Hollywood stars Will and Jada Smith step in to make choir’s Ely dream come true

23:35 05 July 2014

The Hawai

The Hawai'i Sacred Choir

Archant

A choir from Hawaii which looked set to miss out on the trip of a lifetime to perform in Ely Cathedral has been rescued thanks, in part, to a donation from Hollywood superstars Will and Jada Smith.

Will and Jada SmithWill and Jada Smith

The 25-strong Hawaii Sacred Choir was preparing to make the 7,000-mile journey to Ely this month but, just weeks before departure, they were devastated to find they had lost most of their funding and were forced to make a desperate appeal for help.

Hawaii-based broadcaster KITV took up their cause and, by sheer co-incidence, actors Will and Jada Smith were enjoying a break on the pacific island and saw the appeal.

Representatives for the couple, famous for starring in Men in Black and Collateral respectively, got in touch with the choir and agreed to donate $10,000 – about £6,000.

A second donation of $10,000 from Dick and Jan Yamagami, who were on holiday from San Francisco, meant that the choir had almost every penny of the $70,000 (£40,000) needed to make the trip.

Daniel Werning, choirmaster of Hawaii Sacred Choir, said: “The Hawai’i Sacred Choir will be going to England to sing at Ely Cathedral–thanks to the generosity of our local community and to two very generous donations from two couples visiting Hawai’i who saw the KITV newscast

“We hope that the generosity of Will and Jada Smith and Dick and Jan Yamagami will inspire our local Hawai’i community to help us raise a few more funds for the choir so that we can put back in the lunches and dinners we have had to cut out.”

The choir is expected to arrive in the city this week and will be performing evensong at Ely Cathedral on Monday (July 7) at 5.30pm.

More news stories

Change coming down the line? Candidates will vie for control of the railways in East Anglia.

The Government has announced a shortlist of candidates who will vie for control of the lucrative East Anglian railway franchise.

Departing head teacher, Sheila Sands.

Staff and pupils at Spring Meadow Infant and Nursery School in Ely said farewell to head teacher Shiela Sands.

10:33
The fire was started deliberately, say police

A grieving widower told an inquest how he accidently ran over his wife in her car outside the home they shared in a Fenland village.

Author Dominic O’Sullivan

Author Dominic O’Sullivan has published a new collection of poems inspired by one of Cambridgeshire’s smallest railway stations.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition today E-edition