No one understands the plight and substantial challenges of life confronting an orphan better than another orphan.
Because of their acute awareness of what recent events in North Sumatra mean to the newly-orphaned children of that province, the children of the Salam Orphanage in Tabanan, Bali, decided to do something to ease the plight of other children like themselves, facing life without a mom and dad.
Working together with a long-time supporter of the Salam Orphanage - luxury boutique owner, Australian David Cossey, the kids helped host a gala fundraising event at the Villa Imogiri in Ubud on Saturday, January 29, 2005. Attended by 60 leading members of the Bali community together with a number of TV and stage personalities, the evening included a welcome of canapes, cocktails and premium wines; a gourmet meal; an evening of outstanding entertainment; and a closing display of fireworks.
An Evening of Memorable Entertainment
After dinner and against a dramatic backdrop of a full moon rising above the Wos River canyon, entertainment was provided by the Sekehe Dharma Jati Semar Pegulingan 27-piece Gamelan Orchestra accompanying talented legong dancers. Music of a more contemporary bent was then supplied by the talented singing duo – Kerry Pendergergrast and Tony Suryajaya before a pre-fireworks appearance of a daring fire dance performed by the celebrated troupe from Bali Starz.
You Lift Me Up
Many a moist eye was mopped when a the 44-member children's choir of Salam Orphanage took to the stage to perform a medley of inspirational songs. Trained by legendary Indonesian singing star Grace Simon, the kids showed both tremendous skill and aplomb performing songs in English for the VIP guests.
As an added bonus, Grace Simon took to the microphone to sing a song dedicated to her students and their counterparts in far-away Aceh - Josh Groban's "You Lift Me Up."
All Proceeds for Aceh Orphans
With food, wines, venue, and entertainment all donated for the evening, 100% of the proceeds obtained from ticket sales from the Gala Night were dedicated to providing care for more than 40 newly orphaned children in Banda Aceh, North Sumatra. This was made possible through the generous support the entertainers and David Coussey of Villa Imogiri, Bill and Henny Busch of Lotus Distribution/Gourmet Garage, and M&M Catering.
In all, over $US5,000 was raised.
The evening's host, David Cossey, explained that the impetus for the evening came from the children of Bali's Salam Orphanage, some of whom themselves had been rescued only a few years ago after the tragedy in East Timor. According to Cossey, "rather than worrying about themselves, these orphans are concerned about providing food and essential care for those children orphaned through the tsunami tragedy ... the spirit of generosity and kindness shown by these children sets an exceptional example to us all."
Cossey described the children as "a family of 44 brothers and sisters all whom look out for each other."
Supervised by the Orphanage's Director, Gusti Ketut Suadana and his wife, Gusti Ayu, the children range in age from 4 to 18 years.
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