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Red Cross will host 'Princess Tea' party

ALBANY, Ga. -- Some of Albany's youngest residents will get to live out their fantasies while contributing to a worthy cause.

The American Red Cross chapter in Albany will host a fundraiser dubbed "Princess Tea" from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. March 26 at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Catered toward young girls, the event will allow children to dress up as their favorite princess and enjoy refreshments as they take advantage of makeup and nail stations. Girls will also get to meet a few princesses, a fairy godmother as well as "Prince Charming."

The cost is $25 per person. As of Friday morning, Red Cross officials had received a number of calls about the event, but no tickets had been sold.

"People tend to wait until the last minute," said Mari Wright, director of philanthropy at the American Red Cross Flint River Chapter. "I think it will be so successful."

Tickets can be purchased at the Albany Red Cross chapter on Pine Avenue or at the event. The funds raised will go to benefit disaster assistance programs and to train volunteers.

The Red Cross chapter in Americus is set to host a similar event today at the Windsor Hotel.

"The Americus chapter did it last year, and it was very successful," Wright said Friday.

The event coincides with the relief efforts taking place in Japan after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that hit on March 11.

Those closest to the destruction are not asking for volunteers to come into Japan, but there are ways those in Southwest Georgia can help.

"The Red Cross has a disaster relief fund that makes funds available (to earthquake victims)," Wright said. "Japan has a terrific Red Cross disaster response team. They are asking for financial donations so they can purchase what they need."

Since the quake hit, which has so far resulted in nearly 7,000 confirmed deaths and 10,700 people still missing, there have been a few inquiries as to what people in the Good Life City and surrounding areas can do to help.

"We've had some people come in (the chapter office)," Wright said. "As people see this is not going to go away anytime soon (more will want to provide aid).

"(The situation) is really tragic, so we need to be aware of that."

To help, go to www.redcross.org and click on the "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami" link, text "Red Cross" to 90999 on a cell phone, send a check to the American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., or stop by the Albany chapter.

The mailing address for the Red Cross headquarters is P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20013. The Albany chapter can be contacted by calling (229) 436-4845.