Refugees' Gratitude to Rescuers
I was seven years old when my family was rescued from the South China Sea in June 1980. We were part of the "Boat People" crisis. We were ten days at sea, lost and depleted of food, water and fuel. Barring a miracle, death was an imminent certainty. That miracle appeared in the form of a liquefied natural gas carrier flying the American flag, the LNG Virgo, an image that forever cemented itself in my mind as being synonymous with life and freedom.
THE QUEST AND THE HOPE
I've spent the better part of my adult life searching for the Captains and crews of the 2 US ships that rescued us: the LNG Virgo with the initial rescue and the USNS Sealift Antarctic with the transfer to Singapore. I’ve located a few officers and others from the same fleet. We met for a reunion last month in Florida. Words cannot adequately describe the emotions as my parents and I embraced our saviors.
MY GOAL AND GRATITUDE
In gratitude, I want to make a documentary that focuses on the lives and heroics of seafarers who rescue people in distress. My goal is to raise $60,000 to fund a documentary. The money will be used to hire a film crew, sound and graphic editors and to cover the costs of traveling to meet and interview the seafarers and their families.
Help me to give these men their proper place in history. Let’s preserve the heroics of the past, recognize the present benevolence and document for the future the truly historic contributions these men make to entire communities for whom existence would not have been possible. This project can demonstrate to the world how we can heal the wounds of war with the compassion of the human spirit.
Saturday night was a huge success! Not only did we meet our fundraising goal for the night, the event was super fun! A special thank you to the Walk Throughs for playing "America." It was the perfect song for the occasion.
I know I speak for Barre, too, when I say that we are truly blessed to have friends and supporters like you. Thank you for coming to the gala and making it such a huge success. Each of you deserves to be thanked individually and personally. If we miss anyone, it is truly not our intention.
In the next few days we will comb through, digest, and devise ways to utilize your comments to make the film even better. We thank you for your thoughtfulness and candor. You want to see this film succeed as much as we do and we take your suggestions very seriously-- even the ones that are hard to swallow, e.g., "Lauren puts the 'ugly' in ugly crying." Just kidding. I don't think anyone said that... unless Barre threw those comments away before I saw them.
Many thanks and stay tuned for more to come.
Thank you everyone for your robust interest in seeing Finding the Virgo. Even with my over-critical eye, I can say that I think it will resonate. We are, however, at maximum legal capacity and I am sorry to say that there will be no walk-in tickets available. Moreover, to preserve the integrity of your viewing, we now must show the movie in 3 screenings that night.
The first screening will be at 5:15 sharp. The second showing is at 7:15 and the last showing will be at 8:15. Good byes and good nights at 9 p.m.
Please check out the website www.findingthevirgo.com and click on the Gala tab for more info about dress code, parking, and auction items.
Thank you everyone for making this event so promising!
I cannot believe the prescreening gala is sold out! In fact, because of the overwhelming interest, we may have to show the movie in 2 screenings. Stay tuned for an email informing you which group you're in.
If you haven't pre-paid your tickets and/or spoken to me or Barre Fong (director) personally, I'm really sorry there are no more tickets. We truly are at maximum legal capacity. There are still ways for you to support the project though. Prize tickets, proxy bidding, corporate sponsorship, and of course, hugs.
The website is up and running. It will be updated further this week to contain more info about the gala. www.findingthevirgo.com
Finally, Barre and I just finished our final editing session. We can't wait for you to see it.
My "team" and I visited the venue last night. I exhale a sigh of relief; I breathe a breath of excitement. It's fabulous!
The Chinese Historical Society America is a working museum as well as a community center on the edge of Chinatown and sNob Hill. She is an old lady designed by the late Julia Morgan. There's a fantastic view of the Transamerica Building and you're only a block or so away from some of the nicest hotels in the city- the Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Huntington, etc. I think no one will be disappointed with the depth of history, meaning, and entertainment value of this site.
If you have not already done so, please pre-pay your ticket(s). Not only will it ensure that you will eat and drink, but you will save my poor soul many many anxiety-filled, sleepless nights. If I start to insomnia text at 2 a.m., you will know it is your fault for not pre-paying!! All joking aside, we've now reached the half way point of venue capacity. BUT only a third of you have pre-paid. Please get on it. PayPal or check. Hugs are great ... after you pay!
Another item up for auction: Ever want to pho (pronounced "fuh" like What the Fuh?! and Mother Fuh, that was excellent pho!)? Don't know HOW to pho? You can learn to pho with the best of us.
Fantastic coverage and fantastic story Lauren! Well done for making it happen!
Great video Lauren. Will be certain to tune in to NPR. Thank you.