BlenheimFest started 7 years ago as just a small music event for friends to enjoy, with no profit being made by anyone.
As we grew we wanted others less fortunate to benefit from the good times we have over Easter at BlenheimFest.
We first learnt of New Hope Cambodia through Tim Siv from Clare who has an amazing story of how his family escaped the Khmer Rouge in the late seventy’s, and eventually, after spending time in a Thai refugee camp, emigrated to Adelaide.
Many of the committee are involved with New Hope and regularly visit the centre in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Last year we proudly donated $14,800, with a total of $42,800 donated thus far. A portion of last year’s donation will be used for wages at a new training restaurant designed to teach people skills in all areas of the hospitality industry. This little kick-start will help the restaurant in its early stages to get on its feet and begin to generate an income, becoming a sustainable business and training ground for a positive future!
We received a letter of thanks from the director of New Hope, Mr Sot. Kem Sour, who hopes to one day join us on Good Friday at Blenheim. We are super excited for the 2016 event to have Mr Kem Sour’s very good friend and New Hope Board member Mr Ron Carter joining us for his first BlenheimFest appearance. There will be a stall at the 2016 BlenheimFest, with information on New Hope and garments made by the New Hope sewing team.
Pictured (left) John Osborne (Auburn Community Development Committee) receiving a cheque for the Auburn Hall restoration from Alister Sandow (Blenheim Fest)
According to Alister Sandow, the creator of Blenheim Fest, giving locally will now be part of all future festivals:
"We are really keen to support the development of the arts of all kinds in the valley. This is why we chose to give to the Auburn hall and the high school this year. The hall will eventually become a great performance and exhibition venue and Ben Fuller from the High School will be able to get going on his jazz and improvisation bands. He’s a really inspirational teacher and he’ll make great use of this donation".
New Hope Cambodia will still continue to be BlenheimFest’s overseas cause.
To date the NGO has received nearly $60,000 since the festival’s birth eight years ago, including 2016’s donation of $15,000.
Based on the growing popularity and success of Blenheim Fest these donations will be increasing.