Other Web sites accepting donations include:

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-Haitian Health Foundation
-Hope for Haiti
-UNICEF
-International Medical Corps
-Beyond Borders
-AmeriCares