Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 23
 
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
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Plainsboro Chinese School Event Raises Funds for Earthquake Relief

Dilshanie Perera

According to the latest estimates, last month’s earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, which measured 8.0 on the Richter scale, left almost 70,000 people dead, 370,000 injured, and five million homeless. Upon hearing the news, students and parents at the Plainsboro Chinese School (PCS) decided that they wanted to contribute to global relief efforts to assist the victims of the disaster.

The result was a fundraising variety show in partnership with Plainsboro Township held outside of Maurice Hawk Elementary School on Memorial Day. Performers included the Stone Age Rock ‘n’ Roll Band, whose drummer and lead singer Yingchao Zhang emceed the event; the Lanyun Dance Troupe; the Happy Singers Chorus; the Joy Hearts Singer Club; and martial arts master Changjun Zhao and his students.

The scene was festive, with over 70 people of all ages gathered to watch the performances. A rousing chorus of “We are the World” sung by Stone Age kicked off the event. As the soft-rock melodies gave way to a pulsing techno beat, martial arts master Mr. Zhao and his students displayed their wushu technique. The audience cheered loudly as Yun Zhao, age 9, defeated his father, Mr. Zhao, in a mock battle sequence.

Members of the Lanyun Dance Troupe followed with “Cloud Stomp,” a graceful dance that Mr. Zhang afterward described as “about the spirit of overcoming difficulty.”

Tables displaying toys and snacks for purchase or information about the earthquake were set up along the sidewalk adjacent to the performance space. A large sign listing statistics about the earthquake also exhorted, “offer your love and a helping hand.” At another table, attendees could purchase t-shirts proclaiming “One World, One Family.” All proceeds from the event will go to the Red Cross and their earthquake relief efforts.

Maurice Hawk third graders Vanessa Huang and Diana Tang had set up a lemonade stand to contribute to the relief efforts. According to Liping Cai, a mother of a PCS student, Ms. Tang had been inspired by watching the news and had also made a poster to explain the effects of the earthquake. The class raised over 90 dollars, which they donated to the cause.

At the previous Sunday’s launching of the fundraising campaign, PCS raised over 50,000 dollars in three hours. Jason Huang, president of the PCS school board and one of the event organizers, mentioned that the goals of their campaign are “to provide a channel for donations and to make people aware of what happened.” He lauded the
generosity of the parents of students at the school. The money they have gathered has already been donated to the Chinese Red Cross, and subsequent funds (including $4,459 raised on Memorial Day) will go there as well.

Shaolin Liu, a volunteer with PCS, spoke about the courage of children and adults alike. While he acknowledged that “this earthquake is a human disaster,” he added a hopeful note, predicting that the victims will “get a lot of help and feel the love from all over the world.”

Donations may be made to the American Red Cross, the Chinese Red Cross, or you may send a check to the Huaxia Chinese School in Plainsboro — China Earthquake Relief, PO Box 292, Plainsboro, NJ 08536.

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