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Thursday March 22, 2012
By CHRISTINA LOWchristinalow@thestar.com.my Photos by ONG SOON HIN
TONIGHT’s much awaited Sapura and Kencana Petroleum Red Ribbon GP Ball 2012 will see a host of guests and celebrities from different genre coming together to celebrate this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The international celebrities include Shanghai Noon star Owen Wilson, actress Camilla Belle who played in the movie 10,000 BC, Academy Award winner Adrien Brody as well as football stars Michel Salgado, Fernando Morientes, Fabio Cannavaro and former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye.
They will be joined by British singer-songwriter Leona Lewis who will be headlining the evening with 10 songs.
London-based event organiser LME Agency chief executive officer Rio Kader, who was in-charge of bringing in the celebrities, said the company wanted to feature different stars in different arenas to Malaysians attending the event.
“They will be a singer, actors and sports personalities, which will be a good mix for such a prestigious event like this,” he said when met yesterday.
Rio added that the celebrities were excited to be in Malaysia as it would be their first visit to the country for most of them.
Besides the celebrities who will be gracing the event, renovations and installation works were still on-going at the Grand Ballroom of Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur yesterday afternoon.
Allsports Services Sdn Bhd director Hafez Mohamed was seen busy overlooking the works while attending to non-stop calls.
“It has been a busy month for all of us as we are preparing for a larger crowd, about 750 guests, the largest since we first started,” he said.
The additional tables were to accommodate requests from guests wanting to be part of the star-studded event.
However, Hafez assured that the hall would be able to accommodate the 75 tables and that guests would have a good view from wherever they are seated.
The colour theme for this year would be a rustic yet contemporary look, blending in a mix of darker hues of colours.
“Back in 2005, the gala’s theme revolved around the theme of ice with dark colours and many liked the idea, hence we decided to reintroduced similar colours to the pillar-less ballroom for this year’s do,” he said
The interior of the ballroom is decorated with dark colours or black and grey matched lighting details.
“We even have dark coloured flowers in merune, burgundy and deep purple,
“Previously we used lighter colours but this year we are want a serious look just like how we did seven years back,” he said.
He said the side panels had grid boxes of black and white with a red touch across it to remind guests that the dinner was about Formula 1.
“We will also be playing with different types of lighting, where it will move from dim to subtle from one table to another,”
“For example, when one table dims out, the other table will be lighted and you won’t even notice that the lights have moved over to the other side,” said Hafez.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Haminah, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are expected to grace the event alongside Formula 1 team drivers.
He said the party will begin at 7.30pm with cocktails before guests are ushered into the grand ballroom where local songstress Dayang Nurfaizah will kick start the night with four songs.
It will then be followed by a dance presentation by the event’s co-sponsor Richard Mille.
The special dance will be put together by the Singapore Dance Theatre featuring a mix of ballet and hip-hop performances.
The programme continues with a special auction segment where bidders will have to make some tough choices.
Items at the auction table include art pieces from three local artists like Chang Fee Ming, CN Liew and Ahmad Zaki.
Football fanatics may want to opt for a VIP Hospitality for 14 people at the Old Trafford to watch Manchester United play against Swansea City.
The list continues with front row seats at Eli Saab and Stephane Rolland’s Haute Couture Fashion show in Paris, France, together with a three-night stay at Mandarin Oriental Paris for two.
Two movie premier tickets to watch Titanic 3D at the Royal Albert Hall in London on March 26 where its lead actor Leornardo Dicaprio is expected to attend, coupled with a two-night stay at the Mandarin Oriental are also up for bidding.
For those who love fast cars, there is the F1 experience up for grabs where Alex Yoong will be driving the lucky bidder in a two seater car while Tiffany & Co will be contributing a piece of their exquisite jewellery collection for the auction.
The two beneficiaries of the ball are the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) and the Global Poverty Project, an international education and advocacy organisation.
The Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Award will also make a return this year with the MAF awarding an individual or organisation for their contributions in work related to HIV/AIDS in the country.
“At the end of the night, we want to give guests a ‘money can’t buy’ experience,” said Hafez.
The event is presented by Kuala Lumpur City Hall with title sponsors Sapura Group and Kencana Petroleum Berhad, and co-sponsor Richard Mille.
The official premium airline is Malaysia Airlines.
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