May 1st: The first annual gala was held this Friday for the African Children’s Choir at their Music for Life concert, which was a fantastic display of happiness and hope! The event was hosted by NBC’s Friday Night Lights’s Connie Britton with a performance by Niki J. Crawford, bringing out the kids to the main floor with dancing and singing.
The African Children’s Choir serves to protect Africa’s neediest and most vulnerable children. The choir is made up of African children who have been exposed to some of the harshest environments that no child should have to endure, including poverty, disease, and losing their parents and family. The African Children’s Choir is the ambassador for these children to help them break away from the every day cycle of poverty and hopelessness. They are currently in the process of buidling a new facility in Uganda, and they need all the assistance that they can get from benefactors and supporters.
The program selects children aged between 7 and 11 years old, where they attend the Music for Life camp and enjoy the stimulating, fun environment of games, arts, crafts, and music with other children. The children that are selected for the choir spend approximately 5 months at the Choir Training Academy in Kampala, Uganda where they learn songs and dances and attend school and church. After rehearsing and training, they then do a tour around the world, visiting various countries in Africa as well as cities in the US. This is the first time the choir was showcased in New York City, and the children were delighted!
The kids performed energetically with great dancing, drumming, and singing. SO. CUTE. For one number, they each selected members of the audience and brought them up on stage for a big dance-fest. In another song, each child came up and said their name and what they aspire to be one day. There were quite a few kids that aspired to be teachers and lawyers, but we were all surprised when one kid said that he wanted to be an optometrist – I don’t think I knew what that word meant when I was 6 years old! And the audience got a good chuckle when one boy said that he wanted to be a bank manager.
Other celebrity guests in attendance included: Dean Winters of HBO’s Oz; Scott Herman of MTV’s Real World: Brooklyn; Winner of Survivor: Africa, Ethan Zohn; and singer/songwriter Chase Emery. Raffle tickets were being sold for two great prizes: a 3-month membership to Club H Fitness with a personal training session valued at $600, and a hair salon session with a stylist who has worked with the likes of Kate Moss and Paris Hilton. In addition, there is an online auction where guests can bid on various items, including a dinner where Chef Humberto Campos, Jr. of Lorena’s in Maplewood, NJ, would make a special trip to your private residences to make you and your guests dinner.
The item for the live auction was donated by Bono of U2, which was a autographed photo from when he took his first trip to Africa. Connie Britton ended up bidding and winning the item herself, but fortunately there was one additional item that was donated at the last minute: 4 tickets to a Yankees game of the winner’s choice, which included great seats and meals included, valued at $2,000! The tickets went to the winner for $1,400, which made me regret slightly that I wasn’t more into baseball.
Jordana PR did a great job throwing this spectacular gala, and all for helping out children who need it the most. To do your own part in helping out, or just to learn more about the foundation, visit their site to see the many ways in which you can help and support the African Children’s Choir.
Check out the pictures of the cute kiddies in the gallery below!