There was cause for celebration this year in Monaco as renowned philanthropists, John Caudwell and Modesta Vzesniauskaite hosted their annual charity cycle ride and gala dinner, raising a record-breaking €1.3million for UK-based charity, Caudwell Children.
Held entirely outdoors, the two annual events were both masterminded by former professional cyclist, Modesta. They were able to go ahead thanks to extensive collaboration with venues and the local health authorities to ensure the most up-to-date social distancing and infection control measures were followed.
Following the two successful events, when asked about the highlight of the weekend, Mr Caudwell commented:
“The real highlight was that we were able to pull it off at all. With Caudwell Children’s UK face-to-face fundraising events all cancelled this year due to the pandemic, Modesta and I were determined that regulations permitting, the Monaco events would go ahead. But right up until the last minute, there was uncertainty, so we are delighted that they were able to go ahead and ultimately be extremely successful thanks to everyone that came and supported us.”
A group of 38 cyclists, including UK cycling legend and previous BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Mark Cavendish, set off for a gruelling 85km one-day sponsored ride set against the picturesque backdrop of the Cote D’Azur and tackling some of the region’s mountainous terrain before descending into the port of Monaco to celebrate their achievements. While the riders basked in the French autumn sunshine, a group of dedicated charity supporters also completed the distance in a ‘virtual’ bike ride in their homes and offices in the UK. In total, the 50 cyclists raised an impressive €257,000 in sponsorship from the challenge.
Former Olympic cyclist, Modesta Vzesniauskaite, said:
“John and I met through cycling, and it is one of the greatest loves. To combine this with our greatest passion, helping charity, gives us great joy and we are so grateful to everyone who took part both here in Monaco and back in the UK and raised such a fantastic amount of money for Caudwell Children.”
Following the cycling, attention turned to the outdoor terrace a luxurious Monte Carlo hotel where 100 guests joined John and Modesta under the stars for an evening of exquisite hospitality, entertainment and fundraising. Among the glamorous guests in attendance was the British entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne with wife Nigora, Mark Cavendish and renowned Monaco resident and philanthropist, Sergey Egorov.
Entertainment came courtesy of the NuArt dancers, DJ Benjamin K, magician Nicolas Clement and singers, Marielle and The Troubadours but the highlight of the evening was the fundraising auction. Orchestrated by Simon du Pury, auction lots including holidays in Whistler, California, fine art and a week onboard the Superyacht Titania received a flurry of bids as guests demonstrated their immense generosity at a time when Caudwell Children’s support for disabled children is needed more than ever.
The two fundraising events raised an impressive €1,302,428 with every penny being used to support disabled children in the UK with vital support directly.
Charity CEO, Trudi Beswick, who sent an emotional video message which was played on the night said:
“We are overwhelmed, both by John and Modesta’s unrelenting commitment and support and by the generosity of the guests at the Ball and riders who took part in the cycle challenge. This success comes at a time when disabled children and families are feeling more isolated and afraid than ever before, and when it has not been possible to deliver our usual calendar of fundraising events. The supporters of these events have literally been a lifeline to Caudwell Children and allowed us to continue being a lifeline to the families we support. We are so incredibly grateful.”
Caudwell Children is a national children’s charity based in the UK, founded in 2000 by John Caudwell and led by CEO, Trudi Beswick since the very beginning the charity has supported over 55,000 disabled children with 653 different medical conditions. In 2019 they officially opened the Caudwell International Children’s Centre, the UK’s first independent purpose-built facility for the assessment, intervention and research of autism.
Chairman Emeritus, John Caudwell, remains the charity’s most passionate supporter and personally donates the charity’s administration and management overheads each year, enabling 100% of all direct donations to be spent directly on the children and families they support.
For more details or to support Caudwell Children visit www.caudwellchildren.com or follow the charity on social media.