Monte Carlo, June 19th
In an atmosphere of friendship and solidarity, made even more enjoyable by the beautiful terrace on the seaside and the lovely melodies of famous artists, was held, at the restaurant Twiga of Monte Carlo, the evening in support of the project “Make a WISH” promoted by the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Belgrade in favor of Serbian girls and boys affected by the 2014 severe floods.
The charity event – organized by HRH Prince Michael of Yugoslavia and entrepreneurs Flavio Briatore (Billionaire Group) and Luca Marzocco (Satri Group and Marzocco Group), alongside their respective spouses Elisabetta and Sarah – was attended by over 148 personalities from Serbia, Monaco, Italy and France.
Prince Albert II of Monaco and the Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order, Albrecht von Boeselager, sent messages of appreciation and good wishes for the success of the initiative.
The Ambassador of the Order of Malta to Serbia, Alberto di Luca, and his spouse Emanuela, alongside the promoters, welcomed the distinguished guests: the Head of the Royal House of Serbia, HRH Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine from Serbia, came specially for the occasion from Belgrade; H.E. Msgr. Stanislav Hocevar, the Catholic Archbishop of Belgrade and President of the Episcopal Conference of Serbia, also arrived from Belgrade; the Order’s Ambassador to the Republic of Malta, Umberto Di Capua and his spouse Marinella; the Knight of Grace and Devotion of the Order – and 17 years President of COM.IT.ES in Monaco – Count Niccolo di Chiusano; Marco Casiraghi, CEO of ENGECO, with his spouse Cecilia; Stelios Haji-Joannou, President and majority shareholder of Easyjet Airways; absent but important supporters of the praiseworthy purpose of the evening, Gerard Cohen, Chief Executive of HSBC Monaco, Sir Philippe Green, Chairman of the Arcadia Group and Alberto Hazan, President of Radio Monte Carlo that has, among other things, opened a collection funds for the project through the pages of the site www.radiomontecarlo.net.
The guests listened to the modalities of the initiative from Prince Michael: the Commission of the project, of which is Patron HRH Crown Prince Alexander II, will proceed with the selection of the 1793 WISHES arrived at the Embassy that will be delivered at the official ceremony to be held in Serbia, on October 13th, on the feast of St. Gerard, founder of the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1048.
Below, the full speech of Prince Michael followed by the speeches of greeting and gratitude of Crown Prince Alexander II and Ambassador di Luca.
See you next year!
Your Royal Highnesses, Dear Cousins,
Your Excellency Monsignor Hocevar, Archbishop of Belgrade,
Ambassador di Luca,
Ambassador Di Capua,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Briatore and of Mr. and Mrs. Marzocco, I would like to extend our most sincere thanks and give you the warmest welcome for participating at this first event to support the project “Make a Wish” promoted by the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Belgrade in favor of the children of the elementary schools that were living in the areas devastated by the floods of 2014.
The Wishes of these children have brought us their dreams, their needs, their aspirations.
Each one of their wishes, that together we will be able to make happen, will correspond to the very same philosophy of the millennial Order of Malta – today present in 120 countries – which is to help those who suffer, to extend a brotherly hand, to offer material or moral help.
From the start of this worthwhile initiative, the Embassy has received more than 3500 letters, of which 1793 have the characteristics that correspond to our sensibility tonight as well as to those of our sponsors and benefactors from Serbia, from the Principality of Monaco, from France, from Italy and from Taiwan.
The commission that will grant the wishes is tonight represented by its Patron, my cousin Prince Alexander.
Thanks to the generosity of all of us present, the commission will be able to choose which wishes will become a reality.
The official ceremony of delivery of the gifts will happen on the 13th of October 2015, on the liturgical day of Blessed Gerard, founder and Patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta.
To help you better understand what we are talking about, I would like to give you some examples of the wishes we received:
A young boy, with old parents and a tetraplegic sister, asked for a bath lift so she can take a bath, because the age of his parents makes it almost impossible for them to handle her.
Other children asked for a van for the school, so they can overcome the collapse of certain infrastructures.
Others would like musical instruments, so they can play.
Many kids would like to have again, or have for the first time, a personal computer.
A young girl who has a paralyzed brother has asked for an electric wheelchair so he can go up and down the hill around his house.
And there are other wishes less dramatic but equally beautiful: to be taken for a day to Belgrade and be able to meet in person their idol: Novak Djokovic.
I would like to extend a special thank you to H.E. the Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Baron Alfred von Boeselager, who, though he is not able to be with us due to his busy schedule, has sent a very kind message to Ambassador di Luca in which he wishes us a great success and conveys his appreciation for our event.
I also want to extend a warm thank you to H.S.H. Prince Albert the 2nd for the affectionate letter he wrote to me, assuring us of his support and best wishes.
Together with my friends Flavio and Elisabetta Briatore and Luca and Sara Marzocco, we realize how important and necessary it is to do something concrete towards the wishes of the Serbian children that have been handicapped by a natural catastrophe that limits them in their quality of life and in their growth, which they are entitled to.
I see that we are148 people tonight and with us by thoughts we have other friends who have sent us donations and support.
I am convinced that the success of this evening – for which I want to congratulate the first Secretary of the Embassy of the Order in Belgrade, Giorgio Giuliano and Mrs. Vannina Mandelli – even though we will not be able to grant all the wishes, will be essential in making happy many of the children who have sent us letters.
For that we must rejoice.
I want to extend my compliments and thanks to the musicians and the artists who enchant us with their talents and create such a wonderful atmosphere for this evening, on this lovely terrace on the sea.
We know how many lovely initiatives of solidarity happen every year in Monaco and I feel honored and pleased to be among the promoters of this first event, unprecedented in Monaco under the name of the Order of Malta.
Your Highnesses, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I thank you again for your generosity and would ask all of you to remain close to our project and seek the support of more friends so that our chain of solidarity can grow and bring smiles and joy to the children of our beloved Serbia.
I raise my glass for the prosperity of Serbia, the principality of Monaco and the Sovereign Order of Malta.
Thank you very much!
Ladies and gentlemen,
My wife and I are very happy to be here with you tonight, at the “Make a Wish to the Order of Malta” charity event aimed at children residing in the flooded areas of Serbia.
My country is still struggling to remove all the consequences of the last year’s enormous natural disaster.
My wife and I are very moved by the Sovereign Order of Malta’s wonderful initiative to bring joy to the Serbian children from the flooded areas.
By fulfilling their wishes, you are making the lives of these children happier and you are strengthening their belief in solidarity.
It warms my heart to see that this project has drawn such great attention and I am very proud to be a member of its commission.
I wish to express my deepest gratitude to all the organizers of the “Make a Wish to the Order of Malta” project, to all the people of good will who have gathered here to help the children of Serbia, and in particular to HE the Ambassador di Luca for his deep commitment consistently shown towards those suffering in Serbia
I am looking forward to the final ceremony of the project, which will take place in Belgrade this October.