The star of the Auckland theatre scene, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, welcomed guests to a Rose Charities NZ fundraising night with Silo Theatre during their season of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. She is pictured with Rose NZ chairperson, Trish Gribben.
The musical black comedy, which received rave reviews, was followed by a soiree where hand-woven silk scarves from Cambodia were sold to raise money for the Rose Eye Clinic in Phnom Penh. By a stroke of lucky timing, Jennifer herself had visited Cambodia with her family, returning only four days before the event. “I couldn’t believe the poverty we saw there,” she told the 100 people gathered.
Rose Charities NZ’s patron, Dame Silvia Cartwright, was also in the news the same week, as a member of the international war crimes tribunal which announced its first verdict on Dutch, the notorious torturer and killer of Tuol Sleng prison.
Around 60 scarves were sold from a table which carried a photograph of patients waiting at the clinic and a sign saying: Buy a scarf and give a stranger in Phnom Penh an eye operation. $40 — the scarves have been donated; all proceeds go to the clinic.
The event raised nearly $4000 which is sufficient to restore sight to 160 poor blind Cambodians