On Thursday, October 17th, Give To Colombia (G2C) held a private and exclusive event for 170 guests at the Ritz- Carlton South Beach, in celebration of the organization’s 10-year anniversary of work in the Colombian social sector with. Over the past ten years, G2C has raised funds to support more than 160 projects in Colombia that have had an impact on over 250,000 people in the areas of Education, Health & Nutrition, Economic Development and the Environment. The event was intended to celebrate Give to Colombia’s great accomplishments over the past ten years, to present the organization’s new initiative, Colombia Gives Back, and was also part of G2C’s fundraising efforts.
Summary of the Night
The evening began with a cocktail reception, followed by what was one of the highlights of the night: a private concert starring Andres Cabas, one of Latin America’s most acclaimed contemporary musicians. Cabas entertained the guests with his overwhelmingly talented and spirited performance of such hits as “Mi Bombón”. To close the concert, guests were delighted to see Jorge Villamizar another famous singer best known for leading the band “Bacilos”, climb on stage and the two artists perform a duet of “Bonita”, one of Cabas’ most famous songs. After the concert, guests were invited to visit the exhibit of the project “Colombia Gives Back- Art Vintage Bill Collection”, an assortment of unique vintage bills, each one of which was artistically intervened by some of Colombia’s top celebrities. The art pieces were part of a silent auction that offered the guests the opportunity to bid on some of these fabulous items throughout the night.
Following the concert, guests enjoyed an exquisite three-course dinner, during which a live auction of luxury experiences was led by Christie’s auctioneer Steven Zick who flew from Chicago exclusively for the event. The luxury experiences that were auctioned included designing and customizing a unique Burberry trench coat, driving a McLaren 12C Spider on the road and track for a day at the Palm Beach International Raceaway, and breakfast at Tiffany’s Merick Park boutique with celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffman. Finally, the soiree was sea a closing presentation by a “vallenato” group performing traditional Colombian folk music.
The Colombia Gives Back Project
According to G2C executive director Angela Maria Tafur, the main idea behind Give To Colombia’s new project, “Colombia Gives Back- Art Vintage Bill Collection,” is to demonstrate that any investment made in Colombia has the potential to create an exponential investment return, when enhanced by the great talent of Colombian people. According to Tafur, this idea is evident in the very structure of the organization, which with an annual operational budget of approximately $300,000 dollars is able to leverage 2 to 3 million dollars per year towards high-impact social projects in Colombia. The “Art Vintage Bill Collection” aimed to show what Tafur’s organization has learned after a decade of work in the Colombian social sector: that Colombia is a bastion of optimism, determination and resilience, and therefore a country worth investing in.
The organization initiated the project after receiving antique bills of 100 pesos, provided by the Colombian Central Bank (Banco de la República) and sending them out to top Colombian celebrities in the fields of the arts, music, sports, among others. They were asked to personalize these bills in a way that added value to them. The organization received personalized bills from figures including the likes of Sofia Vergara, the painter David Manzur, the soccer player Radamel Falcao and legendary stars “El Pibe” Valderrama, and Faustino “El Tino” Asprilla, the fashion designers Esteban Cortazar and Silvia Tcherassi, and the former cyclists, Luis Alberto “Lucho” Herrera and Santiago Botero.
The gala was an enormous success thanks to the support of Caracol TV Internacional, Goldman Sachs, Burberry, Everglades Foundation, SabMiller, Shutts & Bowen LLP, The Collection, Diageo, American Airlines, Tiffany & Co, Casa Tua, Christie’s, Solé Farms, and given that most auction items and all luxury experiences were sold. The organization raised over $200,000 including over $50,000 in proceeds from the auctions. As a great illustration of the premise on which the Colombia Gives Back project was founded, David Manzur’s “100 Pesos Hidden in a Colombian Flower” was auctioned for $5,000.