On Sept. 20, an international fundraising event dubbed “Diamonds in the Sky Hong Kong” took place at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, billed as the world’s highest hotel at 500 metres above ground level.
Leaders from across the globe—including event co-chairs Dr. Henry Cheng (vice chairman of the Chow Tai Fook Group) and Varda Shine (CEO of the Diamond Trading Company), and honorary co-chairs Li Bengong (vice president of the China Charity Federation) and Russell Simmons (co-founder and advisory board chairman of the Diamond Empowerment Fund)—were in attendance, and joined up to support social causes in both Africa and China. The efforts were organized to aid both CCF and DEF’s shared mission to empower the economically disadvantaged in Africa, where diamonds are a natural resource, and in China, the fastest-growing diamond purchasing market in the world.
Varda Shine, CEO of the DTC, welcomed guests and thanked them for their support of “a gala evening … on behalf of the Diamond Empowerment Fund to highlight the amazing work undertaken on education initiatives by this charity and to share this with the leaders of the diamond industry in the East.”
“Although the China Charity Federation has a wider remit, focusing on areas such as healthcare and disaster relief as well as education, there was clearly a strong touch point with the Diamond Empowerment Fund,” she continued. “We both have an overwhelming desire to give people the opportunity to have a better life, better prospects, and the chance to be a leader of the future through access to an education.”
The evening’s festivities included auctions of diamond jewelry from Chow Tai Fook, as well as a selection of “celebrity experiences,” including travel packages, dining packages, sports packages, and a unique one-day fashion photo-shoot in New York City with DEF Angel Rahma M. The event raised more than $2.5 million, just shy of the organizers’ goal of $3 million.