- 11 Nov 2011 11:00 AM
Click here to see a photo gallery of the event
Much appreciation and credit goes to the InterContinental Budapest, sponsor of the superb venue and delicious menu. Guests included expats of many nationalities; including several ambassadors; senior diplomats; leading business figures; and a variety of socialites.
Also many distinguished locals joined-in; such as Hungarian ministry officials; and Countess Éva Csáky Bornemisza, Founder of event beneficiary the Smiling Hospital Foundation.
The annual event is now a well established social networking extravaganza, this year featuring a special FireMagic show; live jazz, plus a wide selection of quality Hungarian beer; wine; palinka, and British whisky.
HM Ambassador Greg Dorey lit the virtual bonfire and made an entertaining opening speech about Guy Fawkes*. He also made mention of the event organiser at the start and end of his address, here's what he said in conclusion,
“Which brings me back to XpatLoop.com, under Stephen Linfitt, who provide regular news and services for expatriates in Hungary. Expatriates are an important part of the life of a country. It’s a good sign for the country in question when expatriates want to go and live there. Often they are among the most entrepreneurial and investment-minded inhabitants of the place.
They are among the most generous givers to good causes. They organise great events, such as tonight’s. And they bring vibrancy and diversity to cities which aspire to be international in character. So tonight let’s also recognise the role of expatriates in our society and thank XpatLoop for drawing attention to them and celebrating their activities.”
Hotel General Manager Mathieu van Alphen welcomed guests and highlighted the chosen good cause, before starting a firework show and inviting guests to enjoy the bonfire-night style food. His speech about the charity was well received, as he touched the hearts of all those present.
Plenty of fun activities kept guests entertained, including a bonfire log cutting game with prizes from the InterContinental Budapest Hotel. Nokia also staged an interactive game with an impressive prize of the new Nokia N9 handset.
A silent-auction featured many great gifts, including items from Telenor, Catherine Dickens, and Sony Hungary. The business card draw resulted in many delighted winners, prize givers included: CinemaCity, Citroën Őrmező, ExpatShop, FirstMed Centers, Fox Autorent, Paris Budapest Restaurant, Porcelan.hu.
Dr. Albert Royaards, President of the Board of Trustees at the Smiling Hospital Foundation said, "XpatLoop.com as event-organizer and Intercontinental Hotel as host were two fantastic benefactors. But without the presence of over 200 guests, the great result for the Smiling Hospital Foundation would not have been possible.
With proceeds of HUF 1.1 million we can guarantee many more smiles on the faces of many more children in hospitals in Hungary. A loud “Bravo” to our two main benefactors and all the wonderful Xpat guests and event supporters."
Guest feedback was good, with event organiser Stephen Linfitt saying in summary, "Thanks to everyone involved it was a ‘feel good’ XpatLoop.com event for charity, one to positively remember, remember".
* Traditional Verse: "Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason, Why Gunpowder Treason, Should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent, To blow up King and Parliament. Three-score barrels of powder below, To prove old England's overthrow; By God's providence he was catch'd, With a dark lantern and burning match."