“More Than Sport“ and “Chosen and Dearly Loved” were in the middle of plans to host Big Smiley Event in Hawaii, when Norwegian Elin Morris got a vision “Make the local community smile as well as multiply the smiles in Thailand, the Land of smiles by creating amusing activities”. Thus, she decided to plan some more: Elin decided that the event would need some Easter egg hunting, free dinners and free activities like face painting, balloon animals and a fun smiley photo booth.
The event team accepted Elin’s proposal and rolled their sleeves even higher. They created a plant form, a multimedia presentation, large posters, event T-shirts and information booths to make awareness of Thai children born with cleft lips and cleft palates who are in need of surgeries.
To raise funds, the volunteers sold raffle tickets and had a large silent auction station. A lot of local businesses in Kailua kona, Hawaii, were invited to donate prizes. The result: an incredible amount did catch Ellen’s and her team’s vision and participated. The prizes included amazing action filled surprises such as helicopter rides, body glover cruises, dolphin cruises, introductions to diving course, and a one-week-timeshare stay, local restaurants’ gift cards etc. Some ladies sold Tupperware and several people contributed with individual donations.
200 local children showed up on the event day with their families. They were all touched by the Thai children’s stories and inspired by the support from local businesses so they responded with the same generosity.
After the event, a thrift store from Norway named “The Helper” decided to match all earnings that the group had raised through the event.
This story ends with Elin Morris contacting us at Kids Action for Kids. She initiated cooperation with our organization and offered to donate all the raised funds from this event to Kids Action for Kids – to the kids who are waiting for their cleft surgeries.
Thanks very much to Elin and all the other people making this event possible. It has been a lot of fun to get to know you and your work, and to work together to support the surgeries of Thai children. You have done a fantastic job and you are a great example for others. Way to go!