The of our volunteers chaperoned 238 children from Thembelenkosini, Fountain of Love, Thuthuzela, Villa of Joy, Orlando Children’s Home and Matjele Community Centre, together with their care-givers to Gold Reef City as guests of Chabad Johannesburg. The children were welcomed by piano child prodigy Ethan Bortnick who posed for photos with all. The first 6 rows of the Lyric Theatre were allocated to our VIP children who each received a back pack from Chabad with a story book and money box donated by them and refreshments courtesy of our friends at Pick ‘n Pay Hypermarket.
The concert delighted all and when it was time to pose questions to 10 year old Ethan, 2 of our children came forward. Beatrice, of Fountain of Love, asked how he persuaded his parents to allow him to follow his dream of piano playing on the world stage with some of the greatest artists ever, and to perform and appear on Oprah, Jay Leno, Good Morning America, to name a few. Ethan then asked Beatrice what her dream was, and she said to dance and act. The next minute he was playing a song for her and our overwhelmed 12 year old, in front of an audience of 1100, danced on stage!
After the show one of the Rabbis came forward and requested that Beatrice went backstage. In Ethan’s dressing room, with media clicking away, he signed and presented Beatrice with his DVD and an autographed poster. There were hugs and words of encouragement from pint sized Ethan for the very tearful Beatrice. As they were about to leave the theatre there was another shout to bring Beatrice back. Backstage again in Ethan’s room was a member of the audience waiting for us and announced that he would be taking care of Beatrice’s dancing and acting career through his Umoja Foundation and that she would be a star one day. More tears and this time from Rosie her caregiver and the Rabbi as well.