On Friday 25th May the ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel in Victoria, London hosted a very special night for a very special young girl, Thusha Kamaleswaran.
The fundraising night was the inspiration of Shevanthie Goonesekera teaming up with Dai Liyanage and her brother, Eshan Goonesekera. The guest of honour for the evening, Thusha arrived in a beautiful pink dress accompanied by her family, and along with over 200 paying guests were treated to the very best in entertainment on offer in London.
After young Sri Lankan dancers led Thusha into the spectacular ballroom and performing a specially choreographed welcome dance, Michael Vincent, an internationally renowned magician, who recently starred on The Penn and Teller’s show with Jonathan Ross, amazed the audience with his illusions and world-class theatrical magic. Thusha was captivated and thrilled even helping Michael with a magic trick.
During a superb traditional Sri Lankan dinner of spicy rice and curry prepared by leading Sri Lankan chef Monty Cooray and his team, guests were treated to fusion dances of Sri Lankan and Bharata Natyam by young Sri Lankan dancers led by Mariah Almeida and Tharushi Wanigarathna, followed by Tamil and South Indian dances by young Sushma, Reece, Rebecca and Madush. Thusha herself loved to dance and had dreams of becoming a dancer.
The highlight of the evening was an outstanding performance by one of Motown’s favourite soul singer’s Melvin ‘Soul Man’ Jackson. Melvin’s repertoire consisted of many of the classics, such as ‘Easy’, ‘All Night Long’ and ‘My Girl’, his dulcet tones rocked the ballroom and wowed his audience.
Among the guests were officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Trident team and Detective Inspector Jim Redmond who led the investigations. After leaving hospital Thusha is unable to walk and now uses a wheelchair. Touched by Thusha’s, 15 detectives are preparing for the Three Peaks Challenge in September to raise funds for her continual care. So far the Met Police have raised over £165,000.
BBC Radio One DJ Nihal Arthanayake conducted the raffle draw along with Thusha where prizes included of weekend stays at plush Park Plaza Hotels across London and a week’s stay in Sri Lanka’s most romantic rendezvous, The Mount Lavinia Hotel. A flagon of champagne donated by the Carlton Club was auctioned at £500.
The Sri Lankan and British community came together on Friday to raise funds for Thusha and all who attended were delighted to meet the beautiful and charismatic brave young girl whose enchanting smile lit up the room. Thusha and her family had a wonderful evening at the Park Plaza Hotel which they will remember for a long time.
Met Police officer Richard Williamson said “we were simply very happy guests at one of the most enjoyable evenings I have ever had the pleasure of attending, I want to give my huge thanks to everyone involved. All of the Met people who were there wanted me to pass on their thanks and congratulations on what was a terrific night of entertainment – it had it all from tears to laughter!”
All those involved in the event ‘A Night for Thusha’ were so moved by her that they all kindly volunteered their services. The event so far raising around £5000 which will go towards Thusha’s trust fund set up by the Met Police to pay for her continual specialist medical care.
Richard added “we as a team really enjoyed meeting everyone and seeing the whole community – from a wide variety of backgrounds offering their time and money for such a worthy cause, was inspirational, what a truly great event you created.”
Thusha needs our continued support to help her through her childhood. Every donation will make a difference to Thusha, so please donate what you can via the donate page. After everything she has been through she continues to melt our hearts with her beautiful smile, together we can help keep her smiling and give her hope for her future.