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The Venetian Ball 2014 celebrates the launch of Best Buddies Macao

Internationally acclaimed actor Kevin Spacey performs at The Venetian Macao Saturday night at Sands China’s annual charity ball
The definitive charity event of the year – the Venetian Ball 2014: A Night of Glitz and Glamour, with Tiffany & Co. as Presenting Sponsor – was successfully held Saturday night with over 900 guests, including celebrities, business partners and community initiative supporters at The Venetian® Macao. The Great Gatsby-themed evening marked the launch of Best Buddies Macao Association.

Created by Sands China Ltd. to raise funds for noteworthy causes, the Venetian Ball was back again this year with the goal to raise funds for Best Buddies – which provides opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – in Macao. Saturday’s red carpet event and charity dinner were attended by Edward Tracy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sands China Ltd., Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International, Buddy Ambassador Charles Calhoun, notable socialites and philanthropists.

The evening was highlighted by Academy Award-winning actor and long-time Best Buddies supporter Kevin Spacey performing his internationally acclaimed nightclub act, and also featured spectacular performances by live bands and Hong Kong singer-songwriter Anthony Lun, a silent and a live charity auction, and a fabulous gourmet meal.  

“Social responsibility is one of the core values of Sands China, and we remain active in the local community, whether it’s through volunteer programmes or through donations and sponsorship,” Tracy said. “We created the Venetian Ball as a way for our company to raise both funds and awareness for noteworthy causes. It’s our pleasure to be able to support the work of Best Buddies International this year, and to contribute to the success of Best Buddies Macao Association.”  

“It was a great honour to be able to celebrate the launch of Best Buddies' Macao programmes with Sands China Ltd., developer and operator of The Venetian Macao,” said Shriver. “The Venetian Ball is a spectacular event, and Best Buddies is thrilled to have been a part of it this year. We are extremely grateful for the incredible support and generosity Sands China and its parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp. have shown us over the years – not only in Macao, but also in the United States. Our friends at Sands exemplify the true spirit of corporate social responsibility, and I hope that their remarkable efforts on behalf of Best Buddies will inspire countless others to get behind our mission of inclusion, as well."  

“Best Buddies Macao will help us in our global movement and mission and will continue to grow even stronger and share the gift of friendship with even more people,” said Calhoun, a Best Buddies participant. “Best Buddies is about growing and nurturing friendships, friendships that will last a lifetime... Because with friends, the things one can do are boundless. Something as simple as being a friend can give people just like me opportunities.”  

A handful of one-of-a-kind items were up for auction, including a stunning Tiffany five-bar drop pendant in platinum with round brilliant diamonds, a special Audemars Piguet white gold case watch, the Rolling Stones’ signed Fender electric guitar framed on a custom matboard, Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn” (a set of 10 lithographs), and three replica tennis racquets signed by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in a box frame. The exciting auction experience enjoyed overwhelming response, with guests actively bidding on their favourite collector’s items. The evening also included lucky draw prizes and a raffle.  

Led by Executive Director Elizabeth Yanming Tsui, Best Buddies Macao Association – a local chapter of Best Buddies International, has operated since January 2014, and officially launched in March, with six initial participants in both the Friendship and Jobs programmes.  The Macao chapter was created given a founding leadership ongoing grant from Sands China Ltd, and will initially be collaborating with Fuhong Society of Macau, Macau Association of the Parents of the Mentally Handicapped, and the Macau Down Syndrome Association

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