Los Angeles Friends of Tibet / The Tibet Connection
Fundraiser, 1 November 2008
Page 1 of 1
Robert Thurman lent his support to the
The Tibet Connection fundraiser, graciously hosted by actor
Jane Kaczmarek in San Marino, CA. Shown here is the Events
Committee for the fundraiser, with Prof. Thurman in the blue shirt and bolo
tie and Jane to his left. Interestingly, everyone appears to be leaning to
We were concerned that it had been
raining on and off that afternoon. But the evening was gorgeous.
I set up a short slide show of
photos I had
taken of the Sherab Gatsel Lobling (Transit) School, which helps
recently-escaped Tibetan refugees learn vocational trades, English, and
more, offering the skills needed to help them find work. See photos
and read more about my visit to the
Thurman gave autographed copies of his book and a ceremonial silk scarf
offering, or kata, to each member of the Events Committee.
Professor Robert Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of
Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Dept. of Religion at Columbia
University and President of the Tibet House U.S. He also speaks fluent
Tibetan, and translates important Tibetan and Sanskrit philosophical
writings and lectures and writes on Buddhism, particularly Tibetan Buddhism
and critical philosophy, with a focus on the dialogue between the material
and inner sciences of the world's religious traditions.
Thurman presents LAFOT President Lisa Kelly with a kata. This
is the second time Lisa Kelly has been the President of LAFOT. She
also serves as Director of Development for
The Tibet Connection, an English language radio show that presents the
Tibetan people's non-violent struggle for justice and their endangered
culture and philosophy in a universal context, featuring news, commentary,
interviews, music, features, and documentaries.
of The Tibet Connection team, Lisa, Producer Julie Adler, and Producer Pema
The Tibet Connection broke stories,
including the story of 15 Tibetans shot by Chinese police in protests in
Amdo Ngaba in Eastern Tibet. The producers shared photos with the
world by organizing a press conference in Dharamsala attended by 100 members
of the world press.
and Tseten Phanucharas, with Pema looking on.
Tibet Connection has covered all of the Dalai Lama's press conferences since
March 10, 2008, and offers them, in their entirety, on the TC website.
with The Tibet Connection Senior Producer Christal Smith.
At the request of Pacifica Radio, TC began producing a series
of half-hour specials for Sprouts, a popular Pacifica program airing on 100
radio stations per week. TC show segments have also been licensed by
nine other US stations. The TC producers also write articles on Tibet
for a variety of print media.
addresses the audience at the fundraiser.
Thurman discusses why Tibet matters, touching on a number of cultural,
philosophical, and ecological reasons why saving Tibet is crucial to us,
China, and the entire world. And just days before an historic U.S.
Presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain, Thurman urged us
to choose sanity and stop eight years of lunacy.
Wilkinson, Contributing Producer to The Tibet Connection and one of the
chief members of the Events Committee with friend and host Jane Kaczmarek
and someone I don't know who has a delicious-looking plate of food in hand.
host Jane with her friend at the LAFOT / TC fundraiser.
and Tibet supporter with Christal.
The Tibet Connection covered
various Olympics events, including torch relay events in the United States
and Indida. TC's August 2008 program, devoted to the Beijing Olympics,
featured stories from China, exile communities, and Tibet.
audience listening to Loudon Wainwright and Joe Henry perform in the back
lawn of Jane's house in San Marino, near Pasadena, during a gorgeous clear
The audience, some moments before, had
responded favorably to our request to sponsor students at the Sherab Gatsel
Lobling (Transit) School for $600 each, with hands immediately shooting into
the air. We were all deeply moved by this outpouring of caring.
When I had visited the Transit School
several months earlier, Director Bhutuk Shastri had said that
they needed a water filtration system.
Indeed, a disproportionate number of people from
the Transit School had been stricken with amoebic dysentery and giardia,
weakening their immune systems and making them far more susceptible to
tuberculosis. A water filtration system would probably cost
Yangki Gray, Sarah, Robert Thurman, Tseten, Ken Lee (me), Christal, and
and Robert Thurman.
Robert Thurman, and Tseten.
(me), Robert Thurman, and Christal.
The host, Jane,
was extremely generous and welcoming, and Sarah and Lisa and the rest of the
Events Committee came together in a beautiful evening of unity and support.
The Crown of the World:
NASA satellite imaging
of the Tibetan plateau
Los Angeles Friends of Tibet / The Tibet Connection Fundraiser
Eleven Shadows Travel Page
Contact photographer/musician Ken Lee