Ball in Monaco, the well-established biennial charity gala, takes place in Singapore and celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Ballroom in 2018. The event gathers the elites of Singapore, South East Asia and Monaco, in raising awareness and funds for the ecological and humanitarian projects commissioned by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. For the past 10 years, HSH Prince Albert II graces each gala personally, along with a local Minister of Singapore. Ball in Monaco truly reflects the charitable trait of the Principality in a classy and timeless manner.
We speak to Celeste Basapa, a part of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation First Circle, regarding the glamorous evening of Monaco in Singapore.
Please kindly introduce yourself and tell us about the special bond you have with the Ball in Monaco in Singapore.
I am noted in Singapore as an ‘avid’ fundraiser for the arts and children’s health causes, and more recently for the voluntary work I have done for H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco’s eponymous foundation dedicated to saving our environment. This is natural for me as I am not gainfully employed, and I have free time on my hands. I am not enamored with the title of ‘ladies who lunch’!
The latter of my fundraising activity is now very dear to my heart. In view of the dire state of our planet and of the grave injustice made to it. I realized, when visiting natural locations, how wondrous in natural beauty our planet is, from the deserts of Africa to the forests of the Amazon, from Europe to Asia, from snow capped mountains to spectacular ocean destinations… I wished to be able to help organizations that are committed to saving this wonderful home of ours. But I am a tad perspicacious so I must be cognizant of the organization and of who helms it.
How did you come to play a leading role in the organization of the Monaco Ball?
In view of my search for an organization that I could relate to through personal association, I met Mrs. Jacky Deromedi 10 years ago when she was the Honorary Consul of Monaco in Singapore. It was an instant affinity and when she invited me to volunteer for the Foundation by being on the committee of the Monaco Ball – Asian Edition, it was easy for me to say yes. I had the two factors that determine my commitment to any fundraising cause before me: the person behind the cause – in this case H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and Mrs. Deromedi, and the cause itself: saving the planet!
Since 2010, together with Mrs. Deromedi (and later M. Jean Marc Deromedi, now the Honorary Consul of Monaco in Singapore) as well as a sterling back-up of local social luminaries, we have made the Biennial Monaco Ball – Asian Edition, a huge success to which the personal attendance at all the galas of the very amicable and warm Serene Highness, has been the froth of the ocean’s wave.
Do you see a pattern in the ways Monaco and Singapore have been succeeding on the international stage amidst numerous challenges?
Indeed, the parallels are clear! Both countries are small city states with few natural resources other than their dynamic leaders and people, cashing on their individual assets without being threats to their neighbors but rather complementing them. The two countries also share a sense of pragmatism and open-mindedness which has contributed to their rise and to now being a source of inspiration for many, in the international community.
Could you share some personal memories about Monaco?
That is an easy one! Monaco has been the dream destination of every young woman from the days of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, for its romantic allure and beautiful sites.
I visited the Principality for the first time as an added sojourn when I visited Nice and Cannes thinking that I would be fulfilling a girlish dream. However, that was the start of a long-standing romance.
Upon my first visit with my husband, we stayed at the Hermitage Monte-Carlo. It was breathtakingly beautiful! The hospitality, the beauty of the surroundings… were ‘bar none”. Truly a destination without peers!
On subsequent visits – because of my husband’s love for F1 – we stayed at various locations as a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Every visit was etched in our memories. But we have our favorites. For me it is still the Hermitage Monte-Carlo and for my husband it would be Columbus, due to his affinity with the F1 crowd!