(Macao, April 30, 2013) - Sands China Ltd. organised and sponsored a charity auction gala dinner Tuesday evening at The Venetian® Macao to raise funds for the Junior Sharks Development Program and the Macau Special Olympics. Retired NBA superstar Yao Ming was the guest of honour, with special appearances by Gary Payton and the Shanghai Sharks.
"Sands China is very pleased to be collaborating with Yao Ming - a household name in the basketball world - for this event," said Edward Tracy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sands China Ltd. "Tonight's event provides us with a chance to influence the development of two very special groups of young people: members of the Junior Sharks Development Program and the Macau Special Olympics. The charity dinner has been specifically organised with this purpose in mind."
The Junior Sharks Development Program is spearheaded by Yao and is his contribution to the world of basketball; through this organisation he is able to cultivate promising talent in young athletes in China. Activities have included several public youth basketball training camps, which provide opportunities for youth basketball players to get close to the game to experience the happiness brought on by participating in basketball. The training camps also have the aim of finding fresh basketball talent among youth in Shanghai and around China. Future plans for activities include a basketball theme park, cultivating youth basketball coaches and developing international basketball exchanges.
The Macau Special Olympics was founded in 1987. Over the last 26 years, MSO went from providing only sports training for people with intellectual disabilities, to including occupational training, employment assistance, educational assistance, community care services, recreational activities and programmes for promoting a healthy community. Macau Special Olympics has as a goal to launch an integrated Family Service Centre.
Paisley Wu, a popular Chinese singer and TV personality, acted as MC for the event: the Sands China 'Ignite the Dream' Charity Dinner. Entertainment, dinner courses, and charity items up for auction were interspersed seamlessly throughout the evening as guests ate, made merry, and donated to a worthy cause.
The Voice of China contestants Liu Yue and Wang Nai'en were also in attendance to perform for the dinner guests.
Charity items up for auction were all autographed and donated by Yao Ming and included: Yao Ming Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, three NBA Houston Rockets memorial basketballs, three Yao Ming memorial basketballs, three pairs of Yao Ming's exclusive basketball shoes, two 2006 World Basketball Championship Chinese National Team jerseys, Yao Ming's Houston Rockets 2010-2011 Season basketball jersey and a very special and unique Yao Ming's 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Chinese National Team basketball jersey. Ada Lo, Chairlady of the Executive Board of the Macau Special Olympics, together with a member athlete, exchanged souvenirs with Yao Ming on stage; and Levo Chan, Chairman of Tak Chun Charity Association, presented a cheque for RMB 500,000 to Zhang Peizhong, Vice General Manager of the Shanghai Sharks.
Photo caption: The Sands China 'Ignite the Dream' Charity Dinner at the Venetian Macao Tuesday night included a gift exchange between guest of honour Yao Ming and Sands China Ltd. President and CEO Edward Tracy. Funds raised at the event are being donated to the Junior Sharks Development Program and the Macau Special Olympics.
Photo caption: Ada Lo, Chairlady of Executive Board of Macau Special Olympics, exchanges gifts with retired NBA superstar Yao Ming at the Sands China 'Ignite the Dream' Charity Dinner at the Venetian Macao Tuesday night. Funds raised at the event are being donated to the Junior Sharks Development Program and the Macau Special Olympics.
Photo caption: The Sands China 'Ignite the Dream' Charity Dinner was attended by guest of honour Yao Ming, and raised funds for the Junior Sharks Development Program and the Macau Special Olympics, Tuesday night at The Venetian Macao.
Left to right: David Sisk, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Sands China Ltd.; Edward Tracy, President and CEO, Sands China Ltd.; Yao Ming; Ada Lo, Chairlady of Executive Council of Macau Special Olympics; Levo Chan, Chairman of Tak Chun Charity Association.
About The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat CotaiArena™ designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; MALO CLINIC Health & Wellness; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 300 retailers at Shoppes Grand Canal. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.