ERFO San Francisco Concert Raises $65,000 for orphan children of Bam Iran

The March 12 benefit concert and auction, held at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco was a great success, raising approximately $65,000 for the orphan children left behind in Bam Iran.

Following the devastating earthquake that hit Bam at the end of December 2003, ERFO moved quickly to locate the orphan children, place them in families, and raise funds to support the children. ERFO’s model is unique in that all funds are sent directly to support the children. ERFO sets up a bank account for each child, drawing interest to support the child’s expenses and giving the principal to each child when he or she turns 18. The concert in San Francisco was part of a national series of fundraising events to raise money before the deadline imposed by the US State Department.

The concert was a spirited and magical event, bringing together Iranian and American performers to share music, dance, poetry and good humor with an audience of over 500 supporters.

Each performer brought talent, spirit and energy to make a fantastic evening of culture. Performers included violinist Farid Farjad, pianist Arjang Hedayati, folk singer Mitra Rahbar, pop singer Shahryar, and sopranos Kristen Clayton and Marnie Breckenridge of the San Francisco Opera. Firouzeh Dumas, author of Funny in Farsi, brought good humor and a sincere dedication to the cause in her capacity as Emcee.

Highlights of the event were dance performances by Iranian-American children of Dehkhoda Persian Institute and Shahrzad Dance Academy. Having Iranian children perform reminded us of the cause of the event, to support children in Bam Iran.

The event was organized entirely by volunteers, who gave their time and skills to an incredible team that pulled together the event in very little time. A number of businesses and corporations sponsored the event, including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, SR Travel Services, Chevron Corporation, Atlantis Casino Resort, TicketWeb, San Francisco Opera, NIAC, NIMA Television, British Airways and WildPackets . The key sponsor, Barclays Global Investors, not only provided financial support, but also a dedicated employee team that made all the arrangements for a wildly successful silent auction.

The event was covered in the San Francisco Chronicle, KPFA radio, and ABC news, as well as in local Iranian American television stations in the Bay Area. To learn more about the Earthquake Relief Fund for Orphans, please visit To find out more about the event in San Francisco, please contact