Friday, April 1, 2011

Penang for Japan

Penang for Japan Disaster Relief Charity Drive held @ Straits Quay on 27 March 2011. This charity drive was jointly organised by the Pink Hibiscus Club and Enhance Education. What you are about to see in the pictures below will speak for itself. The time taken to get this event going was about 2 weeks. The response was overwhelming and the people who turned up, beyond expectation. A local daily reported that over 5,000 people turned up for the event!

Customers arrived even before the opening ceremony. Cup cakes, muffins, biscuits, brownies, etc. found just in one of the designated area. There were many more types of goodies found all around.Picture show the arrival of the Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Mr Lim Guan Eng who officiated the opening of the event.The President of Pink Hibiscus Club, Ms. Emi Yamazaki presenting her speech.It got too emotional for Ms. Emi Yamazaki and tears flowed. Many in the audience shared her grief. I saw many red eyes around me. Japan, Penang shares your grief.Our Chief Minister, YAB Mr. Lim Guan Eng presenting his Support, Sympathy and Solidarity speech. It is SSS and not SOS as he stressed in his speech.
The many reporters who covered this event.Picture above show characters out of a movie and they are here to 'guard' and 'protect' all the VIPs and others who are at this event. Everything has to go smoothly and safely. Ahaaahaa...(I am only joking.) I loved these individuals in costumes.

Consul-General Tetsuro Kai from Consulate-General of Japan (in Penang), presenting his speech.This is just one of the donations received.Visitors having their picture taken with a 'robot'. What great ideas these organisers have up their sleeve!
My favourite is this little one. He looked spooky but cute (in my eyes). Someone mentioned to me that he is one of the characters from Star Wars (the robot too) but I am no Star Wars fan. Therefore, I do not know the name of this spooky one.Every Japanese at this event did their part. That includes this young boy who looked so serious. I told my friend that he is 'blowing for his supper' (not singing). Ermmm...not exactly for his supper but for his compatriots back in Japan. There was a donation box placed near his foot. His concentration had me awed.Everyone had a part to play. These cute girls were folding origami cranes (I did not ask if they were for sale) and at the back of them are second hand attires for sale. Children from the Pink Hibiscus Club performed the Yosakoi and Pompoko Dance.A violin performance.This man sang the song 'Kitakuni No Haru' (Spring in North Country) and the audience went oooh! Dressed in a Happi coat I think he duped many into thinking that he is a Japanese singer. (Yours truly and friend included) He really did look like some famous Japanese singer. We had a good laugh when he spoke in English. He is a Malaysian. Japanese have a very distinctive way of speaking English. Of course, if you have spent a decade or so in Malaysia then you would speak differently. Everything was very well thought of for this event. This is the jumble sale area. You can find dolls, clothes, shoes, books, bags and many other things.Yay...the little girl loved our jelly. Yes, the fruit cocktail jelly made by my friend (she got me into this event) and me. Take a closer look and you can see cakes made by us as well. [The little containers and tins of fruit cocktail were donated by Chris of Blue Reef.] A nice feeling flowed through me as I stood and watched the sales. We did something to help...a wee bit and I felt happy. Down this line, you can find nasi lemak, fried rice, fried noodles, mixed fruit juice, yoghurt, etc. You will never imagine the varieties of food available for sale, all in the name of charity. Everyone at the event was spoilt for choice.Grandmother, mother, sister, daughter,...everyone helped in the making of onigiri balls for sale. I do not think it could be any fresher.Even clowns came to help make the event livelier.There was even an auction sale. Items for the auction were donated by the generous public. RM1,000...going one, going two, going three. Sold! The man in the white shirt (with hands behind his back) got his bid. RM1,000 and he topped the amount up with another thousand. One man with a big heart.The starting amount was RM100 for this Sesame Street set (collectors' item). Going One...Two...Three...Sold to the man in the pink shirt for RM600.

The event was scheduled to end at 6:00 pm but by 4 pm, my legs were giving way and my eye bags were showing. I left before the Musica Sinfonietta Orchestra played. Yes there was even an Orchestra performing. That was how elaborate this event was. The last I heard the collection for this Charity Drive was RM260,000 and still counting. That is a lot of money. Hip...hip...hurray! I am still hoping and praying that PinkHibiscus Club will put in a note saying...a little for the animals. :o)**The total collection is still not known. I think it will be announced in the local newspapers at a later date. .

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