Under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, the “Bal de Noël” or Christmas Ball took place in Monaco on 3 December, 2016 in the gorgeous Salle Empire at the Hôtel de Paris.
H.S.H. Princess Charlene declared: “It is wonderful to see so many of you here tonight and I am hugely grateful to you all for supporting my foundation.
I am pleased to share that we succeeded in reaching over 100,000 people in 27 countries, teaching children to learn to swim and water safety – simple skills with immeasurable value. Your support means the world to me. Together we are saving lives.”
During the evening which revolved around the theme “Traditional and enchanting Christmas in Monte-Carlo”, €65,000 have been raised in favour of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.
A wonderful Christmas gift for Princess Charlene
The traditional Christmas Ball, Saturday evening at the Hôtel de Paris, was organised this year to benefit the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. The auction and the raffle together have raised 65,000 euros.
In the middle of the crowd gathered in the great hall of the Hôtel de Paris, early Saturday evening, a little girl waited patiently with a lovely bouquet of flowers in her hands. Suddenly, a big smile illuminated her face as Princess Charlene arrived. The wife of the Sovereign gave her a smile, leaned toward her to accept the bouquet and posed with the girl in front of photographers and cameras. “It is an honour for us to welcome Princess Charlene tonight,” said Sandrine Garbagnati-Knoell, organiser of the Christmas Ball, an event she launched in 2005. The idea for an evening that was at the same time fashionable, festive, and charitable came to her at the birth of her son. “The maternity wing at the Princess Grace Hospital was in need of a new coat of paint,” smiled Sandrine Garbagnati-Knoell. “Everything started from there.”
This Strasbourg-born Italian, who has been a Monegasque resident for twenty years and who heads the event company Five Stars Events, decided to create a charity ball just a few steps away from Christmas. The first one raised €12,000 and to repaint the maternity wing of the CHPG. The sums raised in the following years would reach up to €80,000. The Monegasque hospital has benefited several times from the money raised ̶ the maternity, paediatrics and cardiology wings ̶ but, subsequently, so did associations such as “Mission Enfance” or “Les Enfants de Frankie”. Saturday evening, between the auction, raffle and donations, €65,000 was collected for the benefit of the Princess Charlene Foundation. Through their contribution, the 255 guests gathered at the Hôtel de Paris will be helping the Foundation to carry out its activities throughout the world, particularly its programmes of training for swimming and for the prevention of drowning.
After expressing her gratitude, Princess Charlene took her leave. The participants at the Christmas Ball enjoyed themselves until late at night. The evening, hosted by its charming ambassador, Victoria Silvstedt, was very festive and alternated between an auction, refreshments, small concerts ̶ tenor David Carbone and pop soul singer Gabriel Gueye ̶ and a hypnotist show (William Watt). “It was important for me to organise a Christmas Ball to benefit the Princess Charlene Foundation, which will celebrate its fourth anniversary in a few days,” said Sandrine Garbagnati-Knoell. This anniversary will be on 14th December.
In 2015, nearly € 790,000 was spent to carry out its various programmes around the world. It is certain that this 2016 Christmas Ball will have not only charmed and entertained its Monaco guests, but will also help to ensure the continued good works of the Foundation worldwide.