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Mo Farah Foundation ‘A Night of Champions’ Gala Dinner at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel

Grosvenor House
London 2012 hero Mo Farah was joined by other Olympic champions at their first annual fundraising ball on 1st September 2012 for ‘A Night of Champions’ at Grosvenor House.  Among the guests at the star-studded event was the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, and Britain's most successful Olympian with five gold medals at different Olympics, Sir Steve Redgrave. Farah, originally from Somalia, also welcomed Beijing 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu, Seoul hurdling runner-up Colin Jackson and Los Angeles 1500m silver medallist Steve Cram.

The double Olympic gold medallist held the star-studded party to raise money for the Mo Farah Foundation, which he established to help victims of famine in east Africa.  The Mo Farah Foundation gives out family food baskets containing rice, maize, wheat, flour, milk, sugar, beans, oil and other essential items to assist thousands of people in Somalia. The Foundation also gives east Africans clean water, sanitation and medicine.

The Mo Farah Foundation
Mo Farah and his wife Tania set up the Mo Farah Foundation to help save lives and support people affected by the worst drought to hit the Horn of Africa region in over 60 years. Unable to survive, millions of men, women and children are embarking upon journeys of hundreds of miles across desert by foot in search of refugee camps. Many don’t survive and hundreds of thousands of children are predicted to perish in the months ahead.

Through the Mo Farah Foundation, Mo and Tania aim to reach out to Mo’s supporters and work together with partners and local communities to setup programmes in Emergency Response, Water and Sanitation, Health and Medical, Livelihood and Education.

Diana Nell, Mo Farah Foundation, said, “Working with the Event Team at Grosvenor House for our inaugural ball was a complete joy. The team was 100% helpful and went over and above their duties to ensure our evening was successful and ran smoothly. Helen (AV), Maarten (Event Manager) and Lorna (Director of PR) proactively helped to guide us through certain processes which instilled a sense of calm and confidence leading up to the night itself.

“The team listened to all of our needs and as a result The Great Room was decorated stunningly and exactly as we had wished in keeping with our theme. We surpassed all of our expectations with regards to the overall funds raised and I really cannot thank The Grosvenor House Hotel enough and will most certainly be holding our event here next year also.”

Claire Keene, Director of Event Management, Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel comments, “Grosvenor House has been privileged to work with a number of high profile Olympic partners this year and as Director of Event Management at Grosvenor House, I was particularly delighted when The Mo Farah Foundation chose The Great Room for their first ever prestigious fundraising Gala.

“To host this event at the end of such a successful Olympics was a great honour and the atmosphere on the evening was amazing. The Great Room is a marvellous area to showcase such an important cause and host such esteemed guests and we were delighted that such a substantial amount of money was raised for the Foundation on the night. We look forward to welcoming Mo, his family and support team back to the Hotel again soon.”

Maarten Rogmans, Senior Event Manager, Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel said, “Working with Diana and Tania at The Mo Farah Foundation was an absolute pleasure. They had great ideas, a definite vision of what they wanted from their event and what sort of an experience they wanted to deliver for their guests, whilst always heeding advice and guidance on running a Gala event of this scale.

“They also had to deal with the mass media interest in their event being just two weeks following Mo Farah’s emphatic double Olympic gold medal wins, and they handled it with complete composure. We are accustomed to holding some of the country’s most high profile events in The Great Room, so we were able to expertly facilitate the media element of ‘A Night of Champions’ whilst ensuring the focus was on a fantastic guest experience and lots of funds raised for The Foundation.”

Nigel Boschetti, Executive Chef, Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel comments, “It always feels that extra special to create a menu for an event that is raising funds for such a fantastic cause like Mo Farah’s ‘A Night of Champions’ and to add to that, catering for a host of Olympic champions such as Mo and Usain Bolt, legends like Sally Gunnell and Steve Cram and stars of screen and showbiz was a real honour. The menu needed to appeal to such guests and showcase the grandeur of The Great Room.

“We held a menu tasting with the client prior to the event and on careful consultation with Tania and Diana; we opted for a menu that reflected the very best of British produce and dishes that complimented this prestigious event. The Dorset Blue Vinney is a particular favourite cheese of mine with its strong bite, however by using this in a tart with eggs and cream it loses some of its strength to make delicious starter which perfectly matches with beetroot. The chicken is a classic dish and by adding porcini mushrooms and truffles, simplicity is transformed into something truly special.”

Event statistics
Event held in The Great Room at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel
956 guests attended
VIP’s included Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Sir Steve Redgrave, Christine Ohuruogu, Sally Gunnell, Steve Cram, Colin Jackson, Ugo Monye, Barry McGuigan, David Haye, Jamie & Louise Redknapp, Phillip Schofield, Amelia Lily (who performed)
96 tables
350 x bottles of sparkling wine served during reception
70 x service staff for dinner service
25 x wine butlers serving 600 bottles of wine
7500 x pieces of cutlery
3500 x glasses polished 1200 x bread rolls baked

Running Order
18:00 Red Carpet Arrival and Media Interviews
18:30 Champagne Reception
19:15 Guests called to Dinner
19:30 Guests seated and Intro from MC (Ian Royce) & Short speech from Diana Nell Mo Farah Foundation
19:40 Starter
20:10 Main
20:20 Intro of Maisie Mae singing Mo Farah Foundation Song
20:40 Dessert & Coffee
21:15 Live Performance from Dan Gillespie-Sells Intro’d by Mo (Platinum award winning band ‘The Feeling’)
21:45 Intro from MC of Live Auctioneer and Live Auction – Ian Irving *Guest Appearance from Usain Bolt – hi s spiked raised 37,000
22:00 Silent Auction Closes
22:10 Intro from MC of Mo Farah for Thank You’s
22:15 Intro from MC of Amelia Lily closing out the evening before Disco starts
22:30 Set from Sweet P - Disco

Dorset Blue Vinney cheese and leek tart, endive and walnut salad, beetroot and aged vinegar dressing

Main course
Roast breast of corn fed chicken, truffle jus, porcini Dauphinoise, stem broccoli, carrot puree

Vegetarian main course
Aubergine and Provençal vegetable timbale, tomato butter sauce, vine cherry tomatoes, roast potatoes and steam broccoli

Dark chocolate and hazelnut mousse, peanut cookie crumble, raspberry sauce, vanilla ice cream

Coffee and Petits Fours

Sparkilng wine: Griffith Park Chardonnay- Pinot Noir, South East Australia
White wine: Los Romeros Sauvignon Blanc 2010/11
Red wine: Los Romeros Merlot 2010/11

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