SINGAPORE.  The global travel retail industry responded with fantastic generosity on Saturday night, helping to raise well over a quarter of a million US Dollars at The Moodie Davitt Report Duty Calls Charity Dinner on behalf of Southeast Asian children’s charity Friends-International.

A sell-out audience of over 300 guests gathered at the newly opened Jewel Changi Airport to support the event. The dinner was generously hosted by Changi Airport Group on two levels of the spectacular new venue, a destination in itself.

Approximately US$265,000 was raised during the evening and in run-up activities. The silent and live auction collectively raised over $60,000, due in particular to the charismatic auctioneer, Duty Free Global Founder and Commercial Director, Barry Geoghegan.

The Moodie Davitt Report President Dermot Davitt introduces the irrepressible Barry Geoghegan (below), auctioneering maestro.

The evening festivities kicked off at The Changi Experience Studios, not yet open to the public, with a Champagne Cocktail sponsored by ReStore by Concourse and Champagne Laurent Perrier.

Champagne Cocktail co-sponsor, travel retail store design and implementation specialist Concourse, introduced ‘ReStore’, a new sustainability initiative which will see former travel retail display materials directed to uses which will benefit charities and other worthy causes.

The dinner, at Cloud9 Piazza, which overlooks the entire Jewel and its stunning illuminated 40 metre Rain Vortex, commenced with entertainment from classic Asian fusion quartet The Qi Ensemble and a stirring and poignant performance by The Singapore Youth and Children’s Show Choir.

Introducing the event, The Moodie Davitt Report Founder and Chairman Martin Moodie said about the occasion and of Friends-International, “Our industry has an admirable heritage of helping those less privileged, of assisting those most in need and of supporting those many organisations that attempt to redress inequalities and injustices.

“Tonight’s cause is all about transforming the lives of the young, the vulnerable, the ones dispossessed of that most important element in humankind’s makeup, love.”

Martin Moodie: “Our industry, travel retail, is a cross-roads of humanity, serving millions of people travelling around the world each day for reasons of work, of pleasure, of need. All cultures, all colours, all creeds, all moving around our planet in with purpose and in peace.”

Martin Moodie with travel retail industry veteran, King Power Traveler President Rakhita Jayawardena (who has just been named Chairman of Ceylon Electricity Board) and fellow entrepreneur, Seva Group Founder Severino Pušić.

Friends-International Founder and Executive Director Sebastien Marot told an enthralled audience of how the charity helps young people across Southeast Asia through a unique social enterprise model, which combines saving lives with building futures; and blends social work and services with opportunities, training and jobs.

The Moodie Davitt Report thanks all sponsors, table hosts, guests and other donors for their magnificent support. A full report will follow next week after the TFWA Asia Pacific show.

Fund-raising for Friends-International kicked off last December when The Moodie Davitt Report produced a special ezine for a hypothetical International Airports Day. Thanks to the support of lead sponsor Dubai Airports and several major travel retail players, the publication raised US$17,800. All costs were absorbed by The Moodie Davitt Report so all revenues went to Friends-International. Click to open the special edition.