Community raises money to save baby's life!
10-month old Baby Yan desperately needed ¥80,000 for a life-saving open heart surgery to repair an 8mm hole in her heart walls. After exhausting all other viable options, her parents were referred to ShekouDaily in hopes of finding a solution.
Considering the importance and urgency of the situation, various activities were organized in order to reduce the risk of failure. Fundraising was not limited to just one event. Instead two events were planned as well as multiple donation collecting efforts.
* UPDATE: May 24, 2016: After spending about two weeks in ICU for observation after her surgery, Baby Yan finally went home to her family. The doctors say that she is okay and recovering well.
* UPDATE: May 12, 2016: GREAT NEWS: Baby Yan underwent her heart surgery today from about 1pm to 6pm. The doctors said the surgery went well. She is now in recovery. Doctors say she should be well enough to see her parents in about 3 days.
* UPDATE: May 6, 2016: GOOD NEWS: Baby Yan was checked into the Shenzhen's Children Hospital on May 6th. Preparations are underway for her surgery; which has been scheduled for Wednesday May 11th.
The 3rd Annual Nanhai Easter Festival, organized jointly by the Shekou Community Center and ShekouDaily, was the first of these events and was held at the Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai Hotel on March 27th. It raised ¥19,361 towards the fund to help save baby Yan.
Collection boxes were then placed at various restaurants across Shekou and work began to start promoting the Saving Baby Yan 2-Day Music Festival to help raise the remaining ¥60,639 still needed. Not including the music venues, the collection locations included: Backstube Les 5 Chefs, Brew Magic, C&G Tapas & Libros, Cheeky Monkey, Ghost Bar, Gold Coast, HH Gourmet and The Snake Pit. A total of ¥6,138.40 was raised from those collection boxes with ¥3,801.70 coming from Backstube Les 5 Chefs alone.
11 Bands volunteered to play multiple sets at four locations across Sea World as part of the Saving Baby Yan 2-Day Music Festival. The venues included McCawley's Irish Pub (Sea World), The Terrace, The Stage and X-TA-SEA Sports Bar & Restaurant.
The bands included Alien Encounter of X-TA-SEA, Aroha of the Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhai Hotel, Carlos Ruivo of the Tavern Sports Bar, Fill The Gap of McCawley's, Freedom:61 (a high-energy international band passionately playing various venues across the city), Jah Army (a mash up of musicians that came together to support baby Yan), Latina's Brazilian Band, Mind the Gap from The Stage, RMB (a cover band hailing from America playing soulful, funky, rock n roll with splashes of hip hop, and reggae), South Mountain Bluegrass from The Boathouse, and TAS from The Terrace.
Many local media also supported the fundraising efforts by helping to spread the word across their media channels; including Asia Club Zone, City Weekend, Shenzhen Daily and Shenzhen Party.
The goal for the music festival was to raise ¥40,000 over two days. Attendance was markedly low; however, and many of those involved started to wonder if enough funds were going to be raised. Whether it was due to the rain over the weekend, the Hong Kong 7s, or many people still on or recovering for their spring holidays, the low numbers were not going to stop the venues, bands, volunteers, supporters and donors from giving this fundraiser everything they had.
Kevin Zou, local comedian, actor, song and movie writer, and founder of Farsome, was the Emcee at McCawley's Irish Pub (Sea World) on Saturday along with Gary of ShekouDaily (yours truly) on Sunday. The ticket sales, donations, and portions of the food and drink sales totaled ¥13,330.30 between the two nights there. A big draw was Mind The Gap's return performance on Saturday which was quite historic for those following the band. Additionally, Freedom:61 attracted a large group of their followers on Sunday night; who also contributed an additional ¥1,950 from personal donations and t-shirt sales.
Gary of ShekouDaily was the Emcee at The Stage on Saturday along with Shekou Miguel on Sunday. The ticket sales, donations, and portions of the food and drink sales there totaled ¥8,592 between the two nights. Not including ¥4,085 Miguel personally solicited from his network via WeChat and sent to baby Yan's family directly (included in the direct donations number shown at the end).
Quinton (single and available) was the Emcee at The Terrace on both Saturday and Sunday night where even the owners paid to enter their own venue. The ticket sales, donations, and portions of the food and drink sales there totaled ¥7,669.20 between the two nights.
Liam was the Emcee at X-TA-SEA Sports Bar & Restaurant on both nights. Early attendees on Saturday had a chance to meet baby Yan and her parents as Tom is currently working there. This, along with a crowd of people who came to see a surprise performance by students from Qing Dance Studio, which has been around since 2008 and now has over 1500 students around China specializing in hip hop, jazz, and pop dance, helped X-TA-SEA raise a total of ¥16,126 from the ticket sales, donations, and portions of the food and drink sales on both nights.
In total, the music festival helped to raise ¥45,717.50 over the two days. An additional ¥5,520 was donated via ShekouDaily by various donors and a whopping ¥24,071 was sent to baby Yan's parents directly; including ¥4,286 raised by local charity organization A Heart For China and the ¥4,085 by Shekou Miguel (previously mentioned).
All in all, the community pulled through to raise a grand total of ¥102,757.90 to save baby Yan!!! ¥22,757.90 more than the needed amount to pay for her surgery. Discussions were held to decide what to do with the excess funds. In the end, it was decided to give the family the total ¥102,757.90 raised in order to help cover any additional medical expenses they will surely encounter in taking care of the baby.
The family is now in their hometown completing paperwork needed to begin the surgery right away. ShekouDaily will meet with them upon their return before the end of this week to deliver the raised donations and will continue to follow the family and report on baby Yan's progress. Photos and videos of the event will be shared at that time as well.
Thanks again to everyone involved in this tremendous community effort to save this precious child's life! Your love and support has made a world of difference.
Photo taken of Ronny of "A Heart for China" with baby Yan and her parents on the night before the Charity Music Festival.
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