Saigon Summer Ball 2020, Vietnam’s first charity gala dinner to offer a full digital experience to enable social distancing precautions, was a great success, raising more than US$140,000 to continue Saigon Children’s Charity’s much needed work in removing barriers to education for children across Vietnam.
This 12th Saigon Summer Ball by Saigon Children’s Charity (saigonchildren) took place on 12th September. Although the event was established more than a decade ago, this year the charity innovated substantially, moving fundraising online to maximise social distancing and the safety of all guests. Regular guests of the ball hosted intimate private parties at their homes or restaurants around the city with food prepared by many of the city’s top chefs delivered to each location.
All of the 200 guests as well as saigonchildren’s supporters around the world were connected through a live stream show and online auctions and raffle. The event featured performance of “Nam canh hoa” by singer Thao Trang, integrated into the live stream.
Saigon Summer Ball was attended by distinguished guests, including Their Excellencies Ian Gibbons, the outgoing British Consul General; Vincent Floreani, the French Consul General; Julianne Cowley, the Australian Consul General; Emily Hamblin, the new British Consul General as well as executives from multinational companies in Vietnam.
Speaking at the Ball, Mr. Alain Cany – Chairman Emeritus of Saigonchildren – said: “School dropout rates are increasing and every child who leaves school to earn money is a life that has lost its potential. We need to feed them for now, and support their education for the future.”
Mr. David Appleton, Chairman of Saigon Children’s Charity, said: This year I have spent time in the Mekong delta, and the conditions there are the worst I have ever seen in the last 20 years. After drought, saltwater ingress in the soil, and now COVID, these families really are struggling. We need to provide support for these children to get them through these current difficulties.”
Home-delivered five-star meal for guest who chose to enjoy at home
Each delivery is completed with a boxed cocktail, created exclusively for SSB2020 by an alumni bartender of saigonchildren
Despite a great deal of uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the Saigon Summer Ball this year was still a fundraising success. It raised US$140,000, with a record high in silent auction revenue of $US47,000. “I am extremely impressed with how innovative this year’s event was, and how the team had to think outside of the box to make it happen. Seeing how the team at saigonchildren tried their best to beat the odds really inspired an even greater spirit of giving in every one of us,” said a major supporter of saigonchildren.
The Saigon Summer Ball has long been a premier philanthropic event in Ho Chi Minh city and is the most important fundraising event of Saigon Children’s Charity. Taking place annually, the event always provides an evening of unrivalled dining experience, along with the opportunity to raise money for an excellent cause; to improve the lives of underprivileged children, helping them to reach their full potential. This year, proceeds from this event will focus on supporting disadvantaged children and their families in overcoming the immediate economic challenges of COVID-19, so that these children will not have to stop their education this school year.
The enjoyable and prestigious charitable night featured fine dining by some of Ho Chi Minh City’s renowned chefs: Jim Cawood from LuBu, Peter Cuong Franklin from Anan, Heath Gordon from Park Hyatt Saigon, Julien Perraudin from Quince, Sakal Phoeung from P’ti Saigon, and Frederic Thevenet from Jardin des Sens.