Michael Flatley's Benefit Performance in Monte Carlo
On Friday, August 8th, the Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley came out of retirement for a "one-off" show to benefit the Red Cross of Monaco, a very worthy cause indeed. The annual ball of the Red Cross takes place each August at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club, and is a highlight of the Monegasque social calendar. Hosted by the Grimaldi Royal Family, the gala's attendees are a Who's Who of aristocrats and millionaires, wearing sparkling jewels usually stored away in vaults, and top-name designer clothing. The 800 "Glitterati," arriving in Ferraris and Lamborghinis, paid 1000 Euros for their dinner - not including beverages. The star-studded audience was treated to a special one-hour performance by Michael and some of the best of his dancers, and the performance was followed by the roof of the Salle des Etoiles opening up for a spectacular fireworks display, an explosion of colors and sparkles illuminating the night sky above this tiny Principality. His Serene Highness Prince Albert presented Michael with a medal given to special guests, a kind of VIP award, created in 1997 for the celebration of the 700 years of the Grimaldi Dynasty.
Another triumphant event in Michael Flatley's life.
It wasn't so many years ago that the young Michael was digging ditches for his father's plumbing business in Chicago, and his story inspires many to "Follow Your Dreams." However, not everyone dreams about material success, and many people in the world just dream about having the basic necessities of life. That's why organizations such as the Red Cross are so important, and why gala events such as the Red Cross Ball do so much to help those in need. Friday night's event raised millions for the Monaco Red Cross, in this, its 55th year.
Prince Albert is the President of the La Croix Rouge Monégasque, and their official site is at www.croix-rouge.mc, where you can read about their goals and activities. He writes: "If you did not know our society before, you will realize that in spite of our small size - like the Principality's - we are active in every field (health, first aid, social help) and in many countries. Our site will enlighten you about our national and international activities. Feel free to surf on this new link in the humanitarian solidarity chain, and may this means of communication incite you to join our movement or share its ideal..."
Some of the funds raised by the Red Cross Gala go to the following, according to the website: "...besides the everyday activities, numerous special actions are carried out to help people in need, such as payments of long term medical treatments, surgery operations, scholarships, aid to the disabled, etc. The Monaco Red Cross helps individuals or families who come up against temporary difficulties by giving food vouchers, clothes, paying rents, boards, school fees, etc. Special action days for elderly people are organised for Christmas and National Day."
The Monaco Red Cross is part of the international organization, with these fundamental principles: "The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples."
Kudos to all who support these ideals, and to performers such as Michael Flatley and his troupe who were in Monte Carlo raising funds to help the La Croix Rouge Monegasque help others.
Feature: Bernadette Price
Original Web Design: Alexander Servas
Princess Caroline and her father Prince Rainier
All photos on this page used with the kind permission of Société des Bains de Mer