Combining charity work with winter sport, family fun, and some amazing Austrian national spirit, the 2014 Austrian Charity Ski Race has come and gone once again. With over 500 participants from more than a dozen countries, the event was a huge success. Last year, they raised over RMB 445,000 for Little Flower children, and we are so happy to have been a part of their event again this year.
This was Little Flower's third year participating in the annual Charity Ski Race run by the amazing people at the Austrian Embassy in Beijing, who--after months of hard work and planning--were able to pull off their biggest event yet. On Friday, guests were transported to the Genting Grand Ski Resort about 3-4 hours outside of Beijing, and the fun commenced. Guests were greeted upon arrival by an Austrian band, who played music the entire weekend, and everyone enjoyed an Austrian wine reception that evening. Ambassador Irene Giner-Reichl was in attendance, as were families and guests from Austria, China, and other countries around the world.
Sarah Leung and Mirjam Grueter, two of our Development Team members, also attended the race to represent Little Flower!
On Saturday, the day of the race, everyone was up early and ready to hit the slopes for charity.
There were several events in different age groups, for both skiing and snowboarding.
Even the band was outside. In their shorts, no less!
Here, Oskar Andesner, the Commercial Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy and the man behind this great charity event, has just crossed the finish line.
Across these several events, race winners included folks from Austria, China, Germany, the USA, Denmark, and others.
Everyone gathered for a group photo when the race ended that afternoon, and many headed back up the slopes for more skiing!
That evening, the charity dinner, auction, and raffle took place. Many demonstrated their national pride by attending dinner in their Austrian national costumes.
Race winners were announced, and speeches were given by sponsors, locals from the Hebei area, and race organizers. The event was an amazing amalgamation of Austrian and Chinese business cooperation, local community building, networking, and of course charity work.
Here, Mr. Andesner receives recognition for the hard work that went into putting together the Ski Race for the past five years!
This was followed by dinner, as well as the charity auction and raffle.
Raffle prizes even included some winter-inspired art by Little Flower kids. There were a few very-much coveted penguin paintings that went fast!
We are so grateful to the wonderful people at the Austrian Embassy for not only putting so much hard work into creating a wonderful event for all participants, but also for making such an impact in helping to spread the word and raise money for Little Flower children. As our capacity grows and we take in more children each year, this international and local support from the Beijing community is crucial to the continued running of Little Flower's projects. With events and partnerships like this one with the Austrians, we can continue to save lives and let more people know about Little Flower's goals of providing medical care, education, foster care, and long-term care to abandoned children in China.
We were ecstatic to have participated in the race this year. A huge thank you goes out from us to everyone involved at the Austrian Embassy!