The Forget Me Not Children's Home at Nepal.
The Forget Me Not Children's Home at Nepal.

Forget Me Not gala ball to go ahead without founder

FOR the first time in its eight year history, the Forget Me Not Children's Home Gala Ball will go ahead without the charity's founder Lars Olsen at the helm.

Mr Olsen, 30, walked away from the charity 10 months ago saying his vision for the project differed from the board's.

However, the remaining committee members have moved to assure the public that the charity is "still in very good hands" and its main fundraiser will still go ahead.

"We have a group of six passionate committee members here in Hervey Bay," projects manager Andrea Nave said.

"Every year we strive to put on a spectacular gala ball and this year will be no different."

Themed A Night In Nepal, the ball will be held at the Hervey Bay PCYC on June 29 and money raised will go directly to the charity's work with orphans in Nepal, Uganda and India.

Ms Nave said the charity had been through some drama in the past couple of years but their commitment to providing vulnerable children with a future had not wavered.

She said in 2011 the charity found out its partnering organisation in Nepal had children under its care that were not orphans but victims of child-trafficking.

When the partner refused to take action, Ms Nave said Forget Me Not launched a legal battle seeking custody of the girls.

"In December 2012, we secured the custody of the 20 girls in Nepal, a feat no other international non-government organisation has ever achieved."

Fourteen have already been reunited with their families.

Mr Olsen said while he would continue to visit and support the girls in the Nepalese children's home, he was not supporting any of the charity's fundraisers.

"My decision to resign was one that I did not make lightly," he said.

"I decided that rather than following something that was no longer my vision, as well as put my values at jeopardy, I would step down from my position as CEO."



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