Give To Colombia, 11/24/2014

On Wednesday, November 19, Give To Colombia (G2C) hosted its 2014 Colombia Gives Back Gala at the New World Center in Miami Beach. The funds raised at this 200-person gala allow G2C to continue working towards its essential mission of increasing the flow of international donations and providing enduring, scalable and sustainable solutions to Colombia's most vulnerable populations. 

The evening began at 7:00 p.m. with a full service bar and welcome cocktails sponsored by Diageo, showcasing Old Parr Tribute, a new whiskey arriving exclusively to Colombia in homage to Colombians who know how to live life to the fullest. The cocktail hour also included the unveiling of the organization’s silent auction project entitled “Colombia Gives Back – Notes of Pride,” a collection showcasing dozens of copies of the original score sheet of the Colombian National Anthem, all transformed into works of art or memorabilia by various representatives of Colombian talent.

According to Give To Colombia President & Co-Founder Angela Maria Tafur, Notes of Pride is a tribute to the Colombian Anthem, which, in 2014, has resounded in some of the most important athletic events in the world including the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Giro d’Italia, filling Colombians worldwide with a deeper sense of pride and joy. The collection includes items like James Rodriguez’ signed cleats, David Ospina’s personalized goalie gloves, Nairo Quintana’s signed “maglia rosa,” a collage by Mariana Pajón with photos of all the moments she has made the anthem sound in stadiums around the world, a purse by designer Silvia Tcherassi encrusted in crystals forming the lyrics of the anthem in the indigenous Wayuu language, and an extensive collection of Colombian art, among others. 

The cocktail was followed by a two- course dinner in the concert hall. Another bastion of Colombian pride, retired soccer legend Faryd Mondragón, who recently received the Guinness World Record for being the oldest player to participate in a World Cup game at the age of 43 years and 3 days, was Master of Ceremonies for the gala. Preceding Mondragón’s entrance onto the concert hall stage was a video depicting the historic moment Colombian coach José Pekerman called him onto the field in the final minutes of the final group game vs. Japan. Mondragón generously donated the historic jersey from this moment to the auction.

Dinner also included a video showcasing the organization’s project highlights and an award presented by Diageo and Old Parr Tribute to G2C President Angela Maria Tafur, for representing those Colombians who know how to live life to the fullest, commending her generous spirit and commitment to social causes. To follow was a virtual concert by the Orchestra of the Medellín Philharmonic Academy (AFMED) and a live performance by the Saludarte Strings Quartet in partnership with the New World Symphony (NWS) Fellows Strings.

Three years ago, the New World Symphony and one of G2C’s local partners, the AFMED, inaugurated a unique collaboration called the "Medellín Music Exchange," a cross-cultural initiative that gives exceptionally talented, low-income Colombian musicians the opportunity to gain experience in a famous classical music institution, while allowing NWS fellows to grow into their role as musical ambassadors, advocates and engaged teachers. Give To Colombia has actively supported the AFMED and has seen how this program has been key in changing the lives of aspiring musicians in Medellín. 

The gala, which ended with a party in the entrance hall complete with an open bar and live music, was possible thanks to sponsors Jaime & Raquel Gilinski, Goldman Sachs, Caracol TV, SABMiller, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Big Sur, The Lopez-Plotkin Family, Diageo and Avianca.