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Fund-raising party held for helping handicapped people in quake areas
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An annual fund-raising party for helping handicapped people was held on Friday, with a specific goal this year to assist crippled children and paraplegic adults from areas devastated by the May 12 earthquake in southwest China.

The annual event, known as the 2008 Charity Carnival, is the fifth of its kind held in the country to mark the upcoming International Day of Disabled Persons, which falls on Dec. 3 every year.

Attending the party were Wang Qishan, vice premier and a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee; Han Qide, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress; and Deng Pufang, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and honorary chairman of the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

All the donations will be used to pay for artificial limbs or rehabilitation treatment for children or adults who lost their limbs or were paralyzed in the deadly earthquake, which killed over 80,000 people and made millions homeless.

The audience watched art performances at the party.

Li Yue, an elementary schoolgirl from Mianzhu, Sichuan, who lost her left leg in the earthquake, performed a pas de deux with artist Lu Meng in the piano accompaniment by Li Yundi. The elementary schoolgirl has cherished a dream to become a dancer.

Another crippled girl from the earthquake attracted the audience's attention. Huang Siyu, an elementary schoolgirl from Yingxiu Town, epicenter of the earthquake, had her first meeting with her father and sister since she was sent to Beijing for medical and psychological treatment. Huang dragged herself from underneath the ruins after cutting off her left leg on her own.

The annual charity events have raised more than 40 million yuan (about 5.84 million U.S. dollars) over the past five years. Since the earthquake, the organizers have donated over 4 million yuan worth of relief goods to the quake areas.

(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2008)

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