Following an invitation from Ms Pat Farmer, Founding President of the “Allegro Foundation... a Champion for Children with Disabilities”, the Ambassador of Monaco to the United States, Ms Gilles Noghès together with Mr Lorenzo Ravano, Counsellor at the Embassy, visited Charlotte in North Carolina from 21st to 24th January 2010.
This official visit provided the opportunity to turn the spotlight on the Principality of Monaco at the Gala evening organised on 23rd January by the association which takes care of 500 physically and mentally disabled children.
The charity evening, the theme of which was “A night in Monte Carlo” brought together 300 participants around the main sponsor, Mr Felix Sabates, an important entrepreneur, philanthropist and sports enthusiast. This self-made man originally from Cuba, has built up an empire, including the construction of luxury yachts (a branch of which is in the Principality and takes part in the Monaco Yacht Show) and the car industry (cf. appendix). The many key figures that attended the event from the worlds of politics and finance as well as the automotive sector, commended the commitment of the Prince’s Family and the Principality in the humanitarian sector and thanked the Embassy for its support in aid of this association, which has already been invited to the White House on several occasions.
Guests included a Member of the House of Representatives from North Carolina, Ms Sue Myrick, the Lieutenant Governor from South Carolina, Mr André Bauer, the Secretary of North Carolina Department of Revenue (Representing the Governor of North Carolina), Mr Kenneth R. Lay, who read a letter from the Governor (cf. appendix) as well as the racing driver Juan Pablo Montoya who won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2003.
Sponsored by Mr Sabates, the Wells Fargo Bank, Mr Alvaro di Molina, former Chief Financial Officer of the Bank of America, and Mr Christopher Smith (cf. appendix), an extremely important portfolio manager in the real estate industry (who held a reception in his residence the day before for a hundred or so guests), this annual evening was under the patronage of the Ambassador of Monaco to the United States and was decorated in the colours of the Principality.
During the auction sale organised in aid of Allegro, the main prize that was offered by the Société des Bains de Mer (two nights for two people at the Hotel de Paris as well as a “3 marine treatment discovery package” for two at the Monte Carlo Spa) and by the Tourist Office and Convention Authority (return trip from Nice airport to Monaco by helicopter for two) was sold for 55,000 dollars.
The day prior to the Gala, the Monegasque Delegation visited the Beverly Woods Elementary School in which programmes for the integration of disabled children into the school system have been set up, as well as the children's hospital in Charlotte in which the Allegro Foundation organises weekly lessons to allow the most underprivileged children to make headway.
Moreover, the Ambassador invited twenty or so personalities to a luncheon which was attended by the Chief of Protocol for Charlotte County and North Carolina, Ms Catherine Hansen, and the main sponsors.
The whole visit received significant press coverage (the Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Living, Ballantyne Magazine, Fox News).
Mr Felix Sabates (on the right) and the racing driver Juan Pablo Montoya (in the centre)
welcomed the Monegasque Delegation.
Photo Credit: Bill Webster
For further information, contact the Department of External Relations on:
Tel : +377 98 98 89 04 - Fax: +377 98 98 85 54