Masquerade balls have graced some of the finest halls in the world; a masquerade breathes a mysterious air and yearns for the exotic decadence of the Venetian Renaissance, where beauty and charm reigned gloriously.

Cercle Cité glowed for one night on Saturday 11 November in an elaborate, glamorous, black, red and gold ambiance which set the stage for the 5th Anniversary Celebration Masquerade Ball of Make-A-Wish® Luxembourg. The evening was a night of hidden surprises!

Besides enjoying an unforgettable evening, the 242 participants at this Gala charity event advanced the fulfilment of wishes for children between the ages of 3 and 18 years old with life-threatening medical conditions by raising €42,232. Make-A-Wish® grants a child’s dearest wish, and has fulfilled 21 local wishes since their origination in Luxembourg in late 2012.

Fanciful surprises awaited both inside and outside the venue, and special entertainment added to the ambiance of this extravagant fantasyland. Horses and their riders dressed the part with masks and lights outside the venue, and jugglers threw fire into the evening sky. During the reception, ensemble Quatricina set a Renaissance tone as authentic Venetian Carnival artists, jugglers and crystal ball performers mystified the crowd. Later some special guests inspired and touched the attendees’ hearts, including speeches by Linda Pauling, mother to Chris who inspired the creation of Make-A-Wish 37 years ago and Lena, a 19 year old Luxembourg Wish Kid who shared her wish experience of meeting Ed Sheeran. Lastly, ballerinas Jovi Anousaki, Sergio Mel and Serena Lang, as well as singer Glenys Vargas, graced the dance floor with three dance Acts depicting Make-A-Wish Luxembourg’s first wish kid, Fabiana, whose wish was to have tea with Rapunzel. Fabiana’s parents, Marcia and Bruno Parada, were guests as well and, when they joined Linda on stage, not an eye was dry in the Cercle’s ballroom.  Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to the Gala Chair, Lisa Sarfati.

Following a lavish 4-course dinner, with menu created by French caterer Marcotullio, DJ Lady Sunshine spun tunes until 02:00 with smiling guests dancing on the full dance floor. The popular casino was open (with casino cash provided), alluring specialty-themed cocktails, The Venetian Rose and The Masquerade, were available, and only imagination was needed in the Venetian selfie photo booth to immortalise the moment.

Of course, a key highlight was the lively auction, where fabulous prizes donated by companies and individuals were awarded to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish® for future wishes. There was a total of 45 Auction Items to choose from (10 Live and 35 Silent). The Live Auction item that generated the highest bid was Breakfast with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel coming in at €8,000, the winner was Stan Bernard.

The Silent Auction item that generated the highest bid was a BRM (Bernard Richards Manufacture) watch coming in at €1,550,00. The most popular Silent Auction item was tickets to Evita at Theater de la Ville de Luxembourg with 10 bids. Some of the other auction items included: events at the British and Austrian Embassies, an outing with An American in Luxembourg, a private lesson in a CargoLux Jumbo 747 Flight Simulator, a photograph by Christophe Van Biesen, private wine tasting & tapas and signed sports items, including a jersey by cyclist Frank Schleck, a cap from Formula One World Champion Niko Rosberg, a jersey by Sergio Parisse of National Italian rugby team jersey and a Luxembourg National futbol team jersey, and a Gala-inspired painting by Anastasia Vanden Berghe. Creating a multi-lingual team and experience for the guest, Jim Kent and Andy Pawlikowski were captivating Masters of Ceremonies, switching from English, to French to Luxembourgish.

Helping to make the Gala event possible are this year’s sponsors Twenty First Capital, TMF Group and ArcelorMittal.