Invited to a Christmas Jungle for a good cause
The legendary Salle Belle Époque of the splendid Hermitage Hotel in Monte-Carlo, was transformed into a glamorous holiday jungle, for the 12th edition of the highly anticipated Christmas Ball, this past Saturday, December 16, 2017, under the lead sponsorship of Audemars Piguet, Le Brassus. Organized by Sandrine Knoell-Garbagnati of 5 Stars Events, under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco, this enchanting Ball marks the beginning of the winter season festivities in the Principality with the elegant guests adding to the allure and spirit of giving of the holiday season.
Sandrine and her committee decided to go for a very different decor this time around, with tall palms covered with Christmas decorations and butterflies as table center pieces, and colorful parrots adorning the magnificent room, all in keeping the elegance of the magnificent surroundings. The traditional Santa Claus came for a visit as he does every year.
German designer Philipp Plein, Lady Monika Bacardi, the Vice-President of AS Monaco Vadim Vasilyev, Prince Charles de Bourbon and his wife Princess Camilla de Bourbon, were among the distinguished guests.
Supporting our Princess in saving lives
Over € 50,000 were raised from proceeds from the prestigious live auction conducted by Sotheby’s and a raffle. The attractive items presented this year had been kindly offered by generous reputable donors, with the funds raised benefiting the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, whose objective is to help children around the world to become responsible adults, through teaching the values of sport and solidarity. Since its inception this famous Ball has collected almost € 550,000 for different charity associations in the Principality, proving that glamour and social responsibility go hand in hand.
The mission of the Princess’ Foundation is to promote the benefits of sporting activities, teach children and adults the value of basic swimming expertise, water safety, first-aid and drowning prevention skills, and foster national and international amateur sports competitions. The Foundation is equally involved in communicating the values of sports, respect for oneself and others, determination and teamwork, with the firm belief that sport is a tool that contributes to the wellbeing and development of children. Their goal is that water awareness education becomes a life skill in all schools.
Unfortunately, Princess Charlene could not be present to address the guests about her Foundation as she did the previous year, so it was Agnes Falco, General Secretary of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, who brought a message from the Princess and presented the main milestones reached by the Foundation in its 5 years of existence, saving lives by preventing death from drowning. Since 2012 the Foundation has developed 149 projects in 33 countries, creating awareness for more than 410,000 people, mainly children, benefited from the Foundation’s programs. Agnes Falco ended her brief presentation by thanking everybody present for their generosity. (In the photo insert above: Agnes Falco, General Secretary of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation@ Laurent Ciavaldini BdN2017)
Congolese singer Mohombi ignited the dance floor
Monte-Carlo was decorated with glittering Christmas trees in each corner, while inside the Salle Belle Époque the majestic decor evoked a luxurious Jungle with palms decorated for Christmas that catapulted the elegant guests to a far away land adding to the magic of the Holiday season.
A group of dancers dressed in the Jungle theme sang and danced for the guests. Famous Swedish-Congolese singer, songwriter and dancer Mohombi surprised everybody when he took to the stage performing his most celebrated songs, with the elegant ladies and handsome men in tuxedos joining him at the dance floor all at once! The Christmas Ball is always full of surprises! Famed DJ Andrea T Mendoza, Resident of Billionaire kept the fun loving guests dancing all night long!
Reputable sponsors & first class International Committee
The legendary luxury Swiss watches manufacturer Audemars Piguet, Le Brassus, founded in 1875, was again the prestigious lead sponsor, who also graciously donated a fabulous Royal Oak Offshore Chronographe watch for the live auction.
Lady Monika Bacardi, Sabrina Monte-Carlo, Barclays and Hello Monaco and Margy’s were among the generous partners, plus the participation of ArtSGK, Narmino Sorasio, Bertani, and celebrated Tunisian fashion designer Ali Karoui, who dressed Sandrine Knoell-Garbagnati.
Sandrine Knoell-Garbagnati counts with the valuable collaboration of very good friends who are longtime members of the Ball’s International Action Committee. Present at the Ball this year were Inna Maier and yours truly Celina Lafuente de Lavotha who collaborate very closely with Sandrine and are also part of the Ball’s Executive Committee; Lady Monika Bacardi; H.R.H. Princess Camilla de Bourbon; Ekaterina Butorina; and fashion designer and artist Elizabeth Wessel who created the invitation’s design again this year.
In the photo above: From left to Right: Monika del Campo Bacardi, Ekaterina Butorina, Celina Lafuente de Lavotha, Inna Mayer, Sandrine Knoell-Garbagnati, SAR Princesse Camilla de Bourbon, Elizabeth Wessel @ Laurent Ciavaldini)
“My foundation is based on helping children, and I hand-pick projects that are close to my heart and home.” Princess Charlene of Monaco