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Christchurch Not Forgotten in America

Christchurch Not Forgotten in America

Taken at fundraiser for Christchurch earthquake victims at Daneil O'Connell's Resaurant in Alexandria, Virginia 3/12/11. Left to right Fred Wixson, Geoff Bridges, NZ Ambassador to US Mike Moore, Ram Todd, Owne Malone, Dave Keagan. Photo credit: Charles Sneiderman
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Taken at fundraiser for Christchurch earthquake victims at Daneil O'Connell's Resaurant in Alexandria, Virginia 3/12/11. Left to right Fred Wixson, Geoff Bridges, NZ Ambassador to US Mike Moore, Ram Todd, Owne Malone, Dave Keagan. Photo credit: Charles Sneiderman

The tragic Christchurch earthquakes have not been forgotten, despite the ongoing tragedy in Japan. March the 12 was Christchurch Day in the historic city of Alexandria, Virginia, a short distance away from Washington DC. The greater Washington DC Chapter of Kea joined up with Alexandria Rugby to hold a spirited fundraiser at Daniel O'Connell's Bar and Restaurant. Rugby matches blared from the television, special meals were served, and New Zealand products were auctioned off. So far, $7000 was raised, but more money is coming in. Other major fund raising events for Christchurch are in the planning stages.

This event was put together with the hard work of Dave Keegan, the regional President (encompassing Washington DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis). He was assisted by Ram Todd, who is a master pie chef, crooner, and President of Alexandria Rugby. His pies and his singing are gaining growing popularity in the region. Ram led the beautiful singing of "God Defend New Zealand" in Maori and English. There was passion and emotion in the room as we all joined in singing.

Before that, NZ Ambassador Mike Moore led a moment of silence for all those affected in Japan and New Zealand. Then he gave a moving tribute and read a letter from the Prime Minister.

Additional messages of support came from Steve Tew, CEO of NZ Rugby, Todd Blackadder, Canterbury Coach, and Graham Henry, All Black Coach.

New Zealand has not been forgotten here, and will not be. President Obama again mentioned Christchurch in his press conference last week. He said he is just as saddened by the New Zealand earthquakes as he is by those in Japan, Haiti, and elsewhere.

Americans are aware and touched by the fact Christchurch sent a team to help in Japan. More help can be expected from the United States, and you will not be forgotten!


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