AIC Thanksgiving 2017 Event – A Night of Food, Fun, and Goodwill



Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, along came the AIC Thanksgiving 2017 celebration at Geneva’s Hotel InterContinental. We have not had Thanksgiving at the Intercontinental for several years, and the hotel was eager for us to return. We certainly thank them for the excellent service provided in the planning and execution of this year’s event which featured great food, music, and some intense, friendly wagering for a good cause.


This year’s “family-style” and buffet format was something new, but it proved  a hit as each table (and each guest) had an opportunity to serve themselves and others at their own pace and preference. More than 140 guests – including a nice mix of regulars and new faces, children, and Corporate Partners - and of course the renowned Albert Mark Trio, made it an evening to remember for all in attendance.


This year’s designated charity was the Geneva-based Anouk Foundation which offers a comprehensive program of arts and crafts decors for seriously ill patients, young and old. To support their cause, we had a variety of donation formats - Live Auction, Silent Auction, and two draws from a champagne bucket. Anouk Foundation co-founder Vanessa von Richter was on hand for the event, making a brief introduction to the Foundation, and supplying ten (10) prints from their program for the night’s Silent Auction.


Sponsors donating prizes were SWISS (bons for flights), Manor with cards, Hotel Metropole, Bongenie Grieder, Caran D’Ache, Escada, Firmenich, Kinloch, Lindegger Optics, Geneva Servette Hockey Club, TPG, our host venue Hotel InterContinental’s Woods Restaurant, as well as private individuals, members and non-members. The featured prizes included a three-hour coaching session with Visconti Partners, a diamond bracelet from Bucherer, two large prints by Lausanne-based artist Julie Birenbaum, and, just-in-time-for-the-season, a ruby-red snow toboggan from KM Enterprises.


After cocktails, AIC President Ron Banks opened the event with a brief welcome and acknowledgments. Then the starter buffet was opened. Everyone seemed taken by the main course served “family-style” at the tables: tender and moist turkey, sliced ham, plus the “must-haves” -- mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potato au gratin, green beans, roast chestnuts, and….lingonberries (Where were the cranberries, guys?).  Later, a dessert buffet featuring apple, pumpkin, and pecan tarts, a hearty chocolate mousse, and some seasonal fruits concluded the culinary offering.


On came the Club’s resident auctioneer, Ed Karr, who provided the necessary mix of humor, price gouging, and prodding to keep the night rolling and the prices up. He oversaw both the Live Auction and the draw of twelve exquisite items (including a magnum of wine from Mouton Cadet). Volunteer extraordinaire Isabel Montagne managed the Silent Auction of another 30 items, including four lots of wine from Mendades Caves. By night’s end, the representatives from Anouk seemed very pleased with how the spirited bidding and silent auction would benefit their charity.


After the auction and draw, the Albert-Mark Trio launched into a number of familiar dance tunes from the '70s and '80s, bringing even the gravity-challenged to their collective feet. Midnight came just too soon for some.


Kudos to our volunteers Laurel, Reina, Chris, Isabel, and Jing, plus the Kid's Room nanny and babysitter, for a job well done. Special kudos to AIC Thanksgiving chair Robert Race for an excellent event, and to our president Ron surviving the evening -- and the week -- with his voice intact. At his Head Table were various special guests, including representatives of our Corporate Partners: Harsch, PDP - Performance Development Partners, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SWISS,    and Webster University.


Overall, it was a fun night for everyone and many went home with a full tummy, two tired feet, and some earthly treasures. Once again, we want to thank our many supporters from the corporate world, donors, our volunteers, and our honored guests. Everyone was a winner tonight!


Chris Terry