Galas - Global Gift Gala

The Global Gift Gala is a self-proclaimed "Night of Philanthropy and Entertainment". A charity fundraising gala, it is held in cities all over the world, including Istanbul, Marbella and Paris, to raise money for women's and children's charities worldwide.

© Rebekah Thompson Walk-a-thon participants enjoy the family fun day.
Walk-a-thon participants enjoy the family fun day.

In addition to raising money through the gala itself, there is also a series of fundraising events preceding the gala; an auction during the gala; and the presentation of the Global Gift Humanitarian Award on the night of the event.

This year, 2012, marked the first year of the event. The gala was promoted primarily by Honorary Chair, Eva Longoria, and well-known local philanthropist, Maria Bravo. The pair are usually involved in the Starlite Gala with Antonio Banderas, but this year in an attempt to raise further funds for their respective charities, the philanthropic pair split from the Starlite Gala and spearheaded The Global Gift Gala. The event raises funds for Eva´s charity, the Eva Longoria Foundation, the Cesare Scariolo Foundation and Children for Peace, amongst others.

© Rebekah Thompson Eva Longoria meets participants of the Dynamic Walk-A-Thon
Eva Longoria meets participants of the Dynamic Walk-A-Thon

This year the fundraising took place over two days: 18 and 19 August. Saturday 18 August saw the Dynamic Walk-a-thon, where hundreds of participants took part in a sponsored walk around Marbella. The walk-a-thon was followed by a family fun day at the Dynamic Gym, with clowns, inflatable slides, trampolines and magicians to entertain the children, and traditional flamenco music and performances to serenade the adults. Eva Longoria appeared after the walk to congratulate the participants and winners.

© Rebekah Thompson Seeing where the money goes, Eva meets benificiaries of the Eva Longoria Foundation.
Seeing where the money goes, Eva meets benificiaries of the Eva Longoria Foundation.

The Global Gift Gala itself took place on Sunday 19 August at the Hotel Gran Meliá Don Pepe, in Marbella. The event was catered by two-Michelin-star chef Dani Garcia, and one-Michelin-star chef, Diego del Rio. The event was presented by Spanish celebrity Mar Saura, and Puerto Rican actor Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break, Fast and Furious 2). The 2012 Global Gift Humanitarian Award was presented by controversial physician and writer Deepak Chopra, to Spanish national football team manager, Vicente del Bosque.

© Rebekah Thompson Family fun day at the Dynamic Gym Marbella.
Family fun day at the Dynamic Gym Marbella.

The event kicked off with a red carpet "parade" of the guests of honour, followed by a spectacular dinner. After the dinner a live charity auction raised further funds for the relevant charities, after which there were live performances from actor and musician Terrence Howard (Ray, Get Rich or Die Tryin´, Crash), Diego Amador, Pastora Soler, Diana Navarro and Chenoa, among others.

At this time it is unknown whether the Global Gift Gala will return to Marbella, but Eva Longoria told Andalucia.com "I love Marbella" and hopes the gala will come back next year.