The Russian Children’s Welfare Society (RCWS), in collaboration with the General Consulate of the Russian Federation in New York, hosted a Benefit Gala on September 23, 2010 at Bonhams in New York.
IMG star figure skater Sasha Cohen (2006 Olympic silver medalist) appeared as the Guest of Honor. Among other special guests were Viktor Petrenko (Figure Skating, 1992 Olympic Champion), Evgeny Platov(Figure Skating, 1994 and 1998 Olympic Champion), Johnny Weir (Figure Skating, three-time U.S. Champion), Galit Chait (Figure Skating, bronze medal at 2002 World Championship), Tanya Adamovich(Fencing, 1972 Olympics), Irina Dvorovenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Veronica Part with American Ballet Theatre, Sokvannara Sar and Ashley Bouder with New York City Ballet.
With kind permission of the Metropolitan Opera, the Gala featured performances by Ekaterina Semenchuk, mezzo-soprano and Mikhail Petrenko, bass, who were starring in the Metropolitan Opera production ofBoris Godunov. Piano by Steinway & Sons.
The Gala began with a cocktail reception and featured a photo retrospective, “Russia’s Olympic Glory” courtesy of RIA Novosti, photo exhibit by acclaimed photographer Yuri Shalamoff, a Russian and European Art Exhibit courtesy of Bonhams, silent auction and a series of presentations from guests, including athletes, celebrities and Russian government officials. Viacheslav Fetisov, Maria Sharapova, Sasha Cohen, Johnny Weir, Serena Williams, Sergei Makarov, Viktor Petrenko, Diana Vishneva, Vera Zvonareva, Vika Azarenka, Teymuraz Gabashvili, Igor Lukanin, Kristin Fraser, Joannie Rochette, Tanya Adamovich and others.
Event proceeds were designated to purchase sports equipment for orphanages in Russia and support other RCWS charitable programs. We hope to inspire future generations of athletes by providing disadvantaged children with the help, training and the tools they need to master any sport they may wish to pursue.