Christmas Gift Party 2017: A night of giving
As guests arrived at the trendy and ambient venue, Vanilla London, for the annual Climb Any Mountain Christmas Gift Party, they were greeted by a sparkling tree and images that captured the true spirit of those directly supported by the charity. This offered a reminder of the vision to change the lives of those people living with learning disabilities and mental illness in South Africa.
In the knowledge that all those attending were helping to make a difference, they joined the management committee and all the charity’s supporters to hear a speech from Climb Any Mountain’s founder & CEO, Kim Danks. In a moving statement portraying her own family’s challenges in finding a suitable home for her sister to be able to live a fulfilled and happy life, Kim outlined how the birth of Climb Any Mountain had come about.
The audience were taken on an emotional journey, via video, through the lives of those living in an institution in Pietermaritzburg who had been provided with a gift experience during the previous year. There were many amazing accounts of how the gifts had helped to bring normality into their lives. Some of the most touching accounts were from people who had learnt to read & write, experienced their first ever live rugby match or had gone out for a coffee & cake at a local café. These moments have helped to make each person feel empowered and more included as part of the community. But most importantly of all, the video was an opportunity to say: “Thank You” to those who had supported this wonderful charity. This was followed by a surge of generosity from guests who managed to purchase a total of 110 gifts on the evening.
With music being played by one of Fabrics former house DJs, delicious canapés including a divine duck wrap and drinks flowing, the buzz of the crowd was heightened by the mind boggling tricks of Alex Robertson – an outstanding magician who wowed people with his sleight of hand tricks and left them completely baffled by guessing who they were thinking of by pulling their handwritten notes out of his own wallet!
The evening could not have been the success it was without the undivided attention of the staff at Vanilla London, with special thanks to Matthieu and his team.
As the evening drew to a close, the magic of the evening was sealed with a personal thank you from the Pietermaritzburg Mental Health Society. Upon the Christmas tree sat a hand stitched stocking decoration, filled with a sweet treat, for each guest to take away with them. It captured the heart of what the evening was about, thanking those who have supported Climb Any Mountain.