More than a Dream: International Care Ministries Hosts a Virtual Fundraising Banquet in the Time of COVID-19

For the first time ever, due to COVID-19 pandemic social distancing protocols, International Care Ministries (ICM) will host its much-anticipated Hong Kong fundraising banquet online and at limited-seating venues at the Aberdeen Marina Club (AMC) this year on October 9.

This annual fundraising banquet, which gathers hundreds of Hong Kong’s top executives to donate to ICM’s work, has raised tens of millions of US dollars over the past 15 years towards the alleviation of ultra-poverty in the Philippines.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes globally, especially for social gatherings. However, ICM decided to move forward with the banquet this year because the need is too great. In compliance with strict social distancing protocols in Hong Kong, guests are assigned rooms at the AMC with four-person tables socially distanced. The ICM banquet will also be streamed live online to the AMC guests, as well as to the guests joining online from all over the world.

“We had considered postponing, but after consulting with our stakeholders, we decided to go ahead. The virus situation in Hong Kong is much better than before. COVID-19 has affected the poorest of the poor and the need is urgent,” ICM CEO David Sutherland said.

“October 9 will be an event to remember. In these extraordinary times, ICM will once again run an extraordinary banquet!” said Sutherland.

The hour-long program hosted on Zoom will still have the highlights of prior banquets: an inspirational keynote address with moving stories and concrete evidence, guest speakers, musical performances by the ICM choir, and a special guest auctioneer Kristine Fladeboe-Duininck live from Minnesota.

The silent auction features beautiful Filipino and international artwork, jewelry, unique travel packages and experiences. There will also be games and a best-dressed competition. It may be a virtual event, but guests are encouraged to dress up!

ICM will be live-streaming from Hong Kong exclusively to registered table hosts and guests. And since the event will be online, guests from all over the world will not have to fly in to attend. Supporters from all over the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Uganda and the Philippines have already confirmed that they will be joining virtually, along with Hong Kong guests who opt to attend in person, host a group at watch-party, or join fully virtually.

The program will officially start at 8:30 PM, Hong Kong/Manila time (1230 PM in London, 830 AM in New York) on Friday October 9, with the Countdown Show starting at 8:00 PM as guests are gathering at their respective locations.

For more details on ICM’s Virtual Banquet: More than a Dream, log on to www.caremin.com/2020-banquet.

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