24 Juli 2011

Celeb-Soccer for Benjamin!

Another day cancelled at the Cucco Worlds, but tomorrow they will try a flight from Tre Pizzi!
Meanwhile I had a great day yesterday when I was invited by Florian Weiß from Antenne Bayern to help raise money for Benjamin. This poor guy from Ghana had broken a lower back vertebrae which can be easily operated - if you have the money. If not, you suffer terrible pain and can´t walk, can´t work, can´t do anything. Luckily a Cuban doc posted Benjamin´s fate on the internet, Florian found out and asked how he could help.
They got connected to "Madamfo Ghana" (Madamfo means friend in Ghana) run by Bettina Landgrafe who got Benjamin to Accra and made sure he was looked after until the money was there to operate him. About 7000 € were needed.
Benjamin is a great fan of German Soccer (and there are many great players from Ghana in our German Bundesliga), so Florian had the idea to organize a Charity Soccer Game to raise money for the operation and the rehab therapy. He called celebreties and the coolest girl soccer team of Höhenkirchen together, and yesterday it happened!
Florian Weiß, Tanja Wörle (a pro player from Bavaria Munich!) and I were referees, famous German music manager Thomas Stein went around to collect money from the spectators, comedians Atze Schröder and Josef Nullinger were commenting the game, and some of the celeb team players were soccer legend Andy Brehme, Sebastian Höffner (RTL), Marcus Fahn (Bayern 3), Indra (Antenne Bayern) and handsome Bochum goal keeper Philipp Heerwagen .
As you see on the photo, Philipp is way taller than me, and about twice as tall as the girls they played against. Yet the girls worked great together, they won 6:1! It was fantastic to watch them interacting like a school of fish or birds, always turning into the same direction at the same time!
After the game, everybody was invited to an exclusive concert of Jamaram, a band from Munich - man I wish I could dance again, I loved their music!
After that, an auction with unique items did a good job to raise even more - Xavier Naidoos original headphones got 130 €, but the helmet of the German Women´s skiing team with all their autographs got 500 €!!! Altogether they collected 5000 € and Atze Schröder doubled it! 10.000 € for Benjamin!
And the great news is that Benjamin had been operated and it looks good for his future, now he needs physiotherapy and soon he will walk and smile again. Be sure that I will request a flight to Accra to meet Benjamin and let him know how the little German soccer girls fought for him!
Im also very interested in Bettina Landgrafes work - I usually don´t like to donate money and prefer to give my help directly to the people in India or Africa or Brazil, as Im afraid that too much drops away in burocracy. I had the great opportunity to meet Atze Schröder before the game and he had been in Ghana many times and supports Bettina´s Madamfo Ghana. He beamed when he told us how Bettina stops to help old and sick people, how she is recognized and appreciated even in the outback of Ghana, and how she always finds the cheapest way for herself (which is quite adventurous sometimes, sounds like me!) to have the maximum ability to help the people in need.
Too bad I cannot work right now and have to be patient, but I swear one of my first flights has to take me to Ghana again, country of great people and delicious Fufu!
There is a great article about yesterday´s game in the Münchner Merkur, unfortunately just in German ;)

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