Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns gives voice to local non-profit
Story and photos by ELIZABETH NUTT
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Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns, an original founding member of the “Irish Tenors”, performs a special concert in support of a Laguna Beach-based non-profit
As the sun set on Friday evening, world-renowned Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns’ voice could be heard echoing through the Mystic Hills neighborhood. Roughly 75 guests were treated to the special concert event, which was held at a private residence.
The evening served as a benefit for Laguna Beach-based non-profit, Wells of Life, which was founded in 2009 by Orange County real estate broker Nick Jordan.
Jordan, born and raised in Ireland, recalls a childhood in the remote village of Wexford, which necessitated long walks to the nearest water well with his mother. At a young age he understood that clean, running water was a luxury. It wasn’t until a 2006 trip to Africa, however, that Jordan truly understood the severe negative consequences that a lack of clean water can have on entire communities, and he was spurred to action. Wells of Life’s mission is to provide clean drinking water to the people of Uganda by sponsoring and building wells, with a focus on areas in which there are schools.
To date, the non-profit has funded over 130 wells in Uganda, each of which brings clean water to an average of 1000 people.
“Tonight is not a fundraiser, and we’re not asking people for money. The evening is strictly about raising awareness,” said Jordan, of Friday’s event. “I just want people to learn, and if they are inspired to take action, they should know that they can make a big difference—people can change the world with one well, and it’s a life-changing experience to see the profound impact that one well has on a community,” he added.
If there was anything that could inspire others to give, it was the fact that Operatic Tenor Anthony Kearns traveled all the way from Ireland to lend his voice to the Wells of Life cause on Friday evening. Jordan and Kearns have a personal connection, having grown up in the same village, and the two have kept in touch over the years. When Kearns was tapped last year to become a Wells of Life Spokesperson and Ambassador, he jumped at the opportunity to give back.
“The best way I can help is to open my mouth and sing,” says Kearns. “Music transcends all boundaries, all people and politics, and it brings us together. I hope to strike a chord with people tonight, to inspire them to help.”
Friday’s concert was donated by Kearns during a Wells of Life fundraising auction in 2014.
Kearns is an original founding member of the globally celebrated Irish Tenors, which have topped Billboard charts with gold, platinum, and double-platinum albums. He has also enjoyed an incredibly successful international solo career, having performed in front of President Barack Obama, and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as with some of the world’s finest symphony orchestras, such as the Boston Pops and the Ulster Orchestra.
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“The Joy of Fresh Water”
Oil on Canvas
In addition to providing guests with breathtaking views of the ocean, gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres and an open bar, Friday’s event also displayed and offered for purchase the fine art of Southern California painter Toni Danchik, who was born and raised in South Africa. The artist has worked with Wells of Life to capture images of the wells’ impacts in Uganda, and her magnificent oil-on-canvas, “The Joy of Fresh Water,” was a centerpiece—and available for purchase—on Friday evening.
Danchik will donate 50% of her proceeds from the evening to Wells of Life.
Overall, the evening was a spectacular success, and it reflected from many angles the power of giving—and for no other reason than to help others.
“To have Anthony sing in such a beautiful setting in support of Wells of Life, is incredible… what makes this evening so significant is that we’re bringing people together in a special setting and for a good cause, and we’re incredibly appreciative that Anthony would use his esteemed voice to help us in this way,” remarked Jordan.