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Out and About

International Women’s Club – Embassies Dinner and Ball
Marina Lukanina

On February 11th the International Women’s Club (IWC) of Moscow held its major annual event, the IWC Embassies Dinner and Ball. All the proceeds go to various charitable projects, such as helping orphans, elderly people, homeless people, children and families who find themselves in a challenging situation.

The history of the Ball began 15 years ago. The first ball was hosted by the Norweigian Embassy in February 1997. Since then it has been held in various other venues in Moscow.

This year ten Embassies (European Union, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, Peru, Turkey) kindly agreed to offer their hospitality and host dinners at their residences prior to the Ball. PASSPORT visited the dinner hosted by the European Union Commission in Russia and was able to speak with the Ambassador about the event.

“It is the second time that we are hosting this dinner,” says Fernando M Valenzuela, “and we enjoy it very much. We have a good group of people coming. It is nice to spend a pleasant evening in convivial company and at the same time realize that you are doing something useful. It is not often that you have such an opportunity. All the participants contributed to the funding of various IWC charity projects”. His wife added that she felt it was important “to give back and to do something good for others”. She mentioned she also got involved with several projects related to helping orphans cope when they are old enough to leave the orphanages.

The words of the EU couple were echoed by Julietta Servantes, the spouse of the Mexican Ambassador who was the former President of IWC for couple of years. “It is great that as an international community we are able to do something good for humanity and bring the positive change to many disadvantage people”.

There was a welcome reception prior to dinner where guests were offered wine and champagne and were able to get to know each other in an informal setting. Then there was a jazz concert by two young musicians. Finally, the EU Ambassador invited everyone to an exquisite meal in the beautifully decorated dining-room.

Later the same evening, guests began to gather at the Radisson Royal Ukraine hotel for the Ball. The car park was full of cars so you could tell the turn out was quite impressive. The hospitable hosts greeted the guests at the entrance and welcomed them to join the evening with plenty of fun, entertainment and also opportunities to contribute to a good cause. The ball was full of beautifully dressed men and women, so it almost resembled a fashion show.

The current President of the IWC, HE Martha Toledo-Ocampo Urena, Ambassador of Peru, and Honorary Ball Chair, made an opening speech and welcomed everyone to this event. She also thanked all the embassies who participated in the dinner hosting initiative.

The Master of Ceremonies was a famous Russian TV host, Dmitry Dibrov. He introduced Yury Rozum from the Yury Rozum Foundation for Talented Musicians and all the guests enjoyed breathtaking singing by one of his scholarship recipients, Konstantin Sklyarov.

The atmosphere of the evening was very warm and dynamic. Each guest participated in the lottery draw. There was an impressive silent auction going on throughout the evening with lots of work of art (such as painting, handmade craft, etc).

A lovely Latin American music group, Amigos del Corazon, played wonderful Latin rhythms that pushed people to show off their dancing skills. Behind the glitter of the evening one could easily picture happy faces of those who benefit from this luxurious event.

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