J.K. Rowling in conversation with Whoopi Goldberg
Lumos Foundation USA was delighted to welcome more than 350 guests to a special fundraising event held in New York City on 22 and 23 September 2018. The highlight of Saturday’s gala dinner was a conversation between Lumos Founder and President J.K. Rowling and Emmy, Oscar and Tony-award winning star Whoopi Goldberg. During the conversation, J.K. Rowling described the trauma faced by the millions of children around the world who are separated from their families and the importance of raising awareness of the 8 million children trapped in orphanages.
“There is a vast humanitarian crisis that affects children overwhelmingly, which most of us are totally unaware of,” J.K.Rowling said. They went on to discuss how Lumos works to reunite families and help some of the most disadvantaged children around the world, highlighting the organisation’s progress in ending the harmful institutionalisation of children. They were later joined on stage by Lumos CEO Georgette Mulheir, who praised the generosity of Americans but called on them not to donate to or volunteer at orphanages, and to redirect funds instead to support networks in the local community to help families stay together. Rounding out the night was a preview of an upcoming HBO documentary on the issue, due to premiere in late 2019, and a special musical performance by Jamie Parker, star of the Tony-Award winning play on Broadway, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, accompanied on piano by the most prolific and honoured female theatrical composer in history, Jeanine Tesori.
Watch the conversation
The gala weekend continued on the Sunday when guests were treated to a benefit performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway, with a surprise introduction by J.K. Rowling. Delighted fans in the audience heard our Founder and President talk about the importance of family, how this is a central theme of the play, and the inspiration behind her founding Lumos – the story of a young boy, trapped in an institution in the Czech Republic, whose image she first saw in a newspaper in 2004.
Lumos is grateful to all our supporters who joined us throughout the weekend, and particularly to Sonia Friedman Productions and the cast of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, whose generosity to our cause made this weekend possible. The money raised over the weekend will give much-needed support to our global projects and help ensure we reach our goal of ending the institutionalisation of children worldwide by 2050.