此外，万豪国际集团执行董事长兼董事会主席小比尔·马里奥特（J.W. Marriott, Jr.）也通过一条为晚宴特别录制的视频，向在席嘉宾、万豪员工及姚基金团队表达谢意。他表示：“我们已经建造了四所希望小学，另外三所也在紧密筹备中。这些学校不仅改变了贫困地区学生的生活，也促进了无数家庭和社区的发展。万豪承诺，要为青少年创造机遇、强化本地社区，为当地经济带来发展。”
万豪国际集团亚太区总裁兼董事总经理施康瑞（Craig S. Smith）与姚明及来自希望小学的孩童们亲切互动，一同分享儿时梦想。同时，施康瑞先生与姚明先生也共同展望了未来万豪国际集团与姚基金之间的紧密合作。
Marriott International East China Business Council hosted its sixth annual charity gala in support of Yao Foundation and raised in combination with the golf tournament earlier this year, a total of USD 673,510 to further support education projects for underprivileged children in rural China.
All net proceeds generated from ticket sales and the evening’s charity auction will be used for the further development of Marriott-Yao Foundation Hope Primary Schools and to organize basketball seasons.
Marriott International recognizes the important work of the Yao Foundation and has supported it in community service programs since 2013, including the commitment of rebuilding seven Hope Primary Schools in unprivileged area of China. By the end of 2017, Marriott has raised a total of USD 2.1 million in supporting charity projects in collaboration with the Yao Foundation.
Established by the former basketball player Yao Ming, the Yao Foundation is dedicated to the development of Chinese youth through education, sport, health and self-esteem.
Themed “A Night of Starlight,” the Gala was held at the St. Regis Shanghai Jingan – centrally located in the heart of Shanghai, where modern luxury presents in a new era and the event was hosted by 107 Marriott International hotels in East China Business Council across 24 cities covering 18 brands. About 600 attendees including corporate guests and individual sponsors enjoyed the evening of unexpected splendid live entertainment focusing on visual, trendy and fashionable concepts and a delightful dining experience crafted by the Marriott culinary team, presenting an exquisite selection of fine ingredients influenced by local flavours.
Benjamin Zahn, Chairman of Marriott East China Business Council delivered a warm welcome speech, expressing his sincere appreciation to the guests and encouraged guests to show their love during the event. He said “With your donations, sponsorships and hopefully very active participation in our silent and live auctions tonight, you can make a big impact in people’s life and we all combined, can help the Yao Foundation to build more Project Hope schools in the rural regions of China.”
During the 2018 gala dinner, J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, sent his greetings video to express his gratitude to the guests, Marriott associates and Yao Foundation teams for their great support. He hoped all guests would enjoy the evening in The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan. He said: “There’s now four Hope Schools and another three is on the way. These schools not just change the life of underprivileged children; they are also assisting families and communities. Marriott International is committed to create opportunities for talent young people, grow economies and strengthen the local communities”.
Craig S. Smith, President and Managing Director of Marriott International Asia Pacific and Yao Ming interacted with children from hope school, sharing their dream in childhood. Both Mr. Smith and Mr. Yao shared their future plan for Yao Foundation and Marriott.
Ms. Debbie Harrison, Global Officer, Marriott Culture & Business Councils and Mr. Ronald Harrison, Marriott Global Officer of Design also sent their greetings video to share their dream in childhood and express appreciation to the Yao Foundation for their vision and to our associates who work so hard to improve the communities.
Ye Li, Chairwoman of the Board of Yao Foundation said: “Thanks to Marriott International, Inc. for its support to China's rural sports and education public welfare in the past few years. By 2018, Marriott International, Inc. has contributed more than 14 million yuan to Yao Foundation. In addition to the four Hope Primary Schools built, Marriott International, Inc. also strongly supports Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season Project, which covers 500 rural primary schools in 25 provinces and benefits more than 920,000 teenagers.” Ms. Ye also expressed her sincere thanks to Marriott International, Inc. for its support to China's rural sports and educational public welfare undertakings in the past few years.
The Gala was supported by Shanghai Changning Elementary Vocational School (CNCZ). Students with intellectual disabilities learn courses such as Cooking, Gardening, and House Keeping as well as master one or several professional skills. Some of them also joined the event as part of the service team to show their love.