A Big Fat Cheque
When you raise almost 3 millions CHF in one evening, it means you’ve touched the heart of people. Of course the gathering of famous athletes and well known people from politics, finance and show business is always a way to get attention, and the media too. But the main thing about last night’s event, the Laureus Charity Night, that took place near Zurich, was… emotions. The Laureus Foundation has been helping youth in Switzerland for more than 10 years, so the people who joined last night, put their money there, danced and celebrated life and sport, really did it with a purpose.
The evening started with my favorite part: the wall. I always stay on the media side so I can check the arrival of every single guest, but also can jump in for a picture. How many pictures have I already asked to Fabian Cancellara? Well, I asked one more. And did I already mention that I have a soft spot for Kilts and Scottish men? That’s why I was delighted when David Coulthard arrived. And how about meeting Martina Hingis and Katarina Witt during the red carpet? After I photographed almost everybody, it was time for dinner, the auction and the show.
A Boxing Ring
Seven hundred people had dinner on big elegant tables all around a boxing ring that formed the stage. The most famous Swiss presenter, Rainer Maria Salzgeber, dressed up as a boxeur and moderated the evening with the help of his daughter Cloé, working with him for the first time. They alternated short interviews to sport champions with live music (with my beloved Baschi, who sang with the Laureus kids, and the energising band Pegasus) and auctions. I had to tell Geri never to raise her hand or her carton boxing glove, because bidders were very generous, so every move would have costed a fortune! A beautiful Portuguese cronograph Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (ref. IW394004) was sold for 200’000 CHF and bought by someone sitting near me – I almost had a heart attack, when I saw the the presenter pointing in my direction!
David Coulthard offered a drive with him to be auctioned, and got so much into the role of making people warm to raise money, that he even stripped and took his kilt off. I was again way too emotional, expecting to discover what Scottish men really wear underneath (I’ve been married to one and never found out). To my disappointment, David wore a second kilt under the first.
Food, Music and People I Like
Finally we simply had a lovely dinner, more music, and the opportunity to exchange some words with the champions or with other guests. Swiss crowds are polite, well behaved, but always ready for these initiatives. Sport is a strong lesson for life, gives often incredible emotions, and makes this country very proud. Good work is always encouraged and supported also by standard citizens, who then open their wallet and help for what they can afford. Personally I want to thank David Garcia of Fundamenta Group for inviting Geri and I.
A big warm thank you also to Gloria and Rolf Theiler, who work tirelessly for Laureus, always with grace, humor and passion.
(Photos by David Biedert – the good ones; and myself – the bad ones!)
The Foundation is currently working with 60’000 children and adolescents, and 10’000 young people. The work is based on offering different sport activities and events in order to help those who have disadvantages.
In what was are the children and adolescents disadvantaged?
- Difficult social and/or economic family circumstances
- Physical, psychological or mental disabilities
- Abuse or other trauma
What exactly is the power of sport?
- Sport instils self-confidence, a sense of individual responsibility and social competence
- Sport helps young people to stay healthy, both physically andpsychologically
- The primary focus is on exercise, personal development and integration
- Social-pedagogical support instils a feeling of self-esteem and a sense of community