Restoring tradition of Philanthropy
12 December, 2013
Restoring tradition of Philanthropy
On Friday November 29, American Friends of Georgia hosted its annual charity Gala to support children with leukemia, Parents House and the needy elderly, and a hospice and home care program.
With generous support of the Petrocas Energy Group and active participation of the corporate community, the event raised over $102,000.
The patron of the Gala was Petrocas Energy Group. There were numerous other participants and contributors. Emerald sponsors: Winiveria, GPC and Radisson Blu Iveria. Corporate Sapphire sponsors: TBC, Deloitte, Gulf, BLC,
E&Y, BP, DLA Piper, BDO, Asseco, GWP, IWA. Wine: Winiveria, SHUMI, Bagrationi. Support: Borjomi, Kazbegi, Rentals Real Estate and 20 Steps Production, Embassies of US and Japan, Tbilisi State Conservatoire, well-known Georgian artists, and raffle prize donors.
The American Friends of Georgia (AFG) has been working for more than a decade to help children and their families find treatment and solace during their battle against the devastating disease of leukemia. Until American Friends of Georgia helped to build the Parents House in 2010, parents had to sleep in their children’s hospital rooms for months with no access to a proper kitchen to feed them. The Parents House is modeled on the Ronald McDonald houses in the US and provides a home away from home for families caring for a child suffering from leukemia. But there is a great need for additional space and a rehabilitation program for this house.
AFG also helped to establish in 2003 the first Hospice and Home Care Program in Georgia, which introduced palliative care to the country. There is a great need for hospice and home care for Georgians who are chronically or terminally ill. Located in Tbilisi, the hospice holds 7 live-in patients and 100-150 out-patients.
The Gala program included a cocktail reception, dinner, concert, grand prize raffle and live auction of contemporary art by prominent Georgian artists Nina Kipshidze, Dato Sulakauri, Irakli Sutidze, Keti Shalamberidze, Papuna Papaskiri, Lali Kutateladze, Nato Eristavi, Lia Bagrationi, Lena Kiladze, Gia Chkhatarashvili, Gigisha Pachkoria, Anton Balanchivadze, and Nodar Topuria, as well Katsushuka Hokusai’s “Red Fuji,” donated by HE Mr. Toshio Kaitani, Ambassador of Japan; “Lotuses,” by an unknown Thai artist, donated by Mrs. Kittaya Limasakul; and Prima Ballerina Nina Ananiashvilis’s Pointe Shoes.
Raffle prizes were provided by: HE Ambassador of US Richard Norland, Radisson, Chateau Mukhrani, Chateau Mere, Lopota Resort; the restaurants Organique, Kobzar, Baan Thai, Musee Du Vin; and Living Roots Ranch, Medical Center Cito, and Dental Clinique Exner & Company.
The evening started emotionally with a short animation film prepared by 20 Step Production about leukemia and a presentation describing AFG’s focus projects. Mother Mariam, head of the Mercy Center Hospice, talked about the importance of hospice care and of philanthropy for Georgia, and Dr. Tata Javakhadze repeated words of children currently undergoing treatment in the Onco-Hematological Center of Iashvili Children’s Hospital from “Together we will fight everything.” The US Ambassador Richard Norland expressed his gratitude towards the humanitarian work provided by AFG and mentioned the importance of Parents house for children with Leukemia, as well as the importance of the Palliative care program.
The culmination of the event was an auction, led by Auctioneer Extraordinaire Cliff Isaak, Honorary Council of Canada in Georgia - it helped to raise $41,770.
During the auction Vano Nakaidze, the CEO of the Patron of the Gala, Petrocas Energy Group, unexpectedly offered to match the amount that will be raised through the auction. “We truly believe in what AFG is doing,” he noted, “support of the leukemia children, vocational trainings for IDPs, construction of an Art School in Nikozi, a palliative care program and a lot more - all achieved through our joint efforts. That is why we are happy to contribute to such charity initiatives,” he added. With this generous offer the auction brought in $83,000! A highlight of the auction was the world famous ballerina, Nina Ananiashvili, a member of AFG’s Board, standing on pointe to auction the ballet shoes she wore at her 30 year anniversary of her stage premiere. Support from Georgian artists each year has led to the success of AFG’s Annual Charity Galas. These talented artists never hesitate to donate their work to benefit needy children and the elderly.
“We are truly grateful to all our sponsors, corporations, Georgian artists and musicians, and especially to the Patron of the Gala, Petrocas Energy Group, which provided unprecedented support, and we strongly believe that only together can we make a difference in our everyday life,” commented Lena Kiladze, AFG’s executive director in Georgia.

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