American Business Group in Abu Dhabi (ABGAD) yesterday announced its plans to host its second anniversary Charity Ball with all proceeds going to the Future Centre, Abu Dhabi Special Needs School and Rehabilitation Centre.

By Felicity Campbell (Contributor)

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Published: Mon 20 Sep 2004, 2:27 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:01 AM

The occasion, to be held in the stunning Al Thuraya Ballroom of the Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers promises to be spectacular. One of the hottest social events of the season, this year's charity ball plans to out-dazzle last year's magnificent event. The gem of the evening will be the grand raffle. The prizes will also include business class tickets and an overnight stay in the Royal Suite at the Beach Hotel.

City Times spoke to Deborah Bush, executive director, ABGAD to find out more about the prestigious event and its nominated beneficiary. "The American Business Group in Abu Dhabi was developed by a group of American businessmen living and working in Abu Dhabi who identified the need to network with each other about what was happening in business and what was happening in the community. They organised themselves and became registered with the UAE Chamber of Commerce and became the American Business Group. We are a completely non-profit organisation."

She also describes how the idea of the charity ball came about. "Last year was our first charity ball, prior to that we hadn't done anything similar. It was very successful with over 400 people in attendance and we raised money for the UAE Red Crescent Society and presented a cheque to them. The Red Crescent is a wonderful society, but the donated money is spread widely to cover their many needs. This year we were looking for something a little more local to the community. People who sponsored and attended the event last year said they would like to see exactly where their money was going. So we looked around the community and tried to identify a charity, which was closer to home, where we could actually go and see things being done. The Future Centre fitted our needs perfectly." The Centre has a wish list of things they need. "If the Charity Ball proceeds can provide for even one thing on the list we will happy," adds Bush. "The Future Centre works on a needs basis. That is they assess every child who wishes to enter the school and if the child fits the criteria of needs, even if they can't pay, they will be admitted.

"We can't think of an establishment more worthy of our support. The Charity Ball will be a momentous occasion with lots of great entertainment and fun, and will culminate with a grand raffle."

The American Business group is a non-profit organization, which encourages commerce and investment between the United States and Abu Dhabi. It has proved to be an important connection for American businesses operating from Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the Gulf to the United States. Operating since 1996, the ABGD is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce.

The Future Centre is a non-profit organization, which is committed to the 'education, habilitation and rehabilitation of children with learning and other disabilities'. The centre currently has 160 pupils, but has a long waiting list of at least 80 pupils.

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