Rotaract Interact

30.05.2013 14:18

During The Rotarian Charity Ball 35.000 EUR Was Collected

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The 1st Rotarian Charity Ball in Belarus took place in Minsk in the beginning of April. The aim of the ball was to gather funds for a purchase of medical ventilators for disabled children who suffer from muscle myopathy.

The organizing committee of the ball, made up of volunteers, had been preparing the event for almost a year. Besides the members of the club, representatives of Dom Moskvi, musicians of the Orchestra of Belarusian State Academic Musical Academy, the Historic Dance Studio «Versal», the event-agency «BonBon» and others were the part of the organizing committee. Employees of the catering company and the flower-decorating company and other volunteers took part in the event. We had such a great festival only due to the total selfless enthusiasm and sincere desire to help to ill children.

OOO «Electrosila», «Unistar» radio, «Alfa-Radio», ONT Radio, television programms such as «Beloruskoe Vremechko», «Dobroe utro», magazines «Dolce Vita», «Time City Magazine», «Women Magazine», newspaper «Komsomolskaya Pravda», internet-sources, and others acted as sponsors to the Ball and provided informational support.

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The organizing committee began its work with searching for a suitable ball hall and meticulously examined about 10 buildings in Minsk. As a result it was decided that for such an event the was only one place suitable – it's a spacious hall on the second floor of Dom Moskvi. White columns, a huge crystal chandelier, parquet flooring, a comfortable balcony for an orchestra – the place was second to none in Minsk.

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Fortunately, the administration of Dom Moskvi willingly not only provided us with the hall, but also took an active part in preparations to the Ball.

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As besides funds gathering there was also a purpose to revive ancient noble traditions, we had to pay a lot of attention to the ball decoration. The work started with ball logotype development on a competition basis, than the web-site was created. On the basis of ballroom etiquette of XVIII century a new one was developed, taking into consideration the modern situation. For example, we had to add the whole paragraph about cell-phones usage at a public place.

We were especially worried about dress-code. We'd like to see men in tuxedos and tailcoats and women in evening ball gowns, but members of the organizing committee understood that not everyone, even among successful businessmen, had such clothes. After long discussion it was decided tat dress-code had to be simplified if possible. And ultimately it was the right decision: the guests were quite understanding about the occasion and were dresses accordingly.

The program was thoroughly thought over and checked. It included four 40-minute dancing parts. In breaks there were a lot of entertainments that didn't allow anyone to get bored.

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The Ball started with a solemn waltz: of course, with «Waltz of the Flowers» by Chaikovsky from the ballet «The Nutcracker». The hosts of the Flower Ball Yanina Soborova and Vladimir Bogdan invited the guests in a ballroom and announced the program of the evening.

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The ball manager was introduced to the guests. It was a representative of the Historic Dance Studio «Versal».

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He announced the 1st dance immediately ¬ it was a solemn polonaise.

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Contrary to fears, the guests were not shy and willingly agreed to take places in a ballroom. It appeared that the polonaise wasn't too difficult even for those who did it for the 1st time. Perhaps it was a bit simplified variant of polonaise, but it didn't spoil the solemn moment even a little bit.

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Maybe professional and delicate support of the artists of the Historic Dance Studio «Versal» helped.

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During waltzes you didn't have to specially invite anyone in a ballroom. Some people prepared to the Ball in advance and seriously: special clothes was made and dance lessons were taken. That's the revival of the traditions.

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Symphony Orchestra of Belarusian State Academic Musical Theatre played a huge role in the Ball. Specially for it a musical program was chosen and thoroughly rehearsed.

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The Kapellmeister of the Orchestra Yury Galyas and 25 orchestra people worked for free ¬ it was their contribution to this charity event.

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The 2nd balcony over the ballroom was for VIP-guests of the Flower Ball, who made charity donations.

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The Ambassador of the Republic of Italy in Belarus Mr. Arlando Abetti with his spouse, The Ambassador of Israel in Belarus Mr. Iosif Shagal with his spouse, the First Secretary of the Embassy of Israel in Belarus Mr. Gennadiy Poleschuk with his spouse, the President of the Red Cross Committee in the Republic of Belarus Victor Kolbanov, the President of the Committee of Refugee Affairs Jean Yves Bouchard, representatives of the Ministry of Health in the RB and Belarusian Children Hospice.

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It was a pleasure to see Leonid Chavko among the guests, who as a deputy of the Chairman of the Humanitarian Department of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus, helped to fulfill a lot of big charity projects.

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Having mastered a polonaise the guests tried to dance polka.

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Though, of course, the king of the ball will always be a waltz.

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In a break there were several speeches about noble aims of the Ball. Including the speech of the VIP-guest, Rotarian, Past-Gubernator, Uwe Keiser, who had specially arrived to Belarus to participate at the Ball from his northern Dusseldorf.

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Uwe Keiser announce that he came with gifts: 1,000 EUR from himself and 1,000 EUR from the Rotary Club «Neandertal». The donation, made by Uwe Keiser, was really appreciated. The President of RC «Minsk» presented the guest with a gratitude ¬ in written form and in frame.

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To the 2nd break in a dance program a «musical salon» opened.

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In a separate room guests could drink coffee with sweets and enjoy the music prepared by students of Musical Academy. The host of the program was Michael Kirichenko.

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In a ballroom there was a charity auction during the break, which added money to the common sum of donations. For the auction famous Belarusian artists gave their works for free.

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The dance program starts again, but ladies could get to other traditional activities for secular balls ¬ flirting with men…

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and a bit of gossiping…

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Traditional ballroom etiquette, which bans children from attending balls, in our case was violated but it was for the best.

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And another tradition was preserved ¬ to come to a ball with whole family, as for example, Natasha and Elvira Potkiny.

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Those who was at a ball for the 1st time, prepared especially thoroughly, as for example Lena Shamarova, the President of Minsk Interact.

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Nevertheless, there were a lot of worries for the members of the organizing committee (left from Uwe Keiser is Elena Bondarenko, Michael Gokhman, Sergei Zhdanovich).

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Yulia Grin represented Rotaract Club «Minsk» at the Ball. The Club had received the Charter not long before. And the member of the organizing committee Alla Gorbach made a great work to prepare the Ball.

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During the whole event  in the hall of Dom Moskvi there was a film shooting about the Ball ¬ equipment and stuff for this was provided by the member of RC «Minsk» Sergei Zhdanovich. To give an interview was another entertainment for the guests (Rotarian Igor Borisov with a spouse).

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The Ambassador of Israel in Belarus Mr. Iosif Shagal expressed his vision of the charity.

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The President of Belarusian House of Fashion Yanina Goncharova and the Head of Belarussian Fashion Week Klim Andreev came from Gomel especially for the Ball.

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The guest of the Ball was also one of the most famous artists in Belarus Andrew Smolyakov with a wife Olga.

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National artist of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Tihanovich came for a bit on his way to the station going to a tour. But he could not stay away from the event at all.

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The director of the film was 18-year-old Polina Zhdanovich, a member of the club Rotaract, who headed a serious professional team. It wasn't the 1st professional film by Polina. Not long ago she shot the film about myopathy, about the illness, which we are fighting against with the help of donations from the Ball.

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About 150 guests attended the Ball. With their active participation they supported the idea of the help to children, who suffered from the difficult illness.

Muscle myopathy is an incurable genetic disease in which the muscles are disrupted, including breathing muscles. Such patients have to stay at hospital for the whole life. Medical ventilators, that will be bought using money collected during the Ball, will allow to help little children to go home and lead their lives more fully.

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The organizers were glad to hear that all guests pointed out a pleasant and warm atmosphere at the Ball. The members of the organizing committee suppose that it was possible due to the unity of efforts of those who care for a certain good purpose.

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When leaving guests were presented with recorded music for a ball and a piece of specially ordered cake.

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Due to the sponsors, guests and charity auction we collected 35,000 EUR and it allows us to buy 5 medical ventilators.

The 1st medical ventilator or ordered and paid for for Vlada Lisica (2,5-year-old, Minsk), the 2nd will be bought for Sasha Gradoev (1998, Oshmyany). The 3d one is ordered and paid for for Victor Maklakov (2012, Minsk), one more ¬ for Kirill Kremnis (2006, Vitebsk region), and the 5th ventilator is for Veronika Buhovec (9-year-old, Vitebsk region, Glubokoe).

The lives of these 5 children will change for the best. The Ball ended but there's still work for the organizing committee. On the web-site devoted to the Ball photos about transfer medical ventilators to the children will be placed. Besides it's time to start preparations for the next Ball.

Text: Yury Budko
Photo: Eugeniy Krasnook

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