With the leaves slowly turning golden, the long lazy summer days shortening and the new school year about to start, it is finally time for the European JustWorld team to relax after a busy but exciting month of August.
For the second consecutive year, a week of fun activities and events took place dedicated to JustWorld. These aimed to not only raise awareness and funds for children’s causes, but also to bring together JustWorld supporters, Ambassadors and friends, to celebrate all of the wonderful achievements at JustWorld projects around the world since last year.
Third Annual JustWorld European Gala
The highlight of the week was of course the third annual European JustWorld Gala on Tuesday, August 8, and for this edition, the Gala changed locations to somewhere very special. This year, JustWorld had the opportunity to warmly welcome its guests at the ‘Haras de la Poterie’, the stunning breeding stud of Geneviève Mégret and her family, set in the peaceful Deauville countryside.
The setting was beautifully decorated in spirit with this year’s invitation, mixing hues of dark blue, pink and white to create a magical atmosphere for more than two-hundred and fifty guests united for a cause. The opening act of the evening was a magnificent demonstration by Pierre Fleury and his famous highland ponies. The presenter, Yannick Bichon, succeeded in creating a wonderful ambiance, motivating guests to take part in the fun and out-bid each other on an incredible selection of silent auction items.
Long-term JustWorld supporter Denyse Baillet gave a moving speech, emphasizing the stark realities these kids face every day, and how vital each and every one of our individual contributions can be. JustWorld Ambassador and Gala Chair Marina Hands had the pleasure of inviting one of the latest Ambassador recruits, Astier Nicolas, who was Gold Medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and Pierre-Henry Ngoumou, France’s most talented polo star, on stage with her. There they explained their motivation for joining JustWorld, and the importance they attached in providing these kids with opportunities we often take for granted, which can change the course of their entire lives.
The live auction kicked off with fervor as guests anticipated the sale of the first items: the helmets of Kevin Staut and Penelope Leprevost, the show coat of Astier Nicolas, and the saddle of Philippe Rozier, all worn and used by the athletes in their respective disciplines during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Philippe Rozier kicked up the atmosphere another notch when he leapt on stage and announced that on top of the saddle, he would add a master class and the chance for a one-on-one with Rahotep de Toscane, the horse that helped him conquer that gold team medal. Amongst the other array of spectacular auction items, of special note, was an exclusive Hermes saddle donated by Alexander Zetterman, long-time JustWorld Ambassador.
As the night lingered on, guests cheerfully mingled and the success of the evening was celebrated over a toast; thanks to the live and silent auctions, more than 50,000 euros was raised for the children in need around the world.
Our kick-off event of the week was the very first edition of the Longines Deauville Classic August 4-6. This exciting new event, with its classy yet relaxed beachy atmosphere, graciously hosted JustWorld throughout the weekend. The public was invited to participate in a drawing, the definite highlight prize of which was of course a course walk with JustWorld Ambassador Philippe Rozier!
On Sunday, the classic Longines ‘Clear the Jump’ initiative was organized during the Grand Prix. Thanks to the generosity of JustWorld partner and renown Swiss watchmaker Longines, more than 5,000 meals will be served to the children at the JustWorld partner projects.
The second event of the week was a speedy visit to the beautiful race track of the Hippodrome Deauville Touques on the day of the Gala for a special charity race.
No time for a sleep! Following the Gala, a wonderfully sunny and sporty day was ahead for JustWorld! First up, a lovely afternoon spent at the Deauville International Polo Club for an afternoon dedicated to JustWorld. The JustWorld match was opened by Maria Newman, who was also handed out prizes to the winners. Thanks to the generosity of the Polo Club, all of the entry fees were donated to JustWorld!
Those who were in need of some relaxation that evening joined us at the ‘Tigre Yoga Club’ at the Hôtel Barrière Le Normandy for a wonderful session thanks to the amazingly talented Babeeta, leaving us in the most relaxed and happy state following a day well spent!
A total of more than 50,000 euros was raised during this successful week to directly support the JustWorld partner projects in Cambodia, Honduras and Guatemala. This vital support allows us to bring education, nutrition, and health services to more than 6,500 children.