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BritCham's charity ball revisits old Shanghai

DRESS as a gangster, a vamp, a chanteuse, or a soldier of fortune in swinging old Shanghai of the 1930s - or just wear black tie to BritCham's annual charity ball. Sam Riley reports.

Swinging Shanghai of the 1930s will swing again when the British business community and its friends turn out in all their finery for the British Chamber of Commerce's annual charity ball on June 6.

More than 600 people are expected to attend the BritCham's gala at the Shangri-La Hotel Pudong, one of the highest-profile events on the social calendar for the British expat community.

Loincloths (last year's theme was "Jungle Book") will be exchanged for tuxedos in this year's glamorous 1930s vintage cabaret.

"A lot of thought goes into the theme and every year several suggestions are made and rejected until we arrive at the right one," says BritCham Executive Director Ian Crawford.

This year's 1930s theme will allow people to come in traditional black tie -°?"or they can be more inventive and come with dashes of 1930s Shanghai or gangster-type outfits from 1930s America."

While a fun night is planned with fine food, free flow drinks, live music and entertainment, the event will also raise much-needed funds for two charities.

The main charity this year is the Jiangsu Province Philanthropic Foundation for the Disabled. The funds raised will help finance construction of a careers center for the physically challenged. It is hoped the center will be a pivotal point so that the physically challenged can begin to lead self-sustaining lives.

Some funds will also go to the continued support of one of last year's charities: The Care for Youth Vocational Training School for AIDS Orphans in Zhenping County, Henan Province.

The ball is one of the chamber's biggest social events along with its annual golf day, its Scottish St Andrew's Day and Burns Night supper. All events raise money for Chinese charities and provide valuable networking opportunities.

The chamber has tried to keep the tickets affordable in view of the tougher financial times. The 875-yuan (US$128) ticket price for members covers a four-course silver service meal, live entertainment and free flow drinks in the elegant surrounds of the Shangri-La Hotel in Pudong.

Discounts are given for tables of 10.

Prizes will be supplied by a range of sponsors, with the two main platinum sponsors being IMI China and Seasons Villas.

Britcham Annual Charity Ball

Date: June 6, 6:30pm till late

Venue: China Ballroom of Pudong Shangri-La, 33 Fucheng Rd

Tel: 6882-8888

Tickets: Individual members 875 yuan, non-members 1,000 yuan

Corporate tables for 10: Members: 8,250 yuan, non-members 9,500 yuan

Booking and information:


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