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Top Hong Kong Entertainers Help Habitat Raise Nearly US$700,000 In One Evening

Habitat CEO Attends HFH Hong Kong’s First Gala Event

HONG KONG, 7th November 2005: Hong Kong entertainment legends Sally Yip and George Lam were the surprise entertainers at Habitat for Humanity Hong Kongi’s first-ever gala fund raising ball.

The couple’s songs were the highlights of the Piaget-HFH Hong Kong “Dreams and Reality” ball that netted at least HK$5.3 million net (some US$680,000) towards Habitat programs in Asia-Pacific.

The figures could be revised upwards after final receipts are added up.

Yeh and Lam: a glamorous evening raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for Habitat

A tsunami recovery: CEO Reckford at the handover of the Coca Cola donation for Sri Lanka

A Sparkling donation: Piaget hands over a glittering cheque

Title sponsor: Piaget models at the Habitat fund raiser

Vision: CEO Reckford at the ball. With him is Darwin Chan, head of the HFH Hong Kong board

Chief Executive Jonathan Reckford was guest of honor for the evening and thanked the organizers for bringing Habitat’s vision to Hong Kong.

Stars, celebrities and members of Hong Kong’s super-chic elite were among the more than 340 guests supporting the evening at Hong Kong’s new five-star Four Seasons’ hotel which features stunning harbor-views.

Luxury jeweler Piaget was the title sponsor for the evening and donated HK$1,180,000 (some US$125,000).

During the evening, representatives from main sponsor Coca Cola handed over a cheque for HK$1 million (some US$125,000) to support Habitat’s tsunami reconstruction program in Sri Lanka.

Several long-standing Habitat corporate sponsors participated in the evening with donations and by sponsoring tables. Citigroup donated just over HK$500,000 (US$65,000) for Habitat’s tsunami work in Thailand. Insurer PMI handed over a cheque for HK$280,000 (some US$35,000). Dow Chemical, which is supporting Habitat programs in China through Hong Kong, donated HK$500,000 (some US$64,000).

The evening included a silent auction, spot prizes and an auction for a new BMW 740 car.

In addition, top models turned the ballroom into a catwalk to show off Piaget ladies’ and men’s jewelry and watches.

The headline performers were Sally Yeh and George Lam. Taiwan-born, Canadian-raised Yeh is an award winning Asian movie actress and singer who was associated with the rise of Cantopop in the 1980s and 1990s. Her husband, Lam, is known as a composer, a producer, and as a Hong Kong pop star.

The couple joined a host of other singers and a live band on stage. Open Asian amateur Latin America dance champions Melvin Dela Serna and Vanglyn Cenina were two of several Latin American dancers to perform during the night.

The guest celebrities for the gala were fashion entrepreneur, designer and former ballet dancer Flora Zhang Tian Ai and Asia-American actor Russell Wong.

The glamour of the occasion was not lost on the Habitat visitors. “It’s the first time I remember dressing up in a tuxedo for a Habitat event,” said executive vice president Mike Carscaddon of Habitat for Humanity International. The effort proved a good investment given the money raised.

HFH Hong Kong was only formally established last summer. Because of Hong Kong’s extensive public housing system, Hong Kong was expected to focus on mobilizing resources and volunteers.

Now, however, HFH Hong Kong plans to launch a building program within Hong Kong. Next year will see a “Home Safety and Improvement Program” with volunteers renovating homes for elderly people living on their own.

Hong Kong International School has been a major supporter since even before HFH Hong Kong was formed. The school’s Habitat student chapter has been involved in advocacy, fund raising and sending volunteer teams to build round Asia. Last year, a school team became the first international team to visit and build in China.