Yes, you have heard the expression before, but in this instance it was true. Creative Sydney friends Emma and Neil organized a theme around “garbage” to raise money for Down in the Dumps.
The concept was simple. All artists – which included everyone on their mailing list – had to create a piece of art from garbage: metal tins, plastic pieces, glass bottles. Then on Saturday 1 March everyone showed up at E&N’s for a silent auction of the carefully crafted treasures.
The pieces were many and varied. My favourite story to come out of the event was that Cormac – bless his little pint of Guinness – paid $100 for “Mr. Whiskers Thawing.” Emma had a frozen mouse in the freezer, as you do when you have a pet snake. She put the little rodent into a small gravy tray, Sky sprinkled it with a bit of parsley and – presto – it was garbage art that brought in a good price. Still not sure if Cormac or the snake got to eat it or if it was just shellacked for prosperity.
When the silent auction ended everyone carried on into the wee hours and had a wonderful time. I have partied with these people before, so there is no doubt about that. And we can just quietly speculate about what they may have gotten up to. Artistic types are like that, you know.
There was also a donation box for those so inclined. When all the money was accounted for Emma and Neil showed up in the Kingdom with the grand sum of $1,145USD. Akun, akun, akun.
And, of course, we – which includes their daughters Laura and Isabel – did a trip to Stung Meanchey so they could meet the people and see where the money would be spent.
A couple of months ago I was getting a touch worried as the coffers hit a low of $2.70. Then George zapped some money into my Paypal account, Peggy added another contribution and Grace – who is her swimming buddy – also donated. The budget is now at $1,535.
The playground still needs some equipment, and The Nurse will be adding to the mobile medical pack, but there aren’t any major projects in the works. So, at this point, please don’t worry about making any donations as I would have to hire an accountant. Or worse – do the complicated books myself: scary thought.
Ross Wright runs the non-profit CHOICE programme and they have a fully equipped dental clinic at a village about an hour out of the capital. An Australian dentist is volunteering for a few months. CHOICE has a van that leaves from the Sundance Inn and Saloon every morning at 09:00. Ross has offered space for the dump people who need dental work – and some of their teeth are shocking – so we will get that operational next week.
So stay tuned to this blog for further Down in the Dumps updates. Meanwhile I hope everyone had a happy Khmer New Year and/or a happy Easter as they had the same dates this year.