A message from Dr. Jane Aronson, founder of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation
The Storm Family & BMM were proud to host an event at Green Valley Ranch in aid of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation on Thursday 23rd August. Dr. Jane Aronson, founder of WWO was in attendance and wrote the following blog when she returned to her home in New Jersey.
Dr. Jane’s virgin trip to Las Vegas: Storm BMM WWO event at Green Valley Ranch Hotel
I am on my way back home to New Jersey after a wonderful trip to Las Vegas for an event to support WWO. The event was created by Martin Storm and Sandra Ferguson, his wife, who are Australians I met a couple of years ago in Mornington, Australia, during a family Christmas trip.
Martin Storm runs BMM, a successful gaming software certification business with 13 offices in 12 countries around the world. He fell in love with WWO and he, his wife Sandra and employees from BMM worked months to create a fabulous Las Vegas event to support WWO.
Everything was incredibly professional from graphics by Wendy and Greg to goodie bags with a CD of original music from Irwin Thomas and Aaron Hendra and oils “doTerra” created by Cachay Wyson. The Brat Pack, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Out of Date Boys, Irwin Thomas, Andrew Tierney, and Aaron Hendra entertained. Kendall Tenney, Nevadan journalist and accomplished event host, was on hand to coordinate all stage activity. Those Out of Date boys dressed in white shirts and skinny ties, were “so fine” with the Beatles and more. And so polite and sweet as boys can be! Irwin Thomas also known as Jack Jones in Australia is a brilliant guitarist and vocalist who was introduced to me by Martin when he and his wife Sandra and I visited over a year ago in New York. Since then Irwin has supported WWO at a birthday party event for Matt Blesso, a WWO board member and now at this event. He and Aaron did a gorgeous rendition for Falling Slowly from Once, the Tony award winning show (and movie). That is my favorite song as well as my son Des’s. And then he teamed up with Andrew Tierney for two other passionate songs.
It was an awesome event that started with a busy red carpet lined with 200 guests, all eager to wear and be photographed with the famed pipe cleaner blue glasses. Real handshakes and engaging eye contact were the hallmark of the red carpet. Friends of the Storms were loyal and eager to learn about WWO.
The event was at the Green Valley Ranch Hotel and I enjoyed an eyeful of gaming machines and the Las Vegas city casinos and history. Martin Storm showed me his offices old and new and introduced me to an incredibly dedicated staff, many of whom came to the event at the hotel last night. He personally drove me into the city to learn about the history of Las Vegas and to see the casinos I have only seen in movies i.e. Caesar’s Palace, Bellagio, Venetian (formerly the Sands), and Binion’s. We walked on Fremont Street where it all began and watched zip line adventurers fly above us under a canopy of lights not lit in the day. $50 billion worth of sprawling hotels and shopping malls dominate the Las Vegas culture. Themes such as Luxor and the recreation of the skyline of New York City were quite impressive.
I brought rain and cool temperatures in the 70s that were a welcome relief to the Nevadans who have been hit hard by global warming with temperatures higher than 120 degrees this summer.
The Storms took very good care of me and made me feel welcomed in their city and the event was inspiring. From the red carpet to the entertainment, it was truly elegant and WWO had an opportunity through a screen display of photos of the kids from WWO and posters (Wendy and Greg) with photos and stories about our work. I gave a short speech thanking all the guests for their warmth and open-hearted reception; I thanked Martin, Sandra, Luisa, Darren, Wendy and Greg for all their hard work and then read a poem from a 14 year old adolescent girl and first time camper at Camp Addis (Ethiopia). Her words were translated from Amharic to English a few days ago when camp concluded. I have highlighted some of my favorite lines….there was nothing that I could say last night that was even close to the truth and inspiration of this youngster’s words.
Thank you Storms and friends/family (Juliet and Skala, their daughters) and BMM employees.
This poem was written by a 14 year old girl as a first-time camper at one of WWO’s recent events for children in Ethiopia.
Connected by love, an example in heaven;
we’ve set a foundation in Camp Addis
so that there always be connection, compassion.
We will work hard and renew our hope.
The collection of people in camp is amazing.
When I think about it, just sitting here,
there won’t be giving up after this.
Now we know we have people who stand beside us.
I got truth from all of you.
Today I know, doing good is beneficial to me too.
The fact that I am HIV positive does not define me.
I can be anyone,
I’m not inferior to anybody.
Camp, I can talk about you, I can sing about you.
I can be a witness to what you did for me,
I cannot explain it enough.
Today I know how to give love.
I won’t forget to thank anyone who has done something good for me.
Now my life is tuned to music.
I got love in camp’s ocean.
Congratulations to all my campers, we all received love, compassion and connection.
Now we know what a true sister and brother are like.
If love and compassion are like this,
the ebbing hope is now so bright.
Now I can see hope.
Dr. Jane Aronson Founder and CEO, Worldwide Orphans Foundation