On January 13, 2018, celebrities, musicians, philanthropists joined stars of stage and screen at the Savoy Hotel, London for a celebration of traditional Old Russian New Year for the benefit of Gift of Life, joining their fight to provide life-saving and life-changing care for children across Russia living with childhood cancer. Over £400 000 had been raised during the charity evening.
The seventh Gala was a success
This annual Gala, now in its seventh year, has become a much-loved traditional celebration with an opportunity to show some of the world’s most vulnerable children that they are not forgotten. The guest list included longstanding friends of the foundation and new guests: Chulpan Khamatova, Ralph Fiennes, Natalia Osipova, Sergey Polunin, Princess Catherine Galitzine, Katie Melua, Erik Bulatov, Vladimir Spivakov, Hibla Gerzmava, Igor Vernik.
Vladimir Spivakov and Hibla Gerzmava
On behalf of the children who rely on Gift of Life’s for hope for the future, acclaimed Russian Actress and Gift of Life Co-Founder Chulpan Khamatova, together with actor Igor Vernik thanked the guests for their continued support:
“This miracle is possible thanks only to you, people who are not indifferent,” said Khamatova.
“We never know who our former patients will be,” added Khamatova, words that were beautifully illustrated by the performance of the young talent – violinist Viliam Khailo, who is fighting cancer with Gift of Life’s help. Viliam is attending Central Music School at Moscow Conservatory and he has come to London to perform together with Vladimir Spivakov in order to say “thank you” to all people supporting the Foundation.
Spectacular programme of the night
Highlights of the evening included performances by a leading Russian conductor and violinist Vladimir Spivakov, and world-famous soprano Hibla Gerzmava. The evening’s atmosphere was perfectly complemented by the sparkling jazz of St Petersburg based musicians, Billy’s Band, and no Old New Year would be complete without champagne and caviar, generously provided by our friends at Carbon, Formula 1’s Official Champagne, and Kaspeskian.
Igor Vernik, Chulpan Khamatova and former beneficiary of Podari Zhizn Nikita Merkulov
Igor Vernik conducted a charity auction, inspiring bidding wars between the guests for the unique experience provided by donors. The most desirable lots were An evening of ballet with Natalia Osipova, London Premiere of the “White Crow” with Ralph Fiennes and Chulpan Khamatova, A day in Paris with Natalia Vodianova, tickets to the premiere of “Nureyev” at the Bolshoi theatre, An Award-Winning 5* Villa Retreat in the Maldives from One & Only Resorts, A year’s membership at The Lanesborough Club & Spa, Real work experience at BBC, Reuters, Celebro Media.
Towards the end of the evening, three lucky lottery winners awaited their unique gifts: limited edition lithographs entitled “FORWARD” personally signed by legendary Russian artist Erik Bulatov. This piece of art became the leitmotif of the evening: “Forward, to the complete victory over childhood cancer”.