The Old Russian New Year brings Gift of Life £450,000 to further help children beat cancer

To mark the 10th anniversary of Gift of Life’s work saving children’s lives, an intimate reception was held in support of the charity on 13th of January in London. The fundraiser, hosted on the eve of The Old Russian New Year in the private residence of Igor and Natasha Tsukanov, philanthropists, art collectors and longtime friends of the Foundation, turned into an unforgettable event and raised over £450.000 to help children in Russian clinics beat cancer.

Natasha Tsukanov, Lyuba Galkina, Katya Galitzine, Katie Melua

Just 50 attendees included major donors and long-term supporters of the charity, such as multi award-winning recording artist Katie Melua and Russia’s legendary rocker Boris Grebenshchikov, celebrity chef Alexei Zimin, Princess Katya Galiztine, writer Boris Akunin, musician Vasya Oblomov, Gift of Life trustees Lyuba Galkina and Vadim Levin, as well as entrepreneurs and philanthropists Len Blavatnik, Vladimir Tsarenkov, Maxim Valetsky, Pavel Teplukhin, Konstantin Sidorov, Eugeny Moldavsky and Mariana Eidelkind, and many others. The event combined physical and online formats with some of the contributors joining by video-call. Actress and Podari Zhizn founder Chulpan Khamatova, Gift of Life’s Patron Nika Belotserkovskaya and Russian rapper Pharaoh addressed the audience via the screen.

Boris Akunin presenting his lot

The guests were treated to a Pommery Champagne reception, unique music performances by Katie Melua and Boris Grebenshchikov. And as a total surprise for the guests, the last song of the show was performed by Katie and Boris as a duet. This unique music track was filmed and immediately made history: it was turned into an NFT and auctioned off in minutes.

Katie Melua and Boris Grebenshchikov performing together for the fist time ever

Lyuba Galkina, Irina Kargina, Vladimir Tsarenkov, Aziza Ramos

Igor Tsukanov with the guests of the evening 

Gift of Life Trustees Vadim Levin and Lyuba Galkina

Also, the guests were able to bid for many more ‘money-can’t-buy’ prizes and luxury lots including: the opportunity to meet and greet Chulpan Khamatova; Alexey Agranovich; Aidan Salakhova; Ilya Lagutenko; an outdoor experience in Suffolk with restaurateur Evgeny Chichvarkin and fine and rare wine tasting with Hedonism Wines; dinner with Nika Belotserkovskaya at her private residence in the South of France, a theatrical premiere at the Gogol Center, as well as a hand-written message by Mikhail Gorbachev, Palazzo Fiuggi getaway with medical and spa treatments, four magical nights at Forte Village, Caribbean paradise at Palm Heights resort and many other unique items. The auction was available online allowing donors from all over the world to take part and support Gift of Life’s programmes helping children beat cancer.

With the joint effort of all the guests, donors, partners and sponsors, more than £450,000 was raised for the purchase of medicines and other medical treatment and support for Gift of Life’s patients.

Chulpan Khamatova joining the party via a video link said:

It makes me really happy to know that thousands of talented, caring people are uniting across the UK to help children in Russia beat cancer: trustees, volunteers, employees, our dear donors, and of course, artists and performers who come up with and host the most amazing fundraising events. Thanks to you all, these 10 years of Gift of Life’s work will be remembered not simply by numbers but by real stories of those children who were able to receive the most effective treatment on time and survive disease. We always feel your support and know we can rely on you – and we always know that if a child in Russia needs a foreign medication or needs a consultation with a foreign doctor, then we have someone to help them – the Gift of Life donors. Thank you for that!”

Gift of Life is hugely grateful for the support of all our partners, sponsors and donors. We’d particularly like to thank Roman Abramovich and Kaspersky Lab for their unfailing support which continued even during the last two challenging years. Gift of Life would also like to express its gratitude to the partners of the charity event at The Tsukanovs: Pommery Champagne, ZIMA Russian Restaurant, Attilus and everyone who kindly donated prizes for the charity auction.

Photo: Evgenia Basyrova, Valentina Korabelnikova 

Video: Toma Evsiukova