ICE Ball
By Earl
The international casino industry demonstrated a unique ability to combine hospitality with fund raising when 450 diners celebrated the culmination of the ICE exhibition at the second annual ICE Ball at London’s prestigious Dorchester Hotel.

Responding in magnificent fashion to a personal address by actress Fiona Shaw CBE, the industry raised a record £65,800 (circa $93,000, €106,000) to help support the work of the internationally respected Adopt-A-Minefield charity, which raises funds to clear landmines and help survivors of land mine accidents.

An exclusive signed lithograph entitled Amnesty, painted by Sir Paul McCartney in 1996, raised £2,000 (circa $2,800, €3,200) in an auction which was won by Richard Mole, London Operations Director of Grosvenor Casinos. Generous pledge cheques were received from London Clubs International,, TCS, Microgaming Systems, Coinmaster Gaming plc, Hard Rock Casino Manchester, Hard Rock Casino London, Crown Gaming, IGT-Europe, Grosvenor Casinos, Solna Leisure, Mikohn Gaming and Sega Gaming. i-Gaming Zone exhibitor Next Generation Gaming took an innovative approach to fund raising by pledging to create a new on-line game to the value of £10,000 (circa $14,000, €16,000) which will be exclusive to the Adopt-A-Minefield website.

The internationalism so evident at ICE 2002 – which attracted buyers from 90 nations – was extended to the Ball, which had as its theme “The Five Continents”. Henri Brosi, executive chef at The Dorchester, created a menu which comprised an array of specially prepared dishes from the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australasia. Entertainment was provided by Too Darn Hot! representing the Americas, a floorshow included African Zulu warriors, Chinese ribbon dancers and Maori dancers who performed the Haaka. The dance band Star and the Cavern Beatles, representing Europe, completed the entertainment spectacular. “The most rewarding and enjoyable three business days I have ever spent in London!” is how Anette Jauch, sales manager for Mikohn Europe described this year’s International Casino Exhibition and ICE Ball. “It was the most fantastic exhibition ever and an absolutely incredible Ball,” she said.

Reflecting on the evening, Julian Graves, marketing and commercial director at ATE Ltd said: “There can be no better way to round-off an exhibition, which many believe was the best on record, than by celebrating in such style and raising a mammoth amount for a deserving international charity. The industry pulled out all of the stops to put on an amazing show, demonstrating that they know how to mix business with pleasure.” He added: “Special thanks should go to our good friends and Ball sponsors Grosvenor Casinos and Stanley Casinos who made a massive contribution to the event’s success, to the ICE Ball Charitable Committee who had the unenviable task of selecting this year’s charity and to every company and individual who helped make this such a spectacular industry event.”

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