British Chamber Shanghai Centenary Ball Raises over RMB 500,000 for Charity

Published on 2015-05-29

On the evening of Saturday, 23 May, the British Chamber Shanghai hosted its Annual Charity Ball as part of its yearlong centenary anniversary celebrations. Over RMB 500,000 was raised from the night to support the Centenary CSR project “Bright Eyes”,

On the evening of Saturday, 23 May, The British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai (British Chamber Shanghai) hosted its Annual Charity Ball as part of its yearlong centenary anniversary celebrations. Held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Pudong, almost 1,000 Chamber members and friends were transported back to 1915 with the theme of Old Shanghai, marking the year when the British Chamber Shanghai was first established.  VIP guests Dr. Catherine Raines, Director General for UKTI in China; and Matthew Forbes, Acting British Consul-General in Shanghai, gave keynote speeches reflecting on the relentless growth and evolution of the Chamber in the last 100 years, including the exciting future that lies ahead.  

Held in aid of the Chamber’s own charity project “Bright Eyes”, over RMB 500,000 was raised on the night, with an incredible RMB 200,000 being raised in just five minutes during the live auction. The total figure is expected to rise further as more pledges are collected.

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The Shangri-La turned back time as guests arrived in their traditional Chinese Qipaos, gowns, black ties and blazers to be greeted with themed photo points depicting the Paramount nightclub, once home to the largest ballroom in Shanghai; and the famous Nanking Road of Old Shanghai.

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Kicking off the night in style, Andy Summers, lead guitarist from The Police; and renowned Emmy Award winning musician and composer, John Altman, played a medley of jazz music to welcome the guests. Not stopping there, an array of live entertainment carried on throughout the night, including the talented singer of the Downton Abbey soundtrack, Mary-Jess Leverland; performances from the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) Performing Arts Academy; the amazing quick change dance act, Soul Mystique; and Virgin Atlantic’s professional dance troupe, who performed traditional Chinese dance routines to the live music of an Old Shanghai band, PurpleJam.  Testament to the remarkable success of the event, the guests continued to kick off their shoes and dance into the early hours to sounds from the energetic band, Studio 188.  

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As usual, the Chamber’s perennially popular Charity Ball Best Dressed Awards (BDA) were the highlight of the night. Sponsored by Holland & Sherry, this year’s BDA saw plenty of detailed and authentic outfits highlighting the true glamour and opulence of Old Shanghai; as well as the time and effort the guests had put in to ensure they looked the part.  

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Special thanks must go to all the guests who gave generously on the night, helping the Chamber raise over RMB 500,000, through raffle sales, silent and live auctions and other donations, for the Centenary CSR project Bright Eyes. The project is about providing prescription eye glasses to young children with impaired vision in Lixin County, Anhui Province, in order to improve their academic performance and, hence, create a brighter future.  More than 30 companies and individuals have pledged to support and participate in the growth of the Bright Eyes project, seeing a leap from just 13 companies before the event.

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Video and Photos from the night are available now, follow the link here (video, photos) to revive your memory of the Night. Charity Ball photo CDs are now available for sale at RMB 100 per disc with all proceeds going to charity. Please contact Lucy Ye at +86 21 6218 5022 ext. 20 or for purchase. 

Soundbites from the Guests:

Please pass on my congratulations and thanks to the whole team for a fantastic night on Saturday. Everyone on our tables had a great night and thought it was the best Ball ever!” - Ray Chisnall, Country Manager, Gleeds China

What a great night! Well done and many thanks for organizing such a fantastic party! Someone on my table said it was the best event he’d been to in Shanghai – and he goes to a lot!” - Anna Elshafei, Principal, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone.P.L.C.

Wonderful… brilliant… It truly was a Ball! I know all my team, guests and friends had an amazing time. Everything was perfect!” – Chris Grossick, Director-Group Sourcing Asia, Travis Perkins

On behalf of Brits Abroad Shanghai, I would like to say well done for putting on such a wonderful event. You certainly made this a night to remember. A big thank you from us all!” – Jacqui Muir, President of Brits Abroad Shanghai  


The Chamber would like to thank our sponsors for their support. The event would not have been possible without the great support of the sponsors, including:

Centenary Sponsors: Control RisksFaithful+GouldSt. James’s PlaceWeir Group and Yew Chung International School of Shanghai (YCIS)

Silver SponsorsHarrow International School ShanghaiLehmanBrownMichael PageMandarinSpring and O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Beverage Sponsor Diageo. We also would like to extend thanks to all the in-kind sponsors for their contributions the event.