THE familiar strains of British bad boy Robbie Williams echoed through the hotel ballroom in Penang when 2005 Malaysian Idol finalist Ashvin Nair (or Ash, as he is better known) rendered the famous ballad, Angel.
“Through it all, she offers me protection, a lot of love and affection, whether I'm right or wrong?”
An appropriate song indeed as it served to sum up the objective of the Crimson Cause Charity Ball & Auction in Aid of Families Living with HIV. Organised by the Dream Zephyr Foundation (DREAMZ), the black tie affair witnessed a host of socialites and philanthropists in attendance.
Featuring an entertainment whirlpool of glittering jewellery, flamboyant costumes and outrageous make-up, the event kick-ed off with a specially choreographed fashion and body painting extravaganza.
The ballroom that normally plays host to more sober functions was transformed into a dreamscape as spotlights of red and blue swept across the floor.
The fantasy show saw models parading in creative costumes specially designed by students of the Equator Academy of Art. With dramatic face and body makeup by Stella-In International Beauty Academy and eye-catching hairdos by Baptain Hair Academy, the models were a sight to behold with their nature-inspired looks.
DREAMZ co-founder and vice-president Angelina Cheong said the Bvlgari, Stemlife and MarketSource Publishing-sponsored ball was held in aid of the Penang Family Planning Association (FPA).
“Recently we were approached by the association to help fund its Me and You (MAY) Support Group programme and it was brought to our attention that many families with a HIV positive child or parent are in need of financial assistance not only in purchasing medication but even to buy household items and basic necessities like food, milk and vitamins.
“We feel that these families have been neglected by society because of the stigma attached to HIV positive and AIDS patients. The objective of Crimson Cause is to support those with HIV and to highlight the fact that they too can lead normal, happy and healthy lives,” she said.
“It is especially important to teach children living with HIV and AIDS to believe in themselves and to understand that each one of them has the ability to make his or her life as full and rich as the next child’s despite their illness.”
Among the items auctioned off during the night were lea-ther seats, paintings, glass sculptures, a Japanese cultured pearl necklace, de-signer sunglasses and a Bvlgari Rettangolo Chrono wristwatch.
The event raised RM60,000 which was presented to the FPA president Tunku Datuk Ismail Jewa.
DREAMZ is a Penang-based charitable organisation set up to provide funding for various non-profit organisations and charitable causes in the country and since it was set up in 2003, the foundation has raised about RM300,000 for charity.
A major highlight of the evening was the DREAMZ awards presentation ceremony. In recognition of his contributions to the development of Penang, a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to former Penang Chief Minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.
Awards were also given out to corporations, non-governmental organisations and individuals who have contributed to various charitable causes throughout the year.
Among the other recipients were the Commerce International Merchant Bankers (CIMB), Asia Community Service (ACS), Datuk Dr Tan Chee Khuan, Dr Chew Yu Gee, Stella Hong and Erlinna Tan.
During the night, the winners of the DREAMZ Young Artists Project were also announced.
The night ended with an exclusive Bvlgari Fashion Show before an 'angel', a jolly Santa and his adorable little 'elves' from Melody Kindergarten came out bearing gifts for all.
Clearly still dazzled by the sparkling diamonds, the guests were pleasantly surprised when the dimness of the room was illuminated with bright festive lights as bubbles rained onto the stage and a children’s choir burst into song on the balcony – a grand finale indeed!