Fundraiser continues to lift Flying Stars amputee players

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On May 12, supporters filled the Gladstone Hotel ballroom on Toronto’s hip Queen St. West to raise money for The Flying Stars amputee football (soccer) club of Freetown, Sierra Leone and the Bo Team in the southern region of Sierra Leone.  (For those who couldn’t attend the fundraiser, you can still support the players by buying photographic prints and Sierra Leonean wood carvings at our new online store. This site will also accept donations on behalf of the Flying Stars team.)

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Fundraiser organizer and co-director Ngardy Conteh George (above) gave an update on the teams and details on their income-generating initiatives and goals. You can find out more details about both teams initiatives here.

Sierre Leone fundraiser May 2016 photo by Sally (19)photo: Sally Warburton

Attendees snapped up beautiful large portraits of the players photographed by New York’s Fiona Aboud (whose images inspired co-director Allan Tong , above, to make the documentary) and Toronto filmmaker Johnny Vong who took part in the 2011 filming. Also up for silent auction were wood carvings and art work from Sierra Leone (below).

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The evening was hosted by local Sierra Leonean comedian and radio host Dr. Kokofele (above) while musician and composer of  The Flying Stars  soundtrack Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison (below) played live musical accompaniment to the opening sequence of  the film and performed a surprise song for the “mama and papa” of the documentary, Ngardy and Allan. A touching moment for all.  Another highlight of the evening was the screening of eight minutes of unreleased footage profiling Bo team captain, Mustapha.

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Delicious salad rolls and other treats were prepared by The Rhyming Chef, Philman George (above).

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Most of the photos and carvings were sold, but due to demand, an online store has been launched to offer the rest of the merchandise and accept donations on behalf of the amputee players.

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A special thank you to photographer Justin Aranha for curating the presentation of photographs and art work.  To Fiona Aboud and Johnny Vong for generously donation their prints.  To the volunteers who assisted through the evening, Lhamina Conteh, Ayesatta Conteh King, Jehba Forrest, Eugenia Olu-Cole, Sierra Nallo, Debbie Nicholls-Skerritt and DJ Telley Tee. And a big thank you to all who attended and supported a worthy cause. You made a difference!

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All photos by Sierra Nallo unless noted

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