Annual Gala 2018

Annual Gala Event 2018 - Signature of Hope Trust

The inaugural Signature of Hope Gala Dinner was conceptualised by Trustees Dr Kamlen Pillay of Wembley Clinic and Sandalene Dale Roberts who wanted to create something much more than just ‘another charity event’. The result has been spectacular with close to R1-million raised in support of The Avela Foundation and The Smile Foundation.

There can be no doubt: The Signature of Hope Gala Dinner has claimed its place as the social event of the year for many years to come.

Signature of Hope Gala Event
Media release, 5 February 2019

Cape Town’s social elite raise almost R1-million at city’s top charitable event

Charitable fundraising like it has never been done before! On 16 December the crème de la crème of Cape Town gathered for the city’s most glamourous social event of the year, the inaugural Signature of Hope Gala Dinner, and raised close to R1-million for a very deserving cause.

This glittering gala dinner was a dazzling celebration of the arts, culinary excellence and mesmerising entertainment. It firmly affixed the event at the top of Cape Town’s social calendar as the most sought-after black-tie invite. But more than that, the Signature of Hope (SOH) Trust is also disrupting and reinventing the world of charities and NGOs, setting new standards of accountability and transparency.

Multi award-winning celebrity chef Luke Dale Roberts’ exclusive signature restaurant, The Test Kitchen, hosted the gala dinner on the Day of Reconciliation, and it was all for an outstanding good cause. The proceeds raised on the evening from the one hundred A-list philanthropists will be distributed by the Trust to two charities, The Avela Foundation, a non-profit organisation (NPO) committed to helping children with burn injuries on their road to physical and psychological recovery and The Smile Foundation, also an NPO, focused on transforming the lives of children with facial conditions such as burns, rare medical conditions, and cleft lip and palates. Together they will use the funds for the complete refurbishment and expansion of the Burn Unit at the Kimberley Hospital in the Northern Cape.

On the night, guests arrived at The Cape Grace Hotel in the V&A Waterfront where they were greeted with a glass of top French champagne and delicious treats. Next, they were chauffeur driven in luxurious style to Cape Town’s Old Biscuit Mill and The Test Kitchen, currently rated the top restaurant in Africa and on the world’s top fifty list. Here, it soon was time for a multi-course gastronomic spectacle not seen before. Stars of the show were Luke and his equally talented protégés - Freddie Dias of The Pot Luck Club, Wesley Randles of The Shortmarket Club and The Commissary, and Ryan Cole of Salsify at the Roundhouse. And cook up a storm they did!

“We saw this as a wonderful opportunity for us to give back in a meaningful way and help in making changes for the better, while really pushing the boundaries of what we love to do - create and cook,” says Luke.

The focal purpose of the evening, however, was the raising of funds. This was achieved through the sale of tickets to the event, raffle tickets that were sold with some of South Africa’s most sought-after getaway destinations and restaurant experiences as prizes, and the main fund-raiser of the evening, the auction.

The internationally esteemed bronze sculptor Otto du Plessis sculpted one of his masterful creations right there in front of the eyes of the guests, which was auctioned off at an inspiring price. Next under the hammer was the work of Peter Eastman, another internationally renowned South African artist. Bidders also competed for a luxury safari cruise on Lake Kariba, a private dinner prepared by Luke Dale Roberts at the winning bidder’s home, and an original, privately-owned photograph of Nelson Mandela in Norway, donated by filmmaker Anant Singh. All the items for the raffle and auction were kindly donated.

Entertainment was provided by the internationally acclaimed magician and mentalist, Larry Soffer, South Africa’s premier band, Freshly Ground, and award-winning electronic duo Goldfish. As emcees, radio personalities Liezel van der Westerhuizen and Africa Melane, and film and stage actor Sivu Ngesi kept the guests engaged and the show on time.

The Signature of Hope Gala Dinner is the brainchild of SOH Trustees Dr Kamlen Pillay of Wembley Clinic and Sandalene Dale Roberts who wanted to create something much more than just ‘another charity event’. The result was spectacular.

The SOH Trust is backed by South Africa’s leading wealth management and advisory firm, Carrick Wealth. The Trust was founded by Carrick Wealth CEO, Craig Featherby and Directors Mike Fannin and Bryan Austen, forming part of Carrick’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Strategy. Carrick has a significant African footprint in South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mauritius and is committed to making a real difference in the lives of disadvantaged communities, aligning closely to the philanthropic goals and ambitions of SOH Trust. The Trust is respected for its work in filling the void between those who are in dire need, and those who have and want to give while knowing their philanthropic investment is in safe, accountable and transparent hands.

There can be no doubt: The Signature of Hope Gala Dinner has claimed its place as the social event of the year for many years to come.

View all the gala images here.