Gibson launches fundraising drive for Chernobyl charity

HOLLYWOOD actor Mel Gibson and his partner Oksana Grigorieva have launched a major fundraising initiative for Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI).

The couple announced through Gibson’s production company, Icon Distribution Inc that he and Oksana will support CCPI’s child cardiac surgery programme in Ukraine from the proceeds from an exclusive St Valentine’s event held in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday night.

Oksana Grigorieva is a classically trained pianist and singer who recently wrote and produced her own album, Beautiful Heartache.

The single Angel, one of the tracks on the album, is dedicated to CCPI and is now available on iTunes and through her own website, Oksana.fm.

“I wrote the song Angel for my son,” says Grigorieva. “The song is about looking to the future with hope. That’s why I wanted to align with a really deserving international organisation, Chernobyl Children’s Project International, a charity that brings hope to children in communities in Ukraine who have been affected by the Chernobyl disaster.”

Today in Ukraine, 6,000 children are born every year with genetic heart defects. More than half of these children will not get the surgery they need and will die.

Proceeds from the Los Angeles event and downloads of Angel will allow Chernobyl Children’s Project International to send volunteer surgery teams to Ukraine and Belarus to operate on children for free and train local physicians.

Founder and chief executive of CCPI Adi Roche yesterday welcomed the involvement of Mr Gibson and his partner in the charity.

“Mel and Oksana have given our charity a wonderful gift of hope. Through their kindness and generosity they have reached out to many more children on critical waiting lists in the Chernobyl regions and given them the life-saving gift of heart surgery. We cannot thank Mel and Oksana enough for their huge support.”

Gibson has ties in Ireland as his late mother’s roots were in Longford. He was presented with the Irish Film & Television Academy honorary award for outstanding contribution to world cinema in 2008.


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