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ECHELON’s Anniversary Charity Gala Takes You on a Flight of Fantasy

ECHELON celebrates its one year anniversary with a winter wonderland-themed charity gala, dazzling displays, electric performances and familiar faces.

December 10, 2021

Five issues, one website launch and many collaborations—ECHELON had a lot to celebrate at its one year anniversary this week. And celebrate, we did, this past week on December 7, 2021 at our anniversary charity gala held in the Astor Ballroom of St Regis Hong Kong.

It was a night of reunions, memories and outstanding performances. The stately ballroom transformed into a true winter wonderland, with the frosty chandelier dangling over rows of tables artfully decorated with white branches, pale rose petals and crystals catching the blue overhead light, and complemented by Rémy Martin cognac bottles on display. The room was filled with laughter and excitement as friends and VIP guests—including ECHELON cover stars Alex Lam and Grace Wong, as well as Alan Chan, Jessie Li, Simon Birch, Kayla Wong, Ellie Furuya, just to name a few —got together, thrilled to have the opportunity to dress up after a long hiatus with few grand events happening.

As per ECHELON’s values, it was important for us to give back, and we were delighted to team up with Christie’s to host an auction with proceeds going to International Justice Mission (IJM), a global organisation which serves victims of violence, such as sex trafficking and slavery, in the developing world. Championing equality and women empowerment is something that is dear to the hearts of the ECHELON team, and we were confident that our guests would be generous and help raise as much as possible.

The evening kicked off with a fleet of four stunning McLaren cars parked in the hotel driveway. On their way to Astor Ballroom, where the gala was taking place, guests walked through a tunnel of illuminated oversized Echelon covers, housed under an arch of winter tree branches, before being greeted by a white unicorn among the wintery white forest. It was the perfect backdrop for a Cinderella moment, as guests arrived in dapper tuxes and beautiful gowns echoing the theme in velvet cobalt, satin icy blues and shimmering white sequins. 


Emma Chan of Christie's leading the charity auction

The auction kicked off with a video presentation of IJM before Christie’s certified auctioneer Emmanuelle Chan took the stage and lit up the room with her energy and charisma, creating healthy competition as guests bid for auction items such as a signed Cristiano Ronaldo jersey, limited-edition Audemars Piguet and Rolex watches, a limited-edition mou tai and more. The audience was so fired up from the auction that an impromptu second auction occured, with the highest bidder of the mou tai re-auctioning the lot, which managed to sell for more than 10 times its estimated price. 

Magician Jeff Teo asking the audience to participate

The performances that evening were ones to remember. Magician Jeff Teo created an immersive experience by not only bringing a few guests on stage but by also asking everyone to participate in order to keep him accountable. His last magic trick left everyone awe-struck and even the non-believers couldn’t hide their astonishment.

Singer  and Issue 4 cover star Alex Lam lighting up the room with his songs

Alex Lam, our Issue 4 cover star, performed his hit single “Good Vibrations” as well as his famous father, canto-pop veteran George Lam’s hit song 敢愛敢做 (Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now) before we drew the event to a close with a thrilling lucky draw.

Our Issue 5 cover star Grace Wong with ECHELON's associate publisher Vivien Wong and friends

Since our maiden issue that launched in October 2021, ECHELON’s focus on celebrating the best of life, the present moment, value-led experiences and human connection has been met with open arms, and so through this anniversary charity gala, we wanted to thank our featured contributors, our writers and the people who have been supporting us since day one by planning an evening of fun, glamour and wonder.

Altogether, it was an extremely successful and enchanted evening, with ECHELON raising beyond our fundraising goal at close to HK$700,000—which would help fund around 15 rescue operations—for IJM. We hope our celebration took you on a flight of fantasy.