Aug 10 2007

BG Charity Event – Part #4

Category: Eating Out,Friends,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 7:36 pm

Right, I think I now have all the text deciphered 🙂 This is the last of the posts on the charity event organized by BG (British Gas) Kazakhstan to raise funds for the Kazakh Paralympic team and their trip to the Paralympics next year at Beijing, China.
Throughout the evening, there were draws for the raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses. The worst was a 20% discount card from a jeweller. If I ever discover the name of the company that ‘donated’ some guaranteed business for themselves, I will gladly post it here, possibly with the anchor text ‘Tight Fisted Profit Obsessed Dratsab’ 🙁 Any way, the rest of the prizes were very good, and from the ones I remembered to tap into my phone as we went along, we have a couple of mobile phones, quite a few massages (I am assuming they were of the reputable variety 😉 ), dance lessons, a couple of weekends at a hotel, a few restaurant cards (pre-paid with about $150 on them I think), body spa vouchers, quite a few pre-paid SIM cards with credit pre-applied to them, some month passes for a local gym, a return ticket to Almaty (for one person). In between the raffle sessions, we had a belly dancer. We did not win anything, but unlike the lottery or fruit machines, it was good to know our cash was going to a very worth cause.
Then came the main event (in terms of fund raising) – the auction. This was basically the realm of either foreigners on foreign wages, or Kazakhs who were lucky enough to have a job that paid Western wages. The bidders were very generous, paying more than the item was worth in each case. There was another weekend stay in a luxury hotel here in Astana, and also another return flight to Almaty. The hotel stay was won for 75,000 Tenge (around $575), and then immediately returned to be bid on again (basically a large charitable donation from the first winner), where it then raised a further 55,000 Tenge (around $420). We then had the deputy chairman of the Kazakh Paralympic Committee give a small speech, during which an outrageously rude American group at a table behind us talked loudly all through. If it hadn’t been a corporate event that involved people Irina knew from work, I’d have gladly quietly told the ignorant rude idiots to shut the hell up or take their inconsequential conversation outside. Anyway, the return flight to Almaty sold for 100,500 Tenge (around $775), I think this was also put back in the pot to be re-sold and raise more money for the charity, though I appear to have forgotten to record the second amount. Apologies. Nope, scratch that, I entered the details at the end of my notes. The second time round the ticket sold for 60,000 Tenge (~$460). The ticket was then put back into the auction AGAIN, and resold for a 3rd time, for 51,000 Tenge ($390). So the two auctions items managed to raise around $2600 just by themselves! Altogether, with entrance tickets, donations & raffle tickets also included, the evening raised around 800,000 Tenge ($6200). I will certainly be keeping an eye out on TV for any coverage the Kazakh Paralympic team get next year in Shanghai 🙂

Oh, and just for any hard core cynics out there, this is not a sponsored post, I just see this as being a worthy cause to promote.

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