Romanian Ovidiu Rom Association’s Halloween Charity Ball Raised EUR350,000

The Halloween Charity Ball, held Saturday night at the Palace of Parliament in Romania’s capital Bucharest, raised around EUR350,000, according to initial estimates, the Ovidiu Rom Association said in a press release.

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Romanian Ovidiu Rom Association’s Halloween Charity Ball Raised EUR350,000

Thanks to the Chamber of Deputies' International Conference Center, Athenee Palace Hilton and Stage Expert, who provided their services free of charge, around 90% of the funds raised will go directly towards Ovidiu Rom programs destined for children in need, and only 10% towards the event's organizational expenses.

This year, the Halloween Charity Ball organized by the Ovidiu Rom Association aimed to raise money for the "Every Child in School" program. Donations could be made by filling in several types of coupon, with prizes awarded by lottery.

Guests could choose the "Adopt a school" coupon, worth EUR10,000, which covered the costs of recruiting and preparing 50 children for school, training teachers and outfitting a modern classroom; or the EUR5,000 donation, which would go to a summer school, preparing 50 children from disadvantaged homes for first grade; a EUR1,000 donation to outfit a classroom and train a teacher to work with children from a poor community; and donations of EUR50 each to buy school supplies and clothes for one child.

The Christian Dior shoes donated by Madonna were won following a EUR10,000 donation by Andreea Mihai, marketing director of Carrefour Romania; Vanessa Redgrave's golden necklace went to Steven Van Groningen, president of Raiffeisen Bank Romania, who donated EUR5,000; and the Jimmy Choo purse offered by Andreea Esca, was sold for EUR1,000 to Olive Meister, member of the Board of Directors of Romanian TV station ProTV.

Out of the guests who chose to outfit one or more children for school, Claudia Pendred, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development manager for Romania, won a bag belonging to actor Ethan Hawke and three of his books.

Companies E.ON and Prospectiuni each "adopted" a school through EUR10,000 donations, while Petrom donated EUR10,000 for two summer schools.

By filling in a coupon worth 50 lei (EUR1=RON4.31) guests could win a dance with Ethan Hawke. The winner was Friedrich Niemann, general manager of the Hilton Hotel, who ceded the dance to a lady fan of the actor.

Other guests of the ball included Tova Ben Nun-Cherbis, president of the "Ronald S. Lauder" Romania Foundation, newsreader Andreea Esca, singer Loredana Groza, violinist Alexandru Tomescu and film directors Cristian Mungiu and Nae Caranfil. The event's guest of honor was United States Ambassador Mark Gitenstein.

The Halloween Charity Ball, a fundraiser in its fifth year, has provided support for the programs of the Ovidiu Rom Association since 2005, thanks to the involvement of over 60 companies and hundreds of volunteers.

The money raised during the event has helped over 500 poor children to register for and stay in school and assisted 300 impoverished families. Also, 400 teachers have been trained in modern educational techniques, with Ovidiu Rom programs running in over 40 schools in underprivileged communities.

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