Preparations are well underway for what promises to be the premier ball of the Beijing season, to be attended by 700 guests including many prominent British and Chinese business, political and diplomatic personnel. British Ambassador to China, Sir William Ehrman, has graciously agreed to address the guests.

The British Charity Ball 2008 will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Kerry Centre Hotel on Saturday 25th October.

This year, the theme will be "The Roaring 20’s" and the Committee aims to raise RMB400,000 for its chosen charity, New Life Centre, which is a training skills centre with six teachers. It provides lodging, care and schooling for disadvantaged children ages 10-18, who have had gaps in their schooling and difficult home lives. Successful candidates eventually enter mainstream school or technical schools to further their studies and qualify for employment. At the moment, there are 55 students. The centre is supported by donations and the Ball committee hopes that its contribution will help them expand the homes that they provide.

As always, the event is black Tie, or 20s dress in accordance with the theme. It starts with a champagne reception, dinner, band, disco, and for those still standing, a survivors breakfast in the early hours. Also, there are great auction items, table prizes and raffles prizes. Therefore, at RMB980 per person, one might say a bargain.

To book a table (10-12 people per table) or tickets, you can contact Ms Michelle Wen at The Kerry Centre Hotel, at fax number (86) 10 8529 9979, e-mail michelle.wen@shangri-la.com, or call her on + (86) 10 6561 8833 ext 6356. tickets are now on sale.

Finally, as with previous years events, sponsorship plays a critical role in helping us provide our donations, with all proceeds going to our designation charity. There are still sponsorship opportunities available; please visit www.britishball.org.cn for full details or contact Gilbard Honey-Jones gilbard.honey-jones@britishschool.org.cn or Russell Brown rbrown@lehmanbrown.com .

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