When Jon Stevens and his band Noiseworks launched their chart-topping 'Touch' album back in 1988 – little could the rocker have known that, some twenty-three years later, the lyrics to the title song of his album would strike a chord with orphaned children half way across the world.
It seems fitting that Jon returns to Fraser Island to lead the celebrations at the Kingfisher Bay Resort Annual Charity Ball on Saturday, June 4 – where Lars Olsen and his Forget Me Not Children's team are asking locals to 'reach out' and dig deep to help orphaned girls in Nepal and Uganda.
Stevens is most recognised for his work as lead singer of Sydney band, Noiseworks and became involved with Lars Olsen and Kingfisher Bay Resort several years ago when he was approached by Forget Me Not Sponsor Parent, and the resort's Regional Sales and Marketing Manager, Tanya Young, to join the cause.
"The name of this charity, Forget Me Not, said it all and the work that they were doing with orphaned girls really struck a chord with me," Jon said.
Forget Me Not and Lars has also struck a chord a little closer to home with local McDonalds' owners Mel and Craig Manley.
"I first heard Lars being interviewed about Forget Me Not on the car radio back in 2006 – before he was named Young Queenslander of the Year‟ - when I was in the car driving from Gympie McDonalds back to Bundaberg," Mel said. "And I thought to myself he's 19 and what he is doing is so amazing."
"When I got back to Bundaberg, a girlfriend rang and had heard the same interview – it resonated with me so much that I tracked Lars down, and we've been involved with Forget Me Not Children's Home ever since."
Mel and Craig have visited Lars' Forget Me Not Children's Home in Nepal three times – the last was back in April where they helped paint the girls' current home in 'Old Baneshwor', Katmandu.
"Not everyone has the opportunity or the time to visit or work with the charities they help fundraise for – but we've been fortunate," Mel said. "What really struck us was that a little bit of money and a whole lot of love can really make a huge difference in the lives of these beautiful girls."
"We've seen first-hand the physical and emotional differences in these girls from when they first arrived at Forget Me Not – and it is chalk and cheese," she said. "If people could see and feel the changes that a small amount of money can make – they'd really be blown away."
"I really urge everyone to reach out and support this fantastic charity and the ball." It's not often that you can have a great meal, stay in a beautiful resort, have a private performance by someone of Jon Stevens' calibre AND actually help somebody – and make a
lasting difference - in the process," she said.
Kingfisher Bay Resort's General Manager, David Hay, said monies raised at this year's Kingfisher Bay Resort Charity Ball would help make a lasting difference to 21 orphaned girls in Nepal and Lars' Eco Village project there, as well as 39 needy Forget Me Not children in Uganda.
Tickets to the ball cost $185 per ticket including ferry (special charter leaves Urangan Boat Harbour at 1630 and returns at 2345), three-course meal and beverages.
For guests wanting to make a night of it and stay over, accommodation packages are available for $185* per night for two adults in a hotel room with breakfast or from $238* in the villas (room only, minimum two night stay). Please call 1800 372 737.
To purchase tickets visit http://charityball.kingfisherbay.com.
Mel Manley – 0407 265 193 (Mel will be available for a photo opportunity 27/05 from midday)
Jon Stevens’ Management Team – Simon Lucas, Headline Artist Management - 02 4227 3247.
Lars on the Manley's continued involvement with Forget Me Not...
"Mel called me up to talk about how her and Craig could support and suggested that we catch up and speak further about it. It took a few months to work around our busy schedules but we finally caught up over dinner and I spoke about Forget Me Not and how it all started and they jumped on board as passionate supporters right from that moment.
Over the years they have supported all our Nepalese Mother's wages, sponsored children, taken large roles in organising the Forget Me Not Balls and worked a lot on gathering auction prizes and sponsorship.
They have helped co-ordinate other fundraisers and both have visited Nepal - and the girls at Forget Me Not - three times now in the past 15 months.
Their role in Forget Me Not is one of passion and dedication to ensure that all the girls receive what every child should; lots of love and a childhood free to dream about the endless possibilities about their futures.
We are very lucky to have the support of such wonderful people and we humbly thank them for continuing to be a part of the Forget Me Not journey."