Traditional Ball returns to Hotel de Paris for anniversary celebration
This past Saturday, December 12, 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of the glamorous Christmas Ball in Monte-Carlo, this year returning to its original home at the Hotel de Paris in the Casino Square beautifully decorated as a multicolour illuminated enchanting pine forest. As it has become the tradition the Ball marked the beginning of the winter season festivities in the Principality. This time around the theme evolved around New York, the city that never sleeps! The majestic decor in the Salle Empire evoked Christmas in the Big Apple with scents of snow covered fresh pine trees, beautifully decorated tables, a delicious holiday menu and the elegant guests sharing the magic of the Holiday season!
This marvellous Ball was organized by Sandrine Garbagnati Knoell of Five Stars Events, under the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, with Audemars Piguet, operated by Arije, as the main sponsor for the second year in a row, and who also generously donated a watch for the charity auction, plus the support of Monika Bacardi, ArtSGK 55 and Amorinos.
Sandrine counts with the valuable help of good friends who are members of the Ball’s International Action Committee. Present this year were Inna Maier and Celina Lafuente de Lavotha who collaborate very closely with Sandrine and are also part of the Ball’s Executive Committee, Ekatarina Butorina, Elisa Giusti, Monika Bacardi, Roberta Gilardi-Sestito and Elizabeth Wessel who designed the cover of the invitation.
Andrea T Mendoza, resident DJ Billionaire kept the guests dancing all night long, while Blues singer Lee Broz delighted everybody with his songs accompanied by a saxophonist, adding to the allure of this jubilant event. But that was not all as there was also a Broadway Christmas show to entertain the guests in the Big Apple fashion of street dancers.
A commitment to helping those in need
With the firm belief that luxury and glamour go hand in hand with social responsibility, the Christmas Ball has raised almost Euro 420,000 since its inception, benefiting the following charity associations: AMADE, Mission Enfance, Monaco Aid et Presence, Outward Bound, and this year Les Enfants de Frankie, as well as the Maternity Ward, the Pediatric Service and the Cardiology Service at the Hospital Princess Grace of Monaco.
The live charity auction, consisting of ten interesting donated items, was conducted by Pierre Mothes of Sotheby’s and Thomas Molina, as well as a raffle with attractive lots from generous reputable donors presented by no other than Victoria Silvsted. It is the season of giving, and Euro 55,000 were raised for the association Les Enfants de Frankie, presided by Francien Giraudi, which main mission is helping less fortunate young people discover their full potential by participating in professionally organised outdoor activities.
Les Enfants de Frankie (Frankie’s Children) was created back in 1997, with the goal of entertaining and supporting disadvantaged children in the area. They work in collaboration with Social Services, Hospitals, Homes and more than 200 Humanitarian Associations. Frankie is the revered association’s clown mascot with whom everything began. He is a friendly and generous clown who transforms suffering into happiness. Frankie is a mime, who listens attentively to the world around him with compassionate ears, and offers support and brings joy to the children he adores.
The association has helped more than 100,000 children, and despite the ups and downs of the economic cycle, takes good care and carries out new projects each year. This perseverance and innovative ideas come from its President, which makes it a point to adapt to the ever-growing needs of children while mobilizing the population in a fun way. Every year they carry out more than twenty individual projects for the most needy, such as the purchase of a wheelchairs for example, organizing many monthly outing to entertain the children, showing them that there is another world beyond the white walls of a hospital or the gray buildings of a precarious neighborhood. Their famous annual event Noël de Frankie (Frankie’s Christmas), organized since 1998 under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert, welcomes each year thousands of children to enjoy the magic of Christmas. An event that is made possible thanks to the funds raised at the association’s annual Charity Gala.
And 2015 was ultra special because Frankie the clown celebrated its 18th birthday at a party with the children he so much cares for, with a magic show, games, and a huge and delicious birthday cake. These children had been anxiously awaiting this special event for the whole year, a unique opportunity for them to spend a beautiful afternoon laughing and dancing with Frankie, their favorite clown, to celebrate the work it has done throughout his young life!
Les Enfants de Frankie counts each year on its loyal members, as well as its generous donors. The volunteers are always present for the welcoming and the supervision of children during the multiple activities and very valuable support during the large events. Without them, the realization of these projects could not be possible.
“I love everything about the holidays: the decorations, the parties, and spending time with friends and family. What I love most is that feeling of giving back. Every bit counts.” – Brad Goreski