Breckenridge business raises money for Tibetan refugees
summit daily news
Call it a mountain connection, but a fair amount of aid flows from the citizens of Summit County to the people of Tibet. Just last week, the Tibetan Ocean Massage Center in Breckenridge hosted a photo exhibition on Tibet featuring the work of Timothy Faust. A silent auction was also held to benefit the Tibetan Children’s Village, a school in Dharamsala, India, that educates Tibetan refugee children.
Julie Friedman, who owns the Tibetan Ocean Massage Center and Sol Impressions with her husband, Wang Kho, said their mission has always been to help the Tibetan people. They recently opened up an extra space they had, and decided to fill it with Faust’s work and hold an opening and silent auction. They made $300, which will go to the Tibetan Children’s Village. Kho has two relatives currently attending the school, whose parents still reside in Tibet.
Kho is a refugee who grew up in eastern Tibet. He hasn’t been back since June 2008.
Kho said the school is important because it is preserving the Tibetan culture, which is being eroded by the Chinese. He said the Tibetan education is one of “happiness, love, kindness and mindfulness.”
“It’s very important for Tibetan culture to survive in this dark time,” he said. “The Chinese are killing the culture.”
Kho said the children attending the school were all sent by themselves.
“These kids have no parents there,” he said.
Kho said he donates – even small things like T-shirts – whenever he can.
Faust said any amount is useful for the school.
“The budget for these schools is really low, it would be laughable in the United States to see how much they spend,” he said. “A few hundred dollars will put a kid through school for a year.”
Faust is an award-winning photographer and regular contributor to Outside Magazine. His work has also been in National Geographic Adventure, Trail Runner and Freeskier. He owns Altitude Gallery in Breckenridge.
Faust visited Tibet in May 2009. He said he has always wanted to go, but finally felt compelled to visit because of Chinese influence on Tibetan culture.
“I really wanted to go there while it was still Tibetan,” he said.
Faust said he spent a lot of time visiting villages and various monasteries, including one on Mount Everest.
“You’re somewhat limited where the Chinese will let you go in Tibet,” he said.
Faust said one of his favorite pictures was one he took of Potala Palace – the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan palace – with the moon setting over it.
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