"Je Crois Aux Miracles" event
Children - is our life, our hope and our future. Children - is the greatest gift of all. They teach us how to be more caring, more patient with one another... they are not "little" human beings, but very BIG miracles indeed.. or, should I say "Je Crois Aux Miracles"..
On 25th of January, 2017, a beautiful, miraculous event was held at Siela Gallery in Lemont, IL, "The life of a child with a disability in Lithuania".
Around one hundred people gathered together to make those miracles come to life... beautiful people, noble goal, love for Lithuania- this is what united the guests of this beautiful charity event. The main goal was to show people how important it is to help children with disabilities, to integrate them into society, to spread the awareness, and many other important aspects... Chicago Mothers Foundation introduced black and white photography exhibition by Vika Aniuliene (Kaunas, Lithuania). These photographs portrayed moments from the lives of children with disabilities.
Vika Aniuliene took these photographs hoping that people would open their eyes and hearts to these beautiful children.
V. Aniuliene says "I can not understand why the health care system in Lithuania is so bad, so that every mom has to fight for her child as if she were at a battle field... When taking these pictures, I imagined myself as that disabled child, who , not being able to walk, is dreaming about a special walker, to help him reach his dream.... but he can't afford it because of the price (300 euros) ... or as that child, who is bullied at school for being different... or that child who calls his wheelchair BMW because of its price (over 2000 euros...)... or that child who can not go to a regular school because of the inconvenience to the school system (school board and teachers)... or that child who is always being stared at wherever he goes.... because of his disability.... is this how they are supposed to feel and how they are supposed to live?
"Je Crois Aux Miracles" event was graced by the presence of a few guests from Lithuania: Vytautas V. Landsbergis with wife Ramute, The youngest Lithuanian magician- Rokas Bernatonis, and a beautiful Bulgarian pianist Ani Gogova.
V. Landsbergis shared his own thoughts regarding children with disabilities in Lithuania and the problems they face all the time and introduced his documentary short film "Vaineta". It is a story about a girl from Lithuania, named Vaineta.. She has a cerebral palsy and is disabled since birth. Vaineta is in a wheel chair, she can not walk, she has no feeling in her hands. Despite that , she paints!! and she does that with her toe.! In the documentary we get a glimpse of her life. She faces challenges every single day, and still manages to have a huge smile on her face and has such a positive attitude that is truly contagious! Many of the guests burst into tears while watching the film.. it made people realize that nothing is more important than health. You can do anything if you are healthy... and on the other hand, it is heartbreaking and most heart saddening thing- to have a child with a disability. That is why these children and these parents need our help and support. We can make their life at least a little bit easier!
We were very happy to have a famous and well known artist Akiane Kramarik and her mother Foreli Kramarik at the charity event as well. Akiane was generous enough to gift us with a reproduction of her famous painting "Prince of Peace". The painting was sold during our auction and raised $5000 , it was purchased by Chicago Mothers Foundation continuous supporters Daiva and Henrikas Malukas. Another painting, this time by Vaineta herself, was bought for $1500 (and another $500 after the event , just enough to help Vaineta install a special shower), purchased by the Lialko family. We are truly inspired by this young family who is so sensitive to other people's misfortunes.. recently when celebrating their son's birthday, instead of birthday presents they asked their guests to bring stuff to an animal shelter... We hope this will become more popular among young people and that the new generation will be empathetic and caring.
Our auction raised in total $10 000. the money will be given to the children whose pictures were shown during our event. we would like to help every single child , unfortunately this is not possible...
After a short intermission, we saw a wonderful and magical performance by Rokas Bernatonis. Not surprising he is one of the fastest - rising stars in Lithuania, he truly invited us into the world of magic.... everyone of us has an inner child, who still believes in mirracles...
Chicago Mothers Foundation would like to thank Dr. K. Zymantas, the Malukas family, the Lialko family, the Voveris family, the Balciunas family, the Zitkevicius family, the Masiulionis family, the Mazencovas family, the Liudavicius family, the Malinauskas family, the Mickevicius family, the Vizgirda family, the Majauskas family, the Navickas family, the Zimkus family, the Umbrasas family, the Papandreou family, the Unguraitis family, the Vasiliauskas family, Gedrimas Kunevicius.
A big thank you to Lithuanian world center, Siela gallery, Ligita Bajarkeviciute, 3 girls party décor, YPV distribution, Vaivos juosta, Vilma's cakes, Simonos cakes, Grand Dukes and Old Vilnius restaurants, Heavenly massage, Inga Caplinskyte, Way to beauty, Amberbay, Monique Boutique, Darius Sabaitis, Ron Onesti, Beata Nicholson, Mantas Ignatavicius (Lietkabelis), Nijole Adler, B.Unlimited Foundation, Nijole Hansen, B.Francis, Baltic Food Distributing, Sandra Avizienyte, Agne Tumpis photography, Topaz restautant, Crema Bean.
Thank you Newspapers "Geras" and "Aidas" for advertisements!
A special thank you for those, who worked with this project: Vika Aniuliene and TVSdigital (Rasa and Rytis Januska)