By S Kaluperuma (SNNI ) Photo By – Johann J (SNNI - Melbourne)

Knox Tavern Event Tsunami

Cricket Loving public in Melbourne dug deep to contribute to Sri Lankan Tsunami victims on Tuesday, 11 January 2005 at the Knox Tavern. Almost 150 people paid $100.00 per head to have dinner with three out of four Sri Lankan cricketers who were in Melbourne for the ICC World IX Vs Asia IX Tsunami charity game at the MCG.
Cathy and David Cruse instigated the idea of this fundraiser in association with the Sri Lanka Cricket Foundation of Victoria, who also donated the food and the venue. With official representation from Sri Lanka Cricket, it was also the launch of the Sri Lanka Cricket Aid in Melbourne. Officials, C Perera and B H Perera along with the cricketers Chaminda Vaas, Muthiah Muralidaran and Kumar Sangakkara represented the SLC.
The night stared with a Welcome speech By Dr Q De Zylva who was in Sri Lanka after the tragedy along with Dr David Young, Dr Priya Mendis and a team of doctors from Melbourne. This followed by an address from Major General Janaka Perera. Soon after, Derrick J and Alston Koch provided some light entertainment.
Then it was time for the fabulous dinner followed by Dr David Young’s thoughts about his first hand experience in Eastern Sri Lanka. According to Dr Young the most critical time period for the survivors is fast approaching and his word is to get much needed surgical equipment to Sri Lankan hospitals.
While Mr C Perera from SLC giving the official launch speech of the Cricket-Aid, the video screen was showing the pictures of the devastation in southern Sri Lanka, which had so many painful scenes including the rubble of much loved Galle international cricket stadium!
Also there was a presentation of Cricket-aid and it’s plans for rehabilitation. SLC must be congratulated for having such a plan in a hurry. For more information regarding this, please log on to SLC web site and follow the links. According to couple of guests, the most important part of SLC’s cricket-aid program is that it covered all four corners of the country and the long-term plans for recovery. To answer few of the critics, I am sure Sri Lanka Cricket will have full transparency of the spending and the progress reports.
Kumar’s speech was very moving and it touched lot of hearts. I couldn’t help but noticing couple of guests reaching for tissues. All three answered questions from the MC for the night, Mr Ian Crawford and the guests.
The night concluded with Cathy Cruse handing over a cheque for A$ 12,200.00 from the night. Selling SLC cricket-aid T-shirt and caps sales and a sports memorabilia auction rased further A$4,290.00, which brought the total funds raised for the night to A$ 16, 610.00
Thank you to all the sponsors and my special tribute to all the people who attended.

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