Helping immigrants the focus of two fundraisers

Poet Merna Ann Hecht will be joined by cellist Michelle Dodson for “Singing Hope in a Dark Time.”

Cellist Michelle Dodson will accompany island storyteller and poet Merna Ann Hecht as she tells stories of compassion, hope and acts of kindness at 3 pm. Sunday, Oct. 27, at Snapdragon’s Black Cat Cabaret (Courtesy Photo).

Cellist Michelle Dodson will accompany island storyteller and poet Merna Ann Hecht as she tells stories of compassion, hope and acts of kindness at 3 pm. Sunday, Oct. 27, at Snapdragon’s Black Cat Cabaret (Courtesy Photo).

The activist social justice group, Invisible Vashon, will present two fundraisers this weekend for a group that assists immigrants.

The first event, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Snapdragon’s Black Cat Cabaret, will feature the Vashon band Poultry in Motion. The well-known band will perform four different, family-friendly sets that will include guest musicians Carter Castle, Kim Thal, Curt Blumer, Guido Perla and Andrea Walker. Regular Poultry in Motion members are Bob Kuecker, Dave Lange, Wilson Abbott, Gibb Dammann, Chris Anderson and Steve Amsden.

Storyteller and former Vashon Poet Laureate Merna Ann Hecht will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Black Cat Cabaret, joined by cellist Michelle Dodson for “Singing Hope in a Dark Time,” a program of music and stories. Selections will include Eastern European, Germanic and Balkan tales that touch on themes of compassion, hope and acts of kindness. The event is appropriate for adults and children aged nine and older.

According to Hecht, both events are intended to “uplift the spirit and help provide hope and solace in complicated times.”

The performances are free, but donations will be solicited to support the work of Advocates for Immigrants in Detention Northwest (AID NW), a nonprofit that supports immigrants released from the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

The organization was founded in 2005, a year-and-a-half after the first immigrants were booked into the then 500-bed facility. Still located in the Tacoma Tide Flats, the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) is now one of the largest detention facilities in the nation with 1,575 beds. AID NW, dedicated to serving immigrants detained and released from the NWDC, provides visits and phone access for detainees to remedy the isolation of detention. After immigrants are released, AID NW offers travel planning assistance as well as safe and temporary housing.

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