The Korea Herald


SIWA to hold annual fund-raising gala

By Korea Herald

Published : March 18, 2014 - 20:50

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SIWA will hold its annual fund-raising gala on April 12 with a “Sunset Safari” theme.

The SIWA Charity Gala is one of the association’s major charity events, along with the SIWA Bazaar, and has raised about 21 million won ($20,000) for local good causes each year. The money goes to a fund managed by the SIWA Welfare Committee, which chooses charities to support, although additional donations for specific charities will be accepted on the night.

Last year, major donors included Anna’s House, which feeds more than 500 homeless people, Spring of Life, a women’s shelter on Jejudo Island, and Nae Nu Ri Study Room, an educational center for low-income children in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, which received money from the committee for a computer. 
Ma-Abena will be among the performers at the SIWA Charity Gala in April. (Ma-Abena) Ma-Abena will be among the performers at the SIWA Charity Gala in April. (Ma-Abena)

The committee also paid for seven violins for Soyang Children’s Home, as well as lessons for the children there.

Soyang looks after 90 children near Busan. The director’s parents started the orphanage in 1946 before the Korean War, and he took over running it when he grew up.

The evening will begin with an African-themed cocktail hour followed by a four-course meal.

Food Channel host Olivia Lee and Arirang TV host Adrien Lee will host the night, introducing entertainment from Ma-Abena, who will be bringing percussionists Barakan Group for a performance of African dance.

“She will also pick some people out of the audience and teach them some of the moves,” said Lena Sull, SIWA’s gala chair.

Valtinho Anastacio, a Brazilian jazz percussionist who teaches music at both Kyung Hee University as well as Dongduk Women’s University, will also be there.

Sull described Anastacio as a versatile performer.

“He will take your glass and make an instrument out of it, so I don’t know what he will do, but he will improvise,” she said.

Sull said that Anastacio began his career with one of Brazil’s top musicians, and is still invited to play with world-famous jazz musicians whenever they are in Asia.

“He started his career right at the very top. We are really, really lucky and blessed to have these people with us, especially considering the theme.”

A raffle and silent auction will be among the fund-raising events happening on the night.

Guests are invited to dress in cocktail attire or to match the gala’s “Sunset Safari” theme.

The Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Conrad Seoul Hotel in Yeouido. Tickets are 130,000 won for SIWA members and 145,000 won for nonmembers. A group rate of 1.3 million won for a table of 10 is open to nonmembers. Sales are open until March 31.

To book, visit or contact for more information.

By Paul Kerry (