|Posted by Gabrielle "Gaby" Berbey on January 6, 2013 at 6:45 PM|
For anyone who remained even remotely globally aware this past year, they would undoubtedly understand, at the very least, why people are calling 2012 a historical year, a year whose events will go down in history. Earlier in the year, SOPA was labeled the largest protest in the history of the Internet. A chain of related bombings over twelve Iraqi citizens had some of the highest casuality rates so far in this War on Terror. The Lion King became the highest grossing Broadway show, surpassing the Phantom of Opera. The chemical compound NOTT-202, which is capable of selectively absorbing carbon dioxide, is created. The American Episcopal Church becomes the first to approve a rite for blessing gay marriages . The European Union wins the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. And Barack Obama wins his second term as President of the United States. 2012 was a record-breaking year in every sense of the word. As we witnessed groundbreaking scientific progress and immense competition and skill in the London Olympics, we also witnessed a seemingly never-ending chain of natural disasters throughout the globe. Hundreds died and thousands suffered because of Hurricane Sandy. Flash floods ravaged the shore towns in Singapore and typhoons devastated cities in the Philippines, as city after city in every corner of the globe experienced debilitating earthquakes. And directly proportional to the increasing natural disasters, are the increases in death rates, homelessness, food shortages, and despair. The members of Children in Need recognized this suffering, this sense of urgent distress in the affected countries, and realized that they had the power to make a difference. Rather than merely being aware of the devastating situations, our members realized they had the power to be active participants in ensuring the recovery of those impacted by the disasters. Constantly engaged in concerts, bake sales, and other fundraising events, our members treated 2012 as a year to utilize their talents for a greater cause and worked together under the united spirit of yearning to make a difference.
I am humbled by the dedication and effort of all the members. Children in Need planned and engaged in nearly fifteen performances, all benefitting various organizations in areas left destroyed and desolate by natural disasters. In December of 2011, we held three concerts; Performance for Saint Mark’s Board of Trustees to raise money for Chronicle Season of Sharing, ABS-CBN Foundation performance to raise money for victims of Philippine Typhoon Sendong, and the Villa Capri Performance to raise money for Chronicle Season of Sharing. In March of 2012, the club members at San Domenico conducted a bake sale at their school to raise money for our sponsored African boy in Niger. The following month, four club members performed at Saint Raphael’s Church to promote the fundraising event, Bocce Ball Tournament, for Saint Vincent De Paul Society in San Rafael. In May, we had the honor of returning to Saint Mark’s School for the Resonance at Saint Mark’s (Concert) for the eSicabazini Girl’s Scholarship Program. In September, thanks to former President Caitlin Gowdy and current Stanford freshman, a few members represented the club doing volunteer work at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. In October, the members once again held a bake Sale to continue sponsorship for Mohamed Moustapha in Niger, as well as a benefit Concert at Tamalpais Methodist Church for children undergoing dialysis at Lucile Packard’s Hospital at Stanford. In November, we had the pleasure of performing at two venues, Aegis in Corte Madera and the Redwoods in Mill Valley. For the final events of the year, the club held benefit concerts for the Raphael House, San Francisco and Cambodian Orphans through SEAPC shortly before Christmas. All these work generated close to $12,000 in donations by very generous and ardent supporters of our club and the causes we fight for. I cannot thank enough the musicians’ parents and families for their active involvement in actualizing our vision.
As I look back on what the club has accomplished this past year, I find myself overcome with pride at the many charitable achievements we have made. As President, I have not only learned the importance of leadership, but more importantly, I have recognized that this club is so much more than of a club of musicians. It is a club of young adults who strive to live beyond this “bubble of Marin”, a club of students who are constantly inspired and who use that inspiration as the foundation for everything they do in life. This past year as President has been nothing short of rewarding, but now it is time to let someone else witness the compassion our club members’ possess. It is time to let someone else take the reins of this clubs’ journey, and I have unmitigated faith that Cherry Yuan will continue to expand the goals of the club and continue building something truly amazing. Thank you to everyone who has made my year as President memorable. Happy New Year to all the club members’ and remember to always remain open to be being inspired, and never cease to inspire others.