Bowling Green Bosnian Community Coming Together to Help Balkan Flood Victims

May 29, 2014

Brickyard Cafe is one of several Bowling Green restaurants participating in the effort to help flood victims in the Balkans.

Members of Bowling Green’s Bosnian-American community are uniting to help family and friends in Europe who have been impacted by flooding.

Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, and Serbia have been devastated this month by the worst flooding to hit the Balkans in over a century. In response, Bowling Green residents of Bosnian descent are working to generate funds for those who have lost everything in the high waters.

Recent WKU graduate Mersiha Demirovic says the effort has allowed local Bosnian-Americans to look past ethnic divisions and unite under a single cause.

“Rather than just one group coming together to organize the event, we have members of several different ethnic groups from Bosnia coming together to help with this event,” she told WKU Public Radio.

A flood-relief fundraiser Saturday in Bowling Green is designed to generate money to purchase medical supplies for those impacted by the flooding.

“We found a company in Louisville that said they would ship six to eight tons of medical supplies to Bosnia, but we just have to pay for shipping,” said Djana Salihbasic.

Those shipping costs are $12,000. Salihbasic says any money raised beyond that amount will go to a charity that is helping flood victims in the Balkans. She says it was important to local Bosnian-Americans that the money be sent to trustworthy organizations, as opposed to the Bosnian government, which has a long reputation for corruption.

Saturday’s fundraiser is taking place Saturday, May 31, at La Gala, located at 601 State St. in Bowling Green. The event is from 5-7 p.m., and will include dinner and drinks provided by area restaurants owned and operated by Bosnian-Americans, including Verdi’s, Brickyard Café, The Bistro, and Novo Dolce. A silent auction will also be held.

Tickets for the event are $35, and can be purchased at the area restaurants listed above.