By: aipfadmin On: October 14, 2017 In: News Comments: 0

The Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund Inaugural Fund Raiser

Auction and Dinner – Thursday 12th October 2017

On 12th October, The Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund (AIPF) hosted its inaugural fundraiser in London, at the Phillips Gallery in Berkeley Square. A gathering of the great and the good of the philanthropic world, the evening was a celebration and discovery of the Aeolian Islands, hosted by the fund’s founders Ben Goldsmith and Luca del Bono, culminating in an auction raising over £30,000 for the AIPF.

Ben Goldsmith said: “Luca and I launched the Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund for the purpose of bringing together people who love this outstandingly beautiful archipelago and who want to restore and protect its unique natural environment. The fund has already supported some exciting initiatives – including work to establish a huge marine protected area in the islands. The AIPF follows the model of the brilliant Ibiza Preservation Fund which I co-founded in 2010. We have replicated this model in a number of other places and are hoping to create many more in future.”

Ben Goldsmith con Ben Elliot e Paul Collingwood

Ben Goldsmith, Ben Elliot and Paul Collingwood

Fellow founder Luca del Bono said: One would be hard hearted not to see the value of this. On behalf of the fund, I am honoured to see happy smiles and generous gestures. Given any opportunity, nature renews herself and we see that, now, all around the world. Our charity can and is helping that process. We have devoted volunteers, but contribution is needed to make our work effective or even possible. Whatever the outcome for my beloved islands, and the clear seas in which they sit, we can at least ensure that here and now we enjoy being here and all that the evening has to offer.”

Luca Del Bono con Giorgio Veroni, Hermione Del Bono, Tamara Beckwith e Hedvig Opshaug

Luca Del Bono, Giorgio Veroni, Hermione Del Bono, Tamara Beckwith and Hedvig Opshaug

The Aeolian Islands are a group of seven islands north of Sicily in the Tyhrennian Sea. Each landmass is geographically and geologically unique, with volcanic foundations earning them the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2015, Ben Goldsmith and Luca del Bono set up the AIPF, supported by local and international individuals and business men to support initiatives focussed on sustainable development across five main areas: Marine Conservation, Landscape Protection (including local food), Clean Water, Waste Management and Renewable Energy.

Arriving at Phillips, Tamara Beckwith, Georgio Ferroni and Jemima Jones greeted old friends and allies, including Hedvig Opshaug, Meredith Ostrom and Alice Rothschild in the grand room adorned with artwork by Sigmar Polke and Turner Prize nominee Hurvin Anderson. Singer with Aeolian heritage, Natalie Imbruglia, gave a magnificent live performance to the party, who enjoyed Italian inspired cocktails from brand new opening Ritorno on the King’s Road, including the Aeolian 75, a zesty blend of gin, orange juice, Prosecco and capers and the Spagliato Siciliano, a heady mix of vodka, orange liquor and vermouth.

On supporting the event, Natalie Imbruglia said: “The Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund is very close to my heart as my father is from the Islands. Over the past 10 years, I’ve been spending more and more time there and it’s one of the most beautiful, unspoilt places I’ve ever seen. This Fund is providing vital support to local conservation and environmental initiatives to ensure it stays that way and I’m incredibly proud to be supporting their work.”

Natalie Imbruglia sul palco

Natalie Imbruglia on stage

Following the performance, a fabulous auction sent two lucky winners off on a wine tasting trip to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. Other prizes included a stunning travel bag donated by Marguerita Missoni, a special edition of the Mr&Mrs Italy parka with ocean inspired embroidery designed by Jonathan Riss, and £500 worth of vouchers to spend in Orlebar Brown.

Aeolian inspired Antipasti and aperitivos were provided by GODO, which were complemented by Ritorno’s cocktail bar. Wine came from Sicilian vineyard Cottanera, and Spumante from Ferrari, cited as the best of Italy!

The event bought together 500 people, comprising environmentalists, and Italian and Mediterranean aficionados, from the UK and abroad. The founders of the AIPF, Ben Goldsmith and Luca del Bono spoke about the charity and its plans to create the largest and best managed Marine Protected Area in Italy. A short film produced in collaboration with BLUE Marine Foundation was shown, exhibiting the natural beauty and underwater magic of this amazing archipelago. Guests were also able to experience a 360 degree-underwater world via virtual reality headsets.

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Gallery: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/event/the-aeolian-islands-preservation-funds-inaugural-fundraiser-at-phillips-775058152?#jemima-jones-attends-the-aeolian-islands-preservation-funds-inaugural-picture-id860630064