A fundraising night with the theme “Indonesian Gala; fundraising for the victims of earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra” was held on November 22, 2009 at the Mundelein Center Auditorium, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA. The event which had raised a great amount of fund had a great response and went very successful. It was held by The Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia in Chicago in cooperation with the Board of Trustees, Loyola University of Chicago, and Indonesian Abroad in Reach (iAIR), an Indonesian non-profit organization in Chicago.
The fundraising night was attended by Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, the Ambassador of Republic Indonesia for the USA, Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat and his wife. Around 150 guests whose include local government officials, some well-known businessmen and academicians in Chicago attended this event. The main target for this event was to raise a relief fund for the earthquake victims, especially to rebuild several schools that were damaged by the tectonic earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale in Padang, West Sumatra on last September 2009.
The event started with an opening cocktail ceremony and a silent auction along with the traditional music “Gamelan Angklung Bali” played by I Ketut Gede Asnawa and his family. The things that were being auctioned were paintings by Jennifer Hayes and St. Louis Artist Guild’s painters, a collection of jewelry of Mrs. Netty Wanandi, a collection of Mrs. Magda Locklin’s ‘Batik’ scarves and ‘Songket’ (a traditional fabric from Indonesia) and also an artistic picture by a famous painter from Indonesia Mr. Mario Blanco. At the end of the opening cocktail ceremony, a ‘Gamelan Music’ performed by the Indonesian Performing Arts Children Gamelan had a great response and a special compliment from Jesse White, the Illinois Secretary of State.
Before dinner started, Father Michael Garanzini, President of Loyola University delivered a prayer addressed to the earthquake victims and their family and also for Indonesia to become a blessed nation and be safe from all disasters. A live jazz music entertained the guests while they were enjoying dinner with an authentic Indonesian menu such as beef rendang, lamb curry, stir-fry green beans, spicy boiled eggs, jackfruit soup, fried noodle, beef soto. Some Indonesian traditional snacks such as bika ambon, cente manis and spring rolls were served afterward.
Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, who also gave a donation, in his speech, conveyed his condolence to the Indonesian that has had several natural disasters in the recent years, including the earthquake in West Sumatra.
Around 90 dancers and singers consisted of children, teenager and adult who were member of Indonesian Performing Arts of Chicago (IPAC), Indonesian Dance of Illinois (IDI), Indonesian Consulate Angklung Keroncong Ensemble and Live Jazz Music of St. Louis Artist Guild voluntarily performed a series of program consisting of Indonesian traditional music and dances of Bali and West Sumatra and a live jazz music. In the middle of the program, a slide show of the post-earthquake in Padang, West Sumatra was presented. The guests seemed touched and moved by the slide presentation which was presented along with Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song”.
Acting Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Chicago, Stephanus M. Suwaryanto gave his appreciation in his speech to the guests that had donated the earthquake victims, and also to the performers and volunteers who consist of local Indonesian community and to the committee that had given their contribution and dedication in effort to make the fundraising night a successful event.
Consul for Information, Social and Cultural Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia in Chicago, Sylvia Shirley Malinton as the Chairwoman of the Event Committee and Program Coordinator mentioned that the fundraising night had raised around US$ 45.000. This relief fund will be donated to elementary schools in Prayoga area and Adabiah Foundation in Padang, West Sumatra, Mr. Edward Wanandi, a businessman from Padang who lives in Chicago and a member of Loyola University Board of Trustees, will deliver this fund in the middle of January 2010. This donation will be used to rebuild two schools that were heavily damaged by the earthquake. Hopefully, this donation will help the children that were victims of the earthquake to build their hopes and future. Beside of raising fund for West Sumatra earthquake victims, this event also promoted Indonesian cultures, traditional foods, and arts. A CD-ROM about Indonesia and tourism catalogues and brochures were given away to every guest as a souvenir of the event.
(Source: Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Chicago)