The annual fundraising gala dinner held by Skoun, Lebanese Addictions Centerin the presence of Minister of Public Health GhassanHasbani, and organized by Caractère (Alain Hadifé & Danielle Mallat) has once again achieved its aim of providing more than 500guests with afabulous evening of fun, while raising funds for a good cause.
This year's event took place at O1NE Beirut in Biel, with entertainment provided bydazzling Lebanon singer-songwriter, Blu Fiefer who was dressed for the occasion by Elie Saab.
In keeping with tradition, the always-popular fundraising dinner hada theme, this year, was none other than the master spy of movies himself, James Bond.
While the dinner was undoubtedly a thoroughly enjoyable occasion, complete withelegantold school British spies, bowties, glamorous Bond girl lookalikes and plenty of villains,there is, of course a serious side to it.
The annual fundraiserrepresents a crucial part of Skoun'sefforts to sustain its drug and alcohol treatment centers and prevention programs. The gala raises 35% of Skouns annual budget.
The event also provides its team with a timely opportunity to look back on what was a milestone year for the organization, in which Skoun marked both 15 years of operations and the opening of a new outpatient substance treatment center and atRafik Hariri University Hospital in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health.
"Last year was incrediblybusy, but also immensely satisfying for us at Skoun," Nadya Mikdashi, executive director and co-founder said. "The launch of the new clinic is an important step forward that will enable us increase the number of peoplewe can help who are struggling with addiction issues by offering them access to our services, but also it shows the governments belief in Skoun and the work we do."
Skoun treated 560 patients in 2017, up from 430 in 2015, while also providing educational and awareness campaigns for7825 young people and training to 180 teachers and other education professionals in 61 schools across Lebanon.
Other work undertaken in 2017 included stepping up itscampaignto have legislation governing drugs amended, via a seminar in parliament,which resulted in amendmentsbeing adopted by the Ministry of Human Rights.
Sarah Trad, president of Skoun's Board and co-founder, added that the part played by the annual gala dinner and the generosity of attendees couldn't be overestimated.
"Our annual fundraiser is literally a lifesaver, in that it helps Skoun to do what is does every day, save lives," she said. "I want to thank everyone who is here tonight, whether in a personal capacity or as a company representative and let you know that your generosity is helping us to tackle those affected by Lebanon's growing drug and addiction problem, including patients and their families, while also strengthening our preventative campaigns which are key for future success."
Skoun, founded in 2003, has grown to become a leader in providing treatment and support for people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction in Lebanon. It is a non-profit, non-governmental Lebanese organization and the first outpatient therapeutic facility in Lebanon that offers prevention and treatment services.
Skouncurrently operates throughtheir2 new centers in Badaro and Rafik Hariri University Hospital, and focus their work on providing support in areas of drug treatment, prevention and policy.
Skoun has since helped over 3000 people to successfully reclaim their lives.
Sponsors of the event and contributors are:
Silver Sponsor: Dar Al-Handasah
Bronze Sponsors:Banque Audi;BanqueLibano-Francaise;Bankmed; BB Energy;Fattal;Fransabank;FondationOusseimi;Magrabi Optical;Sannine
Contributors: Aziz;Caractere; Dar El Founoun; Diageo;Kubik; The Department; Eddy Yazbek; Jimmy Francis; Johnnie Walker; Arts and Melon;BluFiefer; Diffa;Faddoul Casino; Ikebana; Patrick Sawaya Photography; and MIRROS Communication & Media Services.