TONGA KING TO HOST CHARITY FUNDRAISER

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Proceeds go to Child Cancer Foundation of Tonga

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 8, 2008) – A charity Musical Concert will be held to celebrate the 60th birthday of HM King George Tupou V and his cousin, HRH Princess Siu'ilukitapu, on Friday evening May 9 at the Consular House in Nuku'alofa.

Mele Vikatolia Faletau, Private Secretary of the king, said today it was the king's initiative to hold the concert for charity and he will be meeting all of the expenses.

The performers will include the Starlight String quartet from New Zealand supported by a pianist, with vocal items performed by Jack Bourke, a prominent Tongan tenor based in New Zealand.

The concert is expected to raise $20,000 pa'anga [US$9,800] and all ticket proceeds to be donated to the Child Cancer Foundation of Tonga.

The king's birthday is May 4 but will be officially celebrated together with his Coronation on August 1. Princess Siu'ilikutapu's birthday is on May 12.

The Children's Cancer Fund was established in November 2007 and is actively pursuing health initiatives to support children diagnosed with cancer and to conduct research for ways to reduce the occurrence of the disease.

Previously child cancer was rare about one case per annum however last year there were nine children suffering with cancer.

A similar charity event in October 2007 raised $20,000 for the Queen Mother's charities the Alonga and 'Ofa Tui mo e 'Amanaki Centre.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

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