Leslie Hawke’s Halloween Ball in Bucharest for OVIDIU ROM (October 2005) is supported by the Honorary Consul of Romania in Boston, also a Board member of the Alex Fund (USA see) founded to support Hawke’s Romanian programs.
On October 29th the Ovidiu Rom humanitarian organization will host an exciting fundraising event, which will bring together Hollywood stars like Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy as well as local VIPs.
This is not the first charity event put together by a humanitarian organization. How are you trying to make it special?
In just a few words, for our readers who haven’t yet discovered what Asociatia Ovidiu Rom does, and what the aim of the Gata, Dispus si Capabil (“Ready, Willing and Able”) programs is, can you tell us some things?
Who will this ball bring together? Who are the people you can count on?
Will there be prominent expat figures involved in this event? How do you intend to raise awareness of expats about your work at the foundation? If you had to transmit a message for expats living in Romania, about their possible involvement in this, what would that be?
Tell us some things about the Costume Contest.
Which VIPs from Romania are you bringing in? Can you give us some exciting names?
What objects will you offer at the Silent Auction?
How exactly is your son involved in this event?
For those who want to get involved in this event, can you please tell us how they can do it?
This is the first annual fundraising event you are putting together. Are you nervous about it? How do you think it is going to be? Are you confident there will be a similar one next year?
High society enjoys Halloween ball for a good cause
Bucharest Daily News – October 31, 2005 by Laura Lica The Halloween Charity Ball, organised to raise funds for the “Ready, Willing and Able” program run by Leslie Hawke, gathered the crème de la crème of local and expat society, under the golden roof of the Parliament building on Saturday night.
Narcisa Cumpana was never sent to school by her parents. Her gypsy community doesn’t encourage children, especially girls, to spend too much time learning how to read and write, because, as the gypsies’ king, Cioaba, says, knowledge could lead to too much independence for their traditionalist society.
So, instead, Narcisa started living with a man and had her first child at 17. At 20 she had her second child. She would often beg at street corners to be able to bring her children a loaf of bread.
But all that was happening 4 years ago.
On Saturday night, Narcisa was up on stage, at the Halloween charity ball, organized to support the “Ready , Willing&Able” program, initiated by Leslie Hawke, telling her life story, in crystal clear English, so both local and foreign VIP’s present would understand her message.
With a slightly trembling voice, she went over the more recent developments in her life. How she found out from her mother, who found out from a woman she met when getting free food from the social center, that there’s a program which helps young mothers keep their children from begging in the streets, helping them go to school and stay there, learn a craft, and get a job.
Narcisa took what seemed to be such a slim chance and made the best of it.
She met the United Kingdom’s Ambassador Quinton Quayle, U.S. Charge D’Affaires Mark Taplin, Romania’s Prime Minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Foreign Affairs Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, Defence Minister Bogdan Atanasiu, Vice prime Minister George Copos, and Social Democrat leader Mircea Geoana. Dozens of other representatives of the media and the world of entertainment as well as local and foreign VIPs listen to her in amazement.
Her story went on, from her humble beginnings to how, after joining the program, she had traveled to the United States, took an intensive English course, learned to be a teaching assistant and now dreams of completing her studies and becoming a teacher.
She was articulate, feminine, modest and presented her story with such simplicity, that she won the audience immediately. Proof enough, was the parade of extravagant costumes; black feathers, long silk gloves and diamond jewelry which passed her table congratulating her.
The luxurious ball room in the Parliament building where the charity event took place was full of people who wanted to support the program which has brought such a huge change to the lives of 60 families so far. 60 gypsy families who are now off the streets, off begging, off eating at the mercy of people passing by.
For them, and for more to come, the evening continued with a silent auction- where the only item no one auctioned for was a caricature of Copos-and with paintings being among the most successfully auctioned items, including a couple of portraits of Ethan Hawke and children in the “Ready Willing&Able” program.
Then, the approximately 4-500 guests went on and enjoyed a live auction presented by local TV stars Teo and Andi Moisescu. After trying their best to encourage the public to take more money out of their pockets Teo and Moisescu barely sold a 1200 euros Nemtoi glass vase for 750 euros.
But later on, Teo auctioned the 50 grams gold necklace and earrings she was wearing and got over 2000 euros for the set from a mysterious bidder, who also allowed her to keep her jewelry.
The sensation of the live auction was Ethan Hawke, who, after sitting quietly in his dinner jacket, behind his simple black mask, joined the auction announcing he was giving 100 euros to dance with Alexandra Tinjala, a lovely young, blonde organiser.
Hawke revived the entire auction, because the presenters picked up the idea and started auctioning dances.
As quickly improvised rules said no one can refuse a dance, women started auctioning to dance with Ethan Hawke, men started auctioning to dance with other men’s wives, then a Gorilla auctioned to dance with Superman, or maybe it was the other way around, a zebra announced he would give 500 euros to dance with another zebra, and, the already famous expat singers and Coyote Ugly bar owners Bryan Jardine and his brother Jack took over a lot of the live auctioning and the show.
After 23 00, when the whole showing your costume/evening gown, eating and auctioning part ended, the dancing started. From Loredana to famous songs from the ’60s to the ’80s and 90’s, no type of music escaped the Halloween frenzy and the partying crowd of expats and locals enjoying themselves for a good cause.