Reminiscing GLEF’s Fifth Annual “A Magical Night in Cambodia”

GLEF_MNIC-2014_RecapThanks to our wonderful sponsors, donors, supporters and volunteers who contributed to the success of this year’s Magical Night in Cambodia (MNIC). Because of so many generous people, MNIC raised $55,000 for building schools and other educational enhancements in rural Cambodia.

During the event, local Cambodian chefs from Ruby Thai served our guests Cambodian Cuisine, while attendees enjoyed local wines, a large silent auction and a market filled with fine, silk dresses, purses, fabric and more — all from Cambodia. Afterward, Auctioneer Brian Bice entertained all during the oral auction, where top bidders walked away with local vacation getaways, group dinners and even a chance to be on “Good Day Oregon.”

Following the auction, GLEF Performance Director Bonnearin Sin and fellow Cambodian classic dancers enchanted the crowd with “Kolap Phnom Penh: Rose of Phnom Penh.” (Originally choreographed by Princess Norodom Bopha Devi, music and lyrics by late King Father Norodom Sihanouk.) It was the first time this dance was performed in Oregon, and it showcased incredible talent. To wrap up the performances, the Cambodian Student Associations of Portland State University and Oregon State University performed the beloved “Coconut Shell Dance”.

MNIC was also a time of recognition, with GLEF awarding both the Interact Club of Sherwood and freshman student Kila Ung with the 2014 Outstanding Award for their generous and essential contributions. The Interact Club of Sherwood raised $2,000 for GLEF from their events this past school year, and Kila Ung, raised $3,550 from her eighth grade project to build a basketball court at Soeur School (completed spring 2014). Both recipients were present to receive their awards, noting “GLEF is not only changing lives of students in Cambodia, but also students here.”

The success of MNIC will allow us to keep changing lives and working toward our mission of fostering peace and goodwill through renovating existing schools, building new schools, and providing educational support.

“Being a part of GLEF, I feel lucky. Kind of like hitting the lottery…It seems for a little bit of time…and a little bit of money…you can change the lives of thousands of people,” said President Dave Simas, reflecting on a photo of a large group of Svay Klaing  (GLEF’s current school building project) students that spontaneously gathered around him early this year.

We invite you to follow our progress and stay up to date on future events and happy highlights on our Facebook page . Photos by volunteers Bette Lee and Tyler Clifton, as well as many more guest contributors.

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