Dennis Diokno, the managing director of FirstMed and the event’s main sponsor for many years, told the organisers: “You pulled off another fantastic evening for both sponsors and guests. This event easily topped the last two. I’m especially happy with the amount raised for charity. I hope we can raise even more next year.”
Anne Zwack, the guest of honour who “set light” to the virtual bonfire as part of the “5th of November Fireworks Night”’ theme, added: “What a stunning result. It makes me feel warm inside, also to see so many people having so much fun.”
Emese Danks of UNICEF, Andreas Vogler of All Nationals Lions Club Budapest and Éva Patzauer of Csodalámpa Foundation all spoke on behalf of their charities.
They were introduced by master of ceremonies Gábor Herendi.
Corinthia Hotel Budapest manager Szabolcs Szabo spoke about his expat experiences, and Stephen Linfitt, the founder of XpatLoop.com and organiser of the event, thanked guests and sponsors for all their contributions.
Guests included company leaders, film producers, artists, school teachers and directors, and diplomats. Performances were given by Sambahia and Bellyart dance groups, DJ Mahogany, duo Renato Burai and Norbert Aranyosi, and soprano Gyöngy Deák, who sang from the balcony.
The drinks selection included 30-plus fine wines from Frittmann, Hilltop, Katona, Kertesz, Léránt, Pannon Tokaj, Twickel, Wunderlich and Bortársaság.
Hungarian craft beers from Marionett and Élesztő, single malts from Whiskynet, a wide range of premium pálinka from Sándor Zwack’s Nobel range and Clearwater were served, plus tea and coffee provided by the hotel.
The charity auction raised more than ever thanks to star items from Turkish Airlines, Zsófia Cruise Ship, allyoucanmove.hu, Notebookspecialista, Mindfulness Matters Studio, Wunderlich, Gundel Restaurant, Sanjiv Kumar, Zoltán Jancsó, Júlia Odin Végh, Adam Goodman and other supporters.
The international buffet provided guest with tastes from France (by Le Gourmet de Bordeaux), India (by Mr Masala), Mexico (by Iguana), Japan (by Planet Sushi), Italy (by Okay Italia and Trattoria Toscana), Middle East (by Expatshop.hu) and Hungary (by Zsófia Cruise Ship and Clark Picnic). Artisan manufacturer Bonbonier offered award-winning, hand-made chocolates.