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AIC Thanksgiving 2015

AIC Thanksgiving 2015 was by far the best one in years! A most elegent venue, an exuberant crowd, a delicious meal, and dancing to the always fabulous Albert Mark Band - it was an evening to remember, as we all acknowledge how much we have to be thankful for.

Arriving at the Hôtel Beau-Rivage is always a treat, but with the decorations for the hotel’s 150th  Anniversary, it was more festive than ever. Our office staff – Maxime, Ruth, Nina – looked quite sophisticated, all in cocktail black. Cocktails were divine, created by Fanan, the magical Baccardi barman, who was flanked on one side by our sponsor John Lobb, who presented his most elegant shoes and provided us with the traditional “shoe shine” service on a podium.  One of the first comments I heard was, « This is very good wine ! » Thanks to your friends the Bugnion.

With Swiss precision, we were called to the tables right on time. Table decor was a beautiful autumnal arrangement, including pumpkins and courges created by the florist of the hotel. After a delicious pumpkin and chestnut soup, guests were delighted with the festive turkey and stuffing, sweet and mashed potatoes, servied with the “jus des airelles” (the Swiss cousin to a cranberry). Everything was delicious !

In the generous spirit of Thanksgiving, the hotel provided extra potatoes and cranberries on each table, and set up a carving table for « seconds » on turkey. For the AIC, these features provided the best solution between a elegant sit-down dinner, and a home-style meal. Thank you to the Chef of the Beau-Rivage, Dominique Gauthier, for his very generous and kind empathy to the American Thanksgiving traditional meal.

Our President, Ed Flaherty, welcomed everyone and read  President Obama's Thanksgiving Proclamation. Then the charity auction began. Everyone got a Sotheby’s bidding paddle and  Garth Jones, Director of Sotheby’s, conducted a spirited auction of six lots which included a very elegant   pair of John Lobb men’s boots offered by our sponsor; a week’s stay at the five-star Soneva Kiri Resort in Thailand; a signed racquet by our celebrated Swiss tennis player, Stanislas Wawrinka; a beautiful painting by Anthony Smith Haichaigneau, donated our sponsor GEMS World Academy; and a voucher for a divine oxygen facial offered by our other sponsor, L.RAPHAEL. Our sincere gratitude to all our sponsors, including AUTOBRITT, whose fabulous VOLVO Diplomatic Car was parked outside of the Hôtel Beau-Rivage, enticing many onlookers.

As our Thanksgiving Chair, I conducted the Tombola draw for the top three lots. Drawing the first prize of dinner for two at the newly renovated Chat-Botté, the best table in town, was our Michelin star chef, Dominique Gauthier, who received a warm and well deserved applause. The winner was Tristan Sidjanski age 12! Caran d’Ache offered their marvelous Gift Box Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Supra Color, 120 colors! SWISS, our Corporate Partner, offered a genuine replica of their Boeing that flies between Geneva/New York. 

The proceeds from the auction and tombola will go to the Geneva Red Cross (Croix-Rouge genevoise) for their programs to help the homeless. Over CHF 12’000 was raised to help those in desperate need.  The AIC was proud to be able to help sponsor the coupons to sleep at the Army Navy Salvation and for purchasing clothing in a Red Cross second-hand store.  Most people who arrive at the Red Cross, have no money, no place to sleep and very little clothing.  With the onset of the cold this winter, we were particularly pleased to help the less fortunate on Thanksgiving.

Sincere thanks goes to the Hôtel Beau-Rivage, Mr. Jacques Mayer, and to our Thanksgiving Sponsors, John Lobb, Autobritt, GEMS World Academy and L. Raphael for making it possible that the AIC could put on such a wonderful Thanksgiving for our members, their guests and our Corporate Partners.

There were a lot of new faces at this Thanksgiving, and even some children. There were quite of few young professionals, mostly elegant ladies (men, you missed it!), drawn by the occasion, the Beau-Rivage venue, the AIC welcome, and dancing. Hopefully we will see them again at other AIC events, and eventually as AIC members!

The Albert-Mark Band got everyone on the dance floor, and Fanan drew and ever increasing crowd to the fabulous Bacardi bar, for his outstanding mojitos! 




AIC Thanksgiving Gala 2014

Thanksgiving in America is a major tradition that is observed every year on the 4th Thursday of November, and is now an AIC tradition. On that date in 2014, AIC Members, partners and friends gathered at the 5-star Hotel President Wilson on the Geneva lakefront. Also in attendance were AIC Corporate Partners and Sponsors who made a substantial contribution to the success of the event.


The event was sponsored by MKB Conseil & Coaching and Honda Automobiles Genève. The cocktails reception was sponsored by Bacardi. Procecco in three flavors was served at standup tables that allowed guests to mix and mingle before dinner. Prominent in the large cocktail area were two Honda models to explore, providing a nice focus and diversion.

Also displayed at the reception with Thanksgiving decor were the items to be auctioned later in the evening. A video display identified AIC Corporate Partners and Thanksgiving Sponsors. Also available was information on the designated AIC Charity for 2014 – La Maison de Tara Hospice (Chêne-Bougeries).


The Thanksgiving meal this year was the creation of Chef Michel Roth, formally at the Ritz Paris. His carte offered the usual Thanksgiving fare – turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie – but with a decidedly French Fusion touch, including foie gras.

To accompany the meal were a selection of excellent Geneva wines, thanks to the kind initiative of Ellen Wallace of Geneva Lunch. Red and white wines were offered from the caves of Philippe Bovet (Givrins), Domaine des Hutins (Dardagny), Clos des Pins (Dardagny) and Cave de Genève (Satigny). Our thanks for their generous and essential support of the evening. If you should visit any of these caves, please thank them for their wines. Why not take some home?


After dinner, Mrs. Daphne Fresle from La Maison de Tara introduced us to its facilities and mission. Then ex-AIC President Ed Karr went to work as auctioneer of the three lots to raise funds for its support. The lots included a hand-made necklace by Céès jeweler Mr. Nareg Piri; a framed photo by Irene Kung ; and a week holiday at the fabulous 5-star tropical private resort Soneva Kiri  in Thailand. As usual, Ed was a terrific auctioneer! Proceed from the auction and Tombola raised about CHF 8’000 for La Maison de Tara.


The Thanksgiving Gala would not have been possible without the generosity of numerous sponsors, especially MKB Conseil & Coaching and its head Katrina Burrus, who hosted an overflowing table. Thanks also to Jim Foley for the two Honda models on display and his animation table, and to Bacardi. Additional thanks go to the many donations of Tombola prizes. And finally, we appreciated with thanks the participation of our Corporate Partners, including Harsch Transport and its new head, Isabelle Harsch, Cargill, Covance, Webster University, JT International, PPG Industries and PDP Performance Development Partners.

Plans are already underway for Thanksgiving 2015, so please put the date on your agenda: Thursday, November 26.

Robert Race, Chair of AIC Thanksgiving