Scene City: Charity event ropes in top socialites

2012-04-21 10:56

I love how art has become the new “thing to do” especially for charity.

Back in the day people used to invite all kinds of famous musicians to perform for charity proceeds but now artists donate their works and people bid on them with proceeds going to charitable causes.

This past Sunday, the first Art & Life annual charity event took place at Val de Vie Estate in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley.

The guest list boasted more than 300 VIPs, socialites, art lovers and their families who showed their support for the blossoming initiative.

The day kicked off with a VIP luncheon, which was held to thank the generous sponsors and private donors who made the event possible.

The day opened to the public at 2pm, with performances kicking off the rest of the day’s activities. Some of the day’s acts included a fashion show, spectacular acoustic sets by Louise Day and him-of-the-butchered-national-anthem Just Jinger’s Ard Matthews, a comedy stand up performance by Mark Palmer, and a moving Xhosa musical item by Lusanda Gwayi and Basha Magwape.

The event also saw the final match of a week-long polo tournament hosted by the estate.

With the polo match as the fabulous backdrop, guests mostly dressed according to the the black and white theme with a splash of red, indulged in some hob-nobbing while nibbling on good food and wine.

Five child-centred beneficiaries of this year’s event included The Cyrus Trust Prochorus Crèche Support Programme; the ‘I Was Shot’ Photography initiative; Ryk Neethling’s Pathways Foundation; the Yabonga HIV/Aids Charity Organisation and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. The five charities were presented with cheques amounting to R220 000 by the Art & Life Charity Initiative.

The VIP luncheon saw a high-profile art auction with those deep in the pockets bidding on pieces by artists, designers and photographers such as Chrys Mammous, Gordon Clarke, Martin Osner, Nikolas Michael and Sasha Muller.

Some of the high-profile guests included Paarl Media’s non-executive chairperson Lambert Retief and his wife Carol, the couple with the house to die for (as shown on Top Billing sometime last year) master architect Stefan and his wife Carla Antoni, the handsome MC of the event Nico Panagio sans his beautiful actress wife Christi, executive producer of SoulCity Vesko Mrdjen, and model Tracy McGregor in jeans even though the whole of Mzansi still probably remembers her without a stitch of clothing on the first cover of Playboy mag.

The chairperson of Shoprite Holdings, billionaire Christo Wiese, also looked dapper in a cool sky-blue blazer, actress Natalie Becker, and property developer Alfonso Botha of Urban Ocean, who is responsible for many of the vamped up properties in the Joburg CBD, were also there.

I spotted model Tanya van Graan getting cosy with a certain gentleman called Kasper Kristofferson.
The event also served as a platform for both established and up and coming local artists, designers, performers and musicians.

Two art competitions were also held through the Initiative; the Art & Life Student Art Competition directed towards emerging young artists and a photography competition.

The Paarl-Franschhoek Valley is just one of those places that make you feel at peace. But it’s always great when you enjoy all that tranquillity and beauty while participating in a good cause.

» Follow me on Twitter @Mokgads 

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