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New York, June 1, 2007…In a classical music concert to benefit ONE BRIGHT WORLD, INC. and that organization’s project to build a Basic Education Center in Kakata, Margibi County, Liberia, THE ITALIAN ACADEMY FOUNDATION, INC. this evening presented “2007 Summer Musical”  at the world renown Carnegie Hall in New York City.  On this occasion, ONE BRIGHT WORLD, INC. presented Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with an AWARD OF EXCELLENCE for her contribution to her people and especially the Liberian children.

ONE BRIGHT WORLD, INC. (OBW) is an independent not-for-profit corporation devoted to education for the world’s most disadvantaged children.  Under the leadership of the founder, Mrs. Fay Vassilakis, spouse of the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Adamantios Vassilakis, OBW has undertaken as its first major project the task of building a Learning Center in Margibi County, Liberia in partnership with MEASUAGOON, a non-profit Liberian-based corporation.  The concert at Carnegie Hall, which was well-attended and of a very high standard, is a major fund-raising event to benefit this project.

The evening featured a program of outstanding piano selections by a rising star in the classical music world, Italian-born Sandro Russo, as well as a dynamic performance by Japanese pianist, Miki Fujihara.  Opera solos and duets rounded out the concert featuring the very talented Cristina Nassif (Soprano), Grant Youngblood (Baritone), Christian Sebeck (Tenor) and Yana Eminova (Soprano) accompanied by pianist Craig Ketter. 

This delightful program was organized by Mr. Stefano Acunto, Chairman of the Italian Foundation, Inc. to benefit OBW’s education project in Liberia.  Special homage was also paid to the Consul General of Italy to New York, Minister and Mrs. Antonio Bandini.

The special award presented to President Sirleaf took the physical form of an impressive sculpture created by Mr. Allen Sedaka, one of the contributors to the sculpture at Ground Zero (the sight of the World Trade Center) in New York.

In her comments as she presented the award to President Sirleaf, Mrs. Vassilakis said, “President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stands for everything that ONE BRIGHT WORLD represents; she is a role model and a true heroine.  We want to do all we can to support her efforts in Liberia.” 

Accepting the award on behalf of President Sirleaf, His Excellency Milton Nathaniel Barnes, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations from Liberia, stated that he was moved by the gesture and generosity of ONE BRIGHT WORLD and the entire audience who had generously contributed to the Learning Center Project in Margibi County, Liberia.  He recalled the periodic series in LIFE magazine in which people of all walks of life are asked “What is the meaning of life?”  Ambassador Barnes stated, “In the opinion of this humble diplomat, Ambassador and Mrs. Vassilakis, ONE BRIGHT WORLD, and all of you here have found the true meaning of life.  I submit that the true meaning of life is service to our fellow human beings.  On behalf of Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia and the people of Liberia, I accept this award with profound gratitude.”     




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