Because this year has been such a game-changer for everybody, we had to think outside of the box for our much-anticipated annual Hong Kong banquet. What resulted, in the midst of changing COVID-19 protocols, was a virtual program live-streamed to guests all over the world!
Here are your top ten highlights from October 9th:
- Getting Dressed Up
Everybody may all be “zoomed-out” after months of social-distancing, but you rose to the occasion; we all felt your party energy through the four zoom calls!
And everybody dressed up! Well… mostly dressed up.
- Connecting around the world
Around 1,600 guests from 16 different countries including Hong Kong, the United States, United Kingdom, the Philippines, Guatemala, and Uganda came to the party, including 300 who joined at the Aberdeen Marina Club!
The banquet was not pre-recorded! We had two cameramen; two sound guys, one took care of the visuals; four Zoom hosts and two Zoom co-hosts, and one production director to hold everything together.
“Everybody was laser-focused the whole time. It was amazing,” one of the ICM production staff remarked.
- Fantastic Hosts.
So many of you loved hearing Bless’ own story at the beginning of the night.
“Hope inspires change… And I’m just one person who experienced hope. There are hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have changed because of you.”
One of the night’s most moving moments was when Louise sang the song, “More than a Dream” with the ICM Children’s Choir and the ICM staff in the Philippines virtually.
- David Sutherland’s Keynote Address.
David gave some pretty impressive numbers of what our staff and partner pastors were able to do, even during the COVID-19 quarantine.
“Almost overnight, we transformed ICM from development to relief… ICM has identified 5 million specific Filipinos who are in serious need and ICM actually delivered goods to 4 million of those 5 million people, including just over 14 million meals.”
“Today we can work together to bring hope into dark places… the poor can’t wait until we can gather again. There is more need now than ever before, and we can’t bring solutions without you.”
- An Incredible Moment of Giving.
US champion auctioneer Kristine Duininck presided over the Moment of Giving live from her home in Minnesota. Everyone present was in awe at the display of generosity coming in from people all over the world.
Find Us Faithful Foundation’s double-matching offer for 25 HK$80,000 pledges was immediately met!
- Winning the Silent Auction.
You bid on and won over 100 fabulous prizes, and the highest bid went to a week’s stay in Niseko Chalet — Asia’s hottest skiing destination — in Hokkaido, Japan for HK$80,000!
- Banquet in a Box
Most of you were not able to go to the banquet so the banquet came to you! Philippine donors’ Banquet-in-a-Box included a sumptuous dinner by Apartment 1-B (Robredo photo)
And Hong Kong guests got a beautiful box of ICM goodies, including a Red Rope Bag, an ICM Cube, and a Louise Wright CD!
- The Seed Game.
You got a taste of our staff’s experience of counting and repacking 200 million seeds by packing pechay seeds into three bags as fast as you could and emailing us a picture as proof!
Brad Layland from Florida emerged as the winner!
- Beating Last Year’s Funds Raised!
Coming in, we didn’t know what to expect. But we were amazed to find the actual amount raised for this year’s banquet exceeded last year’s. The total amount raised this year so far is HK$13.3m/US$1.72m/Php86m, better than last year’s HK$13.0m. Thank you to all of you for participating in a record-breaking banquet!
This is just the beginning of our fundraising for the coming year’s work, and it was a fantastic start.