The Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Pakistan and Serena Hotels collaborated to host a fundraising gala dinner (Rhythms & Passion of Southern Italy) on Friday, September 20, 2019 at the Sheesh Mahal, Islamabad Serena Hotel.
The Gala event featured a performance by an internationally acclaimed Italian Folk Rock Ensemble “Compagnia SoleLuna.” The famed Neapolitan Folk Rock Group has an extensive repertoire of Southern Italian popular music and dance, centered on the “Pizzica”, the “Taranta” and the Neapolitan “Tammurriata” that epitomize the fire, the rhythms and contemporary vision.
Serena Hotels and the Italian Embassy were able to raise Eight Million, Ten Thousand Rupees from the proceedings from the black-tie event, which went towards Shifa Foundation that is creating awareness for the early detection of an autistic child, their proper handling, care and cure. The event was graced by the presence of a well-known Italian specialist in Autism, Prof. Filippo Muratori. He is currently the Professor of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry at the University of Pisa.
A live auction was held during the event where 3 paintings were displayed which were made by autistic children from Oasis School, Lahore. Guests made generous bids and all three paintings were sold within a few minutes. A lottery draw was held after the auction which gave away authentic Italian made gift items, a return air ticket from Islamabad to Rome and various other gift vouchers.
Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels, said, “We are delighted to welcome the Italian performers to Pakistan. Serena Hotels is privileged to be able to host events that strengthen the cultural exchange between Pakistan and Spain while at the same time supporting a cause dear to our hearts – providing support for autism.”
He added that Serena is a platform that provides the space and opportunity for cultural exchanges by bringing unique and unusual talent to Islamabad and will continue to do so in the future.
Ambassador of Italy in Pakistan, H.E Stefano Pontecarvo thanked all the guests for their contribution towards generating funds towards the cause and added, “Autism in children coming from under-privileged families often goes undetected. These donations will ensure the correct steps are taken to raise awareness about the condition and to encourage behavioral therapy in those affected.”