website is dedicated to
the memory of Lani Moon.
May she inspire the courage,
creativity and wisdom
our world needs to
transform into a safer,
joy-filled and harmonious
world for all.
||Meet Tony Black. The trauma this child endured for
the first five years of his life is more than any human being should ever have to bear.
Thanks to his loving parents, Warren and Mimi Black, who rescued him from a terrible fate,
Tony has a promising future. The Lani Moon Compassionate Causes Fund is dedicated to
fostering protection for all children. The Blacks are a heroic family
should be an inspiration to us all. Tony Blacks
story and FAMILY PHOTO just sent in by the Blacks now in our Child Safety section.
NEW - Seasons Greetings
from the Black Family
A "Super Bright" Memorial for Lani Moon
the auspices of
ABOUT THE FUND
Once in a blue moon,
a person comes along with an inborn capacity to transform their world into a place of
beauty, peace and joy. Such rare people are lauded by religions, heralded by poets and
sage writers, regarded as celebrities or given medals for their heroic contributions. They
teach us things that we overlook, help us imagine, brighten a moment of our lives,
influence our thinking and inspire us to dream and struggle for the sake of our children
and future generations. Lani was one such divine manifestation.
Embarking on a
professional recording and stage career at age 18, Lani Hendrie-Kraft chose Lani Moon for
her stage name. The name signified her romantic view of life. She believed that like the
guiding light of the moon in the dark of night, through
her music and personal charisma she could help illuminate the lives of others with the
life-affirming messages she carried in her heart: be ever-thankful for the time you have
with your loved ones, seek meaning in everything you do and everyone you meet, be
inspiring, practice compassion, valiantly fight to overcome obstacles you face, prize the
joyful moments of your life, stay true to your purpose, work to turn ideals into reality
and express your admiration of anyone who aspires to do so. This young woman possessed the
talent to be a great performer, the heart of a selfless spirit and the mind of a wise sage
beautiful, inspiring and brave. She had an unforgettable impact on nearly everyone
she ever met no matter how briefly. She had a message for all who cared to
listen...and she practiced what she preached. She abhorred the abuse of children. She
never wasted a moment. She guided people to reach their dreams. She encouraged everyone to
strive beyond their limitations. She challenged individuals to be real. She loved
aspiration no matter how it was expressed and manifested her aspiration through her
enlightened music and profound wisdom. She held within her a faith of cosmic and
a.k.a. Lani Moon
Her untimely death at the age of 23 on 12.22.98 after a year-long battle with a massive
infection in her heart is at once a tragedy and a turning point. She would have given this
world more than one can imagine and the personal touch with which she would have done so
will remain forever irreplaceable. Nevertheless, in her short time in this mortal place
she showed that transforming ourselves and the world we live in is the most daunting yet
most worthwhile of tasks. Her family and friends pledge to continue her extraordinary
resolve on her behalf through The Lani Moon Compassionate Causes Fund under the auspices
of the EverLife Foundation. Lanis three wishes to protect children from
abuse, to further the development of healing music, to contribute to an enlightened
understanding of human existence will be the mission of this effort.
The Board of Directors and Review
Committees of The Lani Moon Compassionate Causes Fund (CCF) invites applicants to submit
proposals for consideration in:
Safety projects dedicated to the protection of children from abuse.
Music efforts that foster awareness, development and use of music for healing
Understanding research grants, scholarships, educational programs, academic
studies and communication technologies that further understanding and enhance our
abilities for enlightened communications.
Awards made by the Lani Moon CCF:
Born Into A Cage: The Emancipation of Tony Black
Mimi and Warren Black and their adopted son Tony came to our attention through a story
featured on ABC-TVs 20/20 program (Feb. 12, 1999). Tonys birth parents had
kept him in a cage from infancy to the age of five. The Blacks rescued him, gave him love
and a nurturing home. The Lani Moon CCF proudly has awarded them a year-long monthly
income supplement to help defer the costs of his care and education. More information.
The Healing Power
The Lani Moon CCF provides funding for the development of a public television documentary
called Healing Power of Music. The project is due to be completed for
broadcast in the year 2000 on WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts and other PBS channels. More information.
For more information:
The Lani Moon CCF
811 Adair Place
Del Rey Oaks, CA 93940
or send us an e-mail: click here for the Lani Moon CCF at Everlife Foundation
For more information about Fund
goals please check our Mission Statement.
DECEMBER 22, 1999:
THE BRIGHTEST MOON IN 133 YEARS
On Wednesday, December 22, 1999, friends and family
of this Fund commemorate the life of our beloved inspiration, Lani Moon. It is both
mystical and appropriate that her first annual memorial falls on a day that has very
special celestial significance.
The last winter solstice, commonly called the first day of winter, of the second
millennium falls on December 22, 1999. Most importantly, this years winter solstice
occurs in conjunction with the full moon. A full moon appears during a lunar perigee
(point in the moon's orbit that is closest to Earth). However, because the moon's orbit is
constantly deforming, the December 22, 1999 perigee places the moon closer to the Earth
than at any other time of the year. This makes the full moon appear to be about 14% larger
than normal. Moreover, as the Earth is several million miles closer to the sun at this
time of the year than it is in summer, the sunlight striking the moon is about 7%
stronger. The combination of these conjunctions means that the light of the moon shines
significantly brighter on this date than it has in a very long time.
And so it is that on the one year memorial for Lani Moon the full moon will appear
super bright. So much brighter than usual, in fact, that a similar celestial event has not
been seen for 133 years!
If the weather is clear and there is a snow cover where you live, even car headlights
promise to be superfluous. It will be some 100 or so years from now before your
descendants will have the opportunity to witness anything like this event. Although by
that time so many wonders of the universe will be understood, it is less likely that the
people of such a future will be able to explain the unique spiritual mystery that is
characteristic of "a defining moment" especially one wherein time, the
heavens, and the essence of one human being coincide so appropriately.
Gift of the Tide
(Newport, R.I. 1997)
The lifetime of a person who dies
at the young age of 23 is much too short to be measured by a list of accomplishments or
accolades. Nevertheless, Lani (Heavenly in Hawaiian) managed to contribute
more than one would expect in her brief sojourn through mortal life. One might ask,
legitimately, by what standard is her memory worthy of special remembrance? Did she amass
riches, attain fame, lead others, invent or discover something significant? Why does she
rate having a Fund in her name? The answer is simple. To Lani everyone was worthy.
Lani was born among the skyscrapers, museums and pizza parlors of Manhattan on May 19,
1975. The busy energy and creative aspirations that surrounded her from early childhood
became her own. Growing up in a city that never sleeps, she started life running. Lani was
accepted into The Joffrey Company Ballet School at the age of six. Encouraged by her
grandmother, Florence, a former dancer with the famed Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, every
single day Lani practiced the skills of dance. Even at this formative stage, it was
already obvious. She inherently possessed a dynamic and focused intensity, which in
synergy with her photographic mind enabled her to instantly duplicate and gracefully
interpret any string of steps her world-class teachers demanded. Lani exuded something
intangible yet palpable, something unique yet familiar dignity, style, charisma.
Her face blossomed upon her neck like a flower sitting perfectly on a long stalk. She held
her wrist in the air as though it rested softly on a cloud. By the age of ten, as three
New York-based international troupes vied for her services, she joined the New York
Metropolitan Opera Company for their Christmas Special performed at Lincoln Center.
Lanis future was bright for all to see, but hidden even from her parents a dark
shadow had been lurking in her heart. On the verge of a major career, Lani abruptly
expressed her desire to leave the city and live the life of a normal kid. Her
parents obliged and moved out of the city to suburban New Jersey. Once removed from the
only environment she had known as a child, Lani revealed a terrible secret that had
hounded her since she was six. The little ballerina had been abused by a family caregiver.
Only twelve, Lani embarked on a
mission of reconstructing her inner self. This was a daunting task. The natural well of
emotion all children own from birth had run dry the consequence of an untimely and
unnatural assault on her precious innocence. She now had to dig a new one to replace it.
Rising to the Challenge
Choosing to live with her father in River Vale, New Jersey, she consumed his love,
guidance, encouragement and faith in her with the fervent desire that one lost in a desert
has for the taste of water. Slowly, she restored herself facing each day as a
challenge worth waking up for. Each moment became another step in her striving toward the
bright future she envisioned before her. She vowed never to be a victim or even a
survivor. She saw herself only as a winner. For the rest of her life she would be guided
by this vow: each moment is like a precious seed...I will seize my dreams, nurture all
that is truly important, spare no effort to create new opportunities for my life to
blossom and by example encourage others to do the same.
Lani spent her high school years
at Pascack Valley High School where her desire for a normal life took the form
of daily after-school activities. As she performed splits high in the air the
schools Dance Team won local and regional competitions and surged to a third place
finish at the 1991 National Cheerleading Finals broadcast on ESPN. Fresh off that victory,
Lani decided that the time had come to face the big city again. Now 17, she felt ready to
challenge the inner voices that had told her to retreat.
Shooting for the Moon
Lani returned to Manhattan determined to pursue her lifelong goal: to become a
professional performer. Soon, Lani was hired as a featured dancer by some of NYCs
most popular clubs (Limelight, Palladium, ClubUSA, The Tunnel) and appeared in MTVs
pilot Weekend Rave Special. In the midst of New Yorks fashion-frenzied night life,
her elegant demeanor, creative attire and exotic beauty earned her the respect of
celebrities and fans alike. Possessing a remarkable eye for fashion, Lani started her own
small line of streetwear / clubwear clothing. While it had a limited run, it sold in
NYCs Macys and in stores in Europe.
All the while, Lani worked on
developing her vocal techniques under the tutelage of top notch teachers. She had
envisioned herself as a pop singer, but knew that to be noticed in that competitive realm
she would have to offer something new and exciting. She set out to create a unique stage
and recording presence built out of her influences. Musically, her range spanned 40s
and 50s jazz vocals, 60s and 70s soul to 80s and 90s dance
rhythms. For her image, she adopted the stage name Lani Moon and dressed the part by
deploying a contemporary vintage look (ranging from elegantly alluring
1940s attire to bright patterns of Emilio Pucci ). Producers James Dawson and Seth
David Walter guided Lani Moons debut vocal venture a 3-song CD titled
What It Takes.
Her CD had come to the attention of electronic musician and composer Craig Russo of Santa
Cruz, California, when he was asked to remix one of its cuts and turn it into a
contemporary dance number. Lani was so impressed with his evocative rearrangement that she
decided to go west and collaborate with him on a new album. When they met face to face for
the first time, they both knew it immediately. No doubt. They were meant for each other.
This was love at once impulsive and predestined. Lani moved across the country in
February of 1997. Soon they were engaged to be married.
Craig Russos CD
Lani took to California like a bird takes to the air. She raised her musical creativity to
a new level of excellence. In collaboration Craig and Lani began to hammer out a new
musical style a hybrid of her heartfelt vocal style and his cosmic dance rhythms.
She cultivated meaningful new friendships. She flexed her sense of wit. She planned a June
wedding. She was on the road to bliss.
Sadly, one year after her arrival in Santa Cruz...Lani learned that she had a physical
problem with her heart. Doctors told her that she had a damaged valve and would need an
operation to replace it. Four years earlier Lani had been hospitalized for a week at New
York University Hospital for symptoms of unknown origin. Although during that stay she had
experienced fevers as high as 105 degrees F. and inordinately high white blood cell
counts, the cause of the problem remained undetermined. Now, doctors found that her heart
muscles were badly scarred suggesting that she had several minor heart attacks/spasms in
her younger years. These episodes should have disabled a grown adult male, they said.
The situation turned critical in
April of 1998, when Lani was diagnosed with a massive infection (endocartitis) of her
damaged aorta valve. From that moment on, she fought valiantly for her life a
battle on a scale that mere words cannot express. For some time the insidious infection
had grown stealthily in a hidden spot, until it reached the biological pulse bundles that
keeps the heart beating. Lani had been admitted to Dominican Hospital for monitoring, when
in the middle of the night her heart rate suddenly plunged. Staying by her side and taking
quick action, her fiancee Craig saved her life when he alerted medical staff to the
emergency. They found that her hearts beating mechanism had arrested. Lani was
evacuated immediately by helicopter to Stanford University Hospital (Palo Alto, CA) for
surgery. By morning, one of the worlds foremost heart surgeons, Dr. Stephen Reitz,
had saved her life. She had received a new valve and a pacemaker to keep her heart
beating. Two days later, at 5 a.m. Lani had to endure
yet another unexpected assault on her life. For no apparent reason, her temporary post-op
pacemaker suddenly failed. Responding to the Code Blue alarm triggered by her monitor,
doctors and nurses acted with dispatch to save her again. First, they had to pound on her
chest to get the heart to respond the impact of that effort fractured her
just-operated broken rib cage. Then, in her recovery bed, a surgeon had to cut her open
and connect a permanent pacemaker line into her heart.
Although she left the hospital within a week, Lani still had a battle before her. In
addition to concerns about the viability of the valve and pacemaker and the damage to her
chest bones, the acid-like bacteria that caused the infection was still a danger to her.
Surgeons had attempted to clean it out during the operation, but they could not get to it
all. In spite of all attempts, the insidious pathogen could not be identified.
The mysterious cause required that
for several months she receive massive daily doses of antibiotics through a catheter
inserted into her arm. Unfortunately, Lani began to exhibit allergic reactions to the
anti-bacterial drug cocktail she received. Her body began to swell and turn red from head
to toe, her breathing became increasingly difficult. Once again her life had to be saved,
when she went into antiphelactic shock. After six months of dangerous drug therapy, the
mysterious bacterias stubborn hold on Lanis heart finally dissipated.
Unfortunately, it left its calling card behind. It had damaged the valve Dr. Reitz had
installed in April. It burned a tiny hole in it and now blood was leaking into the heart
cavity. Lani would need another operation sooner than doctors would have liked
given that she had not had the time to heal completely as yet.
In December of 1998 Lani underwent
the valve replacement operation for a second time. The operation was a success. That
evening Lani sat up in her Intensive Care bed to declare to her nurses that she will be
getting married to Craig in June of 1999. Tragically, another unforeseen complication
occurred hours later. Overcome by nausea, Lani began to cough violently. Her fragile body
could not withstand the trauma. A heart-lung machine tube tore through her heart and
doctors rushed to her side to stop the bleeding. The damage was severe and it took too
long to stabilize her. She lapsed into a coma. In the days that followed, friends and
family hoped for a miraculous recovery. Throughout the world members of every major
religion who had heard about her by word of mouth or through the internet had offered
their prayers. Nevertheless, the damage to her was too severe.
Lani Moon had to fight for her life throughout her all-too-short existence. She never once
indulged in self-pity. Feeling sorry for yourself, she said, turns you
into a zombie. She refused to be drawn into blaming others for any trouble she had
to deal with. No matter who did what to you, she said, in focusing on
them you lose yourself. She epitomized aspiration. I always ask myself,
she said, what do I need to accomplish next. She always had a sense that her
time was limited. What counts is not how long you live, she said, but
what you do with the time you have. Lani believed that no matter how talented or
smart one individual may be, the greatest accomplishments are those that people accomplish
together. Merely three weeks (01.13.99 ) after her passing, at the 11th Annual Digital
Be-In in San Francisco, Craig performed an original musical composition with voice-over
lyrics by Lani Moon. Her essence wrapped itself around the music. The love and courage
coming from her heart was palatable. Her poetic verses pierced the air over the dancing
crowd culminating with the words: Together, we can overcome anything.
Lani possessed profound spiritual
awareness. Born and raised a Buddhist, she embraced the notion that her life was a
precious gift received at birth. When she looked out at the starry sky touching the
Pacific Ocean, she saw eternity. When she met a new person, she looked for signs of
awakening in their heart. Through The Lani Moon CCF those who loved her and had
faith in her, vow to honor Lanis love and faith in them. This Fund commemorates her
dignity, celebrates her spirit, and embodies her eternal presence.
Lani spoke of the things she would
like to accomplish in her life and it is from her own words that we derive the Funds
mission. Lanis three wishes reflect her ardent desire to transform the world into a
better place. They form the philanthropic vows of The Lani Moon CCF, as follows:
We vow to protect children from physical, sexual, emotional and mental abuse, to support
adults who provide nurturing environments for children in need, and to aid the rescue of
children from neglect, mistreatment and exposure to demeaning and violent behavior. We
believe in working to create an ideal world wherein every adult feels a deep
responsibility for the safety of all children. We believe this goal to be the first step
in accomplishing peace throughout the world.
We vow to use music in healing illnesses and dysfunctions, to educate the public to the
healing benefits of music, to help start healing music programs in healthcare facilities,
and to promote the development of new musical forms that contribute to healthier mental,
emotional and physical functions. We believe in working to create an ideal world wherein
music is recognized and employed for its curative powers.
We vow to identify common grounds for mutual understanding among individuals and
institutions, to probe new ways of thinking and discerning that expand understanding and
appreciation of our universal human experiences, and to help develop research and
education venues that promote profound understanding across cultural and national
To: Mimi and Warren Black
For: Care of Tony Black
In the arena of child safety, Mimi
and Warren Black are heroes. The Lani Moon CCF is proud to grant a year-long monthly
income supplement to help in the care and education of their adopted son Tony. We hope
that their story inspires others to become selfless volunteers dedicated to the safety and
well-being of all children everywhere.
Their story first appeared on
ABC-TVs 20/20 program.
Born Into A Cage: The Emancipation of Tony Black
Tonys birth parents had kept him in a cage from infancy to stop him from
getting into things. Confined to a small enclosed area for an average of 22 hours a
day, five-year-old Tony was still in diapers, drinking from a bottle and unable to
formulate words. A social services teacher discovered his plight and persuaded authorities
to remove the child from that home and place him in a school for learning-disabled
children. Tony showed remarkable progress and aptitude and under the tutelage of a kind
and loving school teacher, Mimi Black, quickly began to speak and play in an age
appropriate manner. She showered him with all he had been deprived of nourishing
love, guidance, knowledge and the attention he required. He thrived. Within a couple of
months school officials observed that he did not belong in their facility. He would have
to be sent to a foster home and attend regular public school. At that point Mimi and her
husband Warren decided to adopt Tony. The Lani Moon CCF salutes their heroic rescue and
selflessness. Therefore, the Fund has granted the Blacks a year-long monthly income
supplement to help them with his care and education.
This Fund will follow Tonys
progress. Tune in here for regular updates.
A Caged Boy
was aired on
Friday, Feb. 12, 1999.
video cassettes are
March 15, 1999
From Mimi and Warren Black
To The Lani Moon CCF
We wanted to let you
know how Tony was doing. Tony is in second grade. He is learning to read and do
arithmetic. We are very excited about his progress. Actually I just came from a
parent/teacher conference and Tony has shown a lot of growth. He is still slightly behind
but every day he is catching up. He is extraordinarily intelligent. He has been taking
swimming lessons. He is an excellent swimmer. He can do the back crawl, front crawl, and
the breaststroke. He is even swimming in the deep end. He just loves the water. I just
signed him up for a group music lesson on percussion. He loves to move so I thought rhythm
would be a great place to start. He is just now starting to have school friends come over
(this is a first for us). This is very exciting and Tony just loves it. It has been hard
for him to make friends but he is learning how. I guess it all takes time.
Warren and Tony
are also just getting started on building a very large playhouse in the backyard. Tony
loves to build things so this will be a great experience for him. We have all of the plans
drawn out and have just purchased the wood. We are very excited about this very big long
project. I think it will be done just in time for summer.
The Lani Moon
Compassionate Causes Fund sounds like a wonderful organization. Lani Moon must have been a
truly wonderful person and I am glad that she can be remembered in such a positive way.
Our family is honored that Lanis family and friends have chosen us to receive this
gift. It really means a lot to us. Tony will benefit a great deal from your contribution.
We will keep in touch with you and let you know how Tony is doing. We are also sending a
family picture your way.
Photo of Mimi, Tony and Warren Black.
the Lani Moon CCF...We appreciate your continued support. It has meant quite a lot to our
family. Here is a (recent) picture of our family." Mimi Black (5/12/99)
December 21, 1999
Seasons Greetings from the Black Family
Holiday Card from the Black Family
(featuring close-up of Anthony, 3rd grade, 1999)
"Thank you for all of your support. Anthony is turning nine in
a few days. He is very excited about his birthday. We appreciate everything that the
foundation has done for us. Take Care. Have a wonderful holiday."
Love, Mimi, Warren and Anthony
To: Kevin Ball and KLB Enterprises/WGBH-TV, Boston
For: Development of film documentary
The Lani Moon CCF has awarded
developmental funding for the creation of a public television documentary on the
Healing Power of Music. This is to be the first venture for The Lani Moon CCF
in this category. Our purpose is to raise awareness of the healing properties of music. In
addition, the Fund hopes to be able to explore the use of healing music in a
variety of medical applications.
The Healing Power of Music
Producer/director/writer Kevin Ball has conceived of an idea whose time has come. The
story he will tell will begin in Africa with tribal cultures and their use of music in
healing rituals. He will trace the sounds to contemporary America and examine the growing
use of music for wellness. The video will follow Music Therapists and examine the use of
music therapy in modern contexts.
The program is scheduled to be
completed for airing in spring of the year 2000 on WGBH-TV. It will be offered to PBS
affiliates throughout the U.S., as well as for screening by educational and community
March 19, 1999
Proposal for funding support
Power of Music will be a 60-minute documentary consisting of interviews, graphics and live
music mixed with previously recorded as well as originally scored music
explanations illustrating the physiological affects of hearing music adds to the
viewers understanding. Music Therapist Dr. Dale Taylor will speak about the ways in
which music directly helps our brains communicate with our bodies, leading to the healing
The Healing Power of Music has the potential for development into a series to
highlight (a variety of) world cultures and traditions and examples of musical
Stay tuned to this site for
progress reports from the producers.
Definitions [American Heritage
1. Situated at, extending to, or coming from a great depth; deep.
2. Coming as if from the depths of ones being.
3. Thoroughgoing; far-reaching.
4. Penetrating beyond what is superficial or obvious.
5. Unqualified; absolute.
1. The quality or condition of one who understands; comprehension.
2. The faculty by which one understands; intelligence.
3. Individual or specified judgment or outlook; opinion.
4. (a) A compact implicit between two or more people or groups.
(b) The matter implicit in such a compact.
5. A reconciliation of differences; a state of agreement.
6. A disposition to appreciate or share the feelings and thoughts of others; sympathy.
The Lani Moon Compassionate Causes
Fund supports the pursuit of profound understanding for the sake of establishing a more
peaceful and fulfilling world in the 2K millennium. The goal of the Fund is to foster
improved human communications among individuals, institutions, businesses, communities,
cultures, governments and religions. Awards are planned for research and education
projects in a variety of fields, including: archeology, anthropology, genetics,
psychology, microbiology, medicine, astronomy, physics, mathematics and technology.
Special consideration will be given to new fields of study, research and communication.
BOARD & COMMITTEES
The Lani Moon Compassionate Causes
Fund is a charitable entity operated independently under the auspices of the EverLife
Foundation. Funds raised by The Lani Moon CCF are used exclusively for awards to qualified
recipients who meet its goals and are approved by its Board of Directors. EverLife
Foundation research, education and publishing projects are funded separately. The EverLife
Foundation contributes its operational and administrative support to The Lani Moon CCF.
The Funds Board of Directors is supported by Advisory and Review Committees in each
of the wish categories.
The Lani Moon CCF reports to
public contributors through this website and a semi-annual newsletter. The Fund endeavors
that awards made in Lanis name comply with contributor sentiments. Contributors are
asked to specify how they prefer their contributions be used: choose one or more wishes,
split equally among the three wishes, or default to the judgment of the Board.
Mail all inquiries to:
The Lani Moon CCF
811 Adair Place
Del Rey Oaks, CA 93940
or send us an e-mail: click here for the Lani Moon CCF at Everlife Foundation
The Lani Moon Compassionate Causes
Fund is an independent philanthropic charity that operates under the auspices of the EverLife Foundation. Contributions to The Lani Moon
CCF are by family and friends and are used only for funding goals stated on this page.
Research, education and publishing efforts of the EverLife Foundation are operated and
funded separately by its own staff.
© 1998 -
Foundation. All worldwide and U.S. rights reserved.