Hanoi (Vietnam), 1st December 2018 – 29th “Smile Gala”, dinner and Charity auction, at the Sheraton Hotel, with the proceeds going to help children. The annual event is organised by Operation Smile Vietnam to raise funds to provide free medical treatment and surgery for children born with facial problems and give them back their smile. A Vespa Primavera ABS 125 iget scooter, painted for the occasion in a white and red livery and put up for the auction, was sold for 10,000 dollars (233 million VND, or “dongs”, the Vietnamese currency) by Rob Blain, Executive Chairman of CBRE Asia Pacific.
The stars of the evening were singer Duc Tuan with the Maius Philharmonic Orchestra. Guests included Gianluca Fiume, CEO of Piaggio Vietnam (photo below, third right). By the end of the Smile Gala, funds had been raised for 250 Vietnamese children who will be helped to find a new smile by Operation Smile.
The theme of this year’s event was “East meet West”, with a wide range of items donated by leading national and international companies, transformed into works of art – like the Vespa scooter which was customised for the occasion or the statuette of Buddha in Lalique crystal – to be put up for auction.
This was the third Vespa to take part in the Operation Smile fund raiser in Vietnam: in 2016, the scooter was an original model created by local aquarium builders; the following year, the Vespa at the auction was painted by artist Le Kinh ai. So far, the three “artistic” Vespas have helped 152 children, whose lives have been changed forever thanks to the free screening and treatment they have received.
The international Operation Smile organisation (www.operationsmile.org) was established in 1982 and is active in more than 40 countries.