Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Telethons raise money for Japanese earthquake victims

Staff Writer, with CNA

Hundreds of Taiwanese musicians, TV hosts and actors came together in two call-in TV fundraising shows on Thursday and yesterday in Taipei to raise money for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Launched by Taiwan’s Association of Terrestrial Television Networks, Taiwan Television, Formosa Television and the charity group World Vision Taiwan, Thursday’s charity drive brought together names such as Chu Ke-liang (豬哥亮), Hu Gua (胡瓜) and dozens of popular soap opera actors and actresses in a single venue to raise funds for the quake victims, while yesterday’s show called Fight and Believe featured at least 100 singers from home and abroad. Big name singers such as A-Mei (張惠妹), Judy Chiang (江蕙), Lin Yu-chun (林育群), Wu Bai (伍佰) and Singaporean pop diva Stefanie Sun (孫燕姿) took part in the event.

The telethon on Thursday was broadcast live via several Taiwan television channels. All proceeds will go to World Vision before being donated to those in need in Japan.

In a pre-recorded message aired at the beginning of the event on Thursday, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) called on the public to show their support for Japan, because the Japanese gave a lot of help when Taiwan was hit hard by an earthquake on Sept. 21, 1999.

“Taiwan has always been a provider of humanitarian aid and we hope everyone will see Taiwanese are very compassionate,” Ma said.

Judy Ongg (翁倩玉), a famous Taiwanese singer based in Japan, opened the telethon on Thursday by singing two songs in Chinese, one of which, Pray, was adapted from an old Japanese tune.

Ongg, who was in Tokyo when the March 11 earthquake struck northeastern Japan, said some areas were still cut off by damaged roads and many are worried about elderly Japanese staying at rescue centers, as many of them are provided with only a small bottle of water and an onigiri (Japanese rice ball) a day.

Against a backdrop of grim images showing the devastation caused by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, singers, entertainers and other celebrities worked a total of 60 phone lines while viewers called in to make mostly small donations.

Several video clips played during the telethon showed how violent the quake and tsunami were and how survivors are trying to cope, with courage and support for each other.

Van Ness Wu (吳建豪), a member of the famed Taiwanese band F4, said he would still fly to Japan next week to spread the love of Taiwan there despite the threat of a nuclear emergency.

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