Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Appeal DayIn association with White Crane Martial Arts, The British Red Cross, Lime Food Design and St Pauls
On Friday 27th May the White Crane Demo team gathered at St Pauls to decorate our beautiful centre in preparation for Saturday, the Japan Appeal Day. The task ahead was vast as we had to hang 4 White Crane banners, blow up over 300 balloons, and tie our flags between the magnificent pillars in the centre. We all had a great time and the excitement as the hall took shape was evident. As we were all performing the next day there was also a certain amount of nervousness in the hall.
I was born in Persia and lived most of my childhood in Abadan. For anyone who knows Persia will know that this is earthquake country. At school we had drills to help us when there were tremors. I remember the fear and a horrible sense of having no control even to this day. The tragedy in Japan touched me in a very personal way and the amazing way in which the people of Japan have conducted themselves has been inspirational. I wanted people to gather in a fun atmosphere to raise money and to raise awareness. I am fortunate to be able to ask for the resources of Lime Food Design and St Pauls and I knew that together we could make this a very memorable event. I would like to thank Ed Kilroy (Manager Lime Food Design), Kathryn Seal (MD Lime Food Design) and Doug Miles (Director St Pauls) for all their help and support. 10,000 leaflets were printed and in two weeks 9000 invitations had been distributed.
Our day kicked off at 8am. Once again the Demo team gathered to help put the finishing touches in the hall. The Lion Dance team began the proceedings by performing outside the centre to attract the attention of passers-by. The first procession into town was a reminder of all the activities at the centre. During the course of the day our numbers increased and we had up to 300 people attending our function. Some took part in our taster sessions. Some took advantage of the Acupressure, Reiki and Shiatsu sessions which were on offer. Some were there to enjoy the Lion Dance and Kung Fu and Tai Chi demonstrations. I would like to thank all white Crane members and their families and friends who kept the party atmosphere alive throughout the day. Some were there to enjoy the flower arranging demonstrations by Heather Cook and the very enlightening talk by our British Red Cross representative Barbara Summerfield (Chair of the Red Cross Volunteer Council in Sussex). Thank you to Izzy for organising the raffle, which raised an incredible amount of money, and to all those who supplied wonderful items to the raffle.
The highlight of the day was the midday Lion Dance and Kung Fu demonstration to thank all those mentioned above for their help and support. The Lion Dance and Kung Fu demo teams had been rehearsing weeks in advance to entertain and wow all those watching. Some highlights included steel fan, two handed straight sword, double axes, double broad sword and an array of empty hand forms. We were all able to keep going with the help of all the delicious oriental food provided by Lime.
With the help of all those involved and the General Public we raised £943. Thank you. Saturday 28th May is certainly a day which I will not forget and I think will be remembered by many.