Get the latest news at...
The Lodge

Doing our bit 'for Charidee'

Try and say the word Charity, and I bet 9 out of 10 people will say "Charidee", taken from the "Smashie and Nicey" sketch from the Fast Show. I guess it was drilled into our heads in the mid 90's. We have been doing our bit for "Charidee" here at The Lodge last weekend. We hosted the "Crystal Ball" at the Cristal restaurant high above Verbier. Richard managed to make it out for the event, and Holly and Richard hosted the evening, which was raising money for the Virgin Unite "Mission: Possible" charity, supporting several childrens charities. A scheme set up to give children and young adults opportunities in life where they would have otherwise missed out. Read on for pictures, news and more info on Paul's "Charidee" work this week.......

Sarah Mallock on Violin, Kate Mlynar on Sax, and DJ Carlo Rossi
So, after weeks of planning by Hannah, and Chloe Brett, from Street Child of Sierra Leone, the Crystal Ball was on. The lifts were opened especially, and with a team of carefully coordinated checkers on and off the lifts, 250 guests made it safely up the mountain in the pitch dark. Quite an eery bubble ride up, as all you could see was the lights of the village getting smaller and smaller as the darkness enveloped the telecabines. At the top lift station of Les Ruinettes, a candle lit red carpet whisked guests out of the cold, and into the cosiness of Le Cristal Restaurant. Outside was a bitter minus 12 degrees, set to get colder as the night got longer. But, there was not a cloud in the sky, and a thermal inversion, meaning the village was covered in a blanket of cloud, while we were in the clear moonlit sky. A stunning setting. Canapes and Champagne flowed as the room filled up, and we had a silent auction running in the background. Music was kindly provided by Organic Jam, a trio of Electo Violin, Sax and DJ, who mingle with the crowd, and jam with each other as the night progresses. After a few words from Tom Dannatt, founder of Street Child of Sierra Leone, Hannah from The Lodge about the event, and of course Richard about Virgin Unite, the main event was set to kick off. The main auction. With several amazing donations from very generous locals, including tickets to the winners choice FA cup semi final at Wembely, "Lodgify" your chalet for an evening, with Tom the chef, Simon and Maria playing and 2 wait staff to serve canapes, Warren Smith performance coaching weekend, with video footage and a professional photographer, and our very own Alex, for 2 weekends of high level ski instruction from ES, as well as several other amazing prizes from shops in the village, we managed to raise over CHF 100,00 in the main auction alone. At the end of the auction the black jack tables were opened up, with all monies going to the charities, and the winner getting a pair of custom built Heidi skis of their choice. After the black jack tables had closed down it was time to party away to the DJ, and then begin the task of getting 250 revellers safely down the mountain again!! A strict no skis, snowboards or sledges policy meant the telecabines were opened up again, very kindly by TeleVerbier, and everyone began the 7 minute bubble ride down the hill. The temperature had bottomed out at minus 18 degrees, and huddling up in the bubbles was the order of the descent. The party continued well into the small hours, at Coco club, and of course, back at The Lodge! A hugely successful evening, with over CHF 150,000 raised for the charities. Photos from the event can be seen here: flickr.com/photos/the_crystal_ball_verbier and purchased through Sporting Photo Verbier, either in store which is opposite The Farinet, or by calling 41 27 771 27 47, Hi res images can be purchased, with half the money from each photo going to the charities. More info on the charities can be found through these links: street-child.co.uk/index.php for Help a street child Sierra Leone, and virginunite.com/News/About-MissionPossible/?nid=e3cebc02-558b-4264-a645-24dc8ca8d890&cid=a3069c1a-af30-4153-bdac-c19429b8d0bc for Mission:Possible. More Charidee news, Paul is running the Virgin London Marathon in 5 weeks, on the 25th of April, and as mentioned last time, not just running it normally. He will be tied to 31 other people, as they attempt to smash the world record for the most amount of people running a marathon whilst tied together. The qualifier was last weekend at the Silverstone Half marathon, and they successfully managed with all 32 people to set a time of 2 hours 15 minutes. A good effort by everyone on the team. For more information on the Caterpillar run, click this link: Well, that"s about all for this month, the snow is still good, the pistes are getting groomed to perfection each night, and there is more snow coming this weekend. We have the last 3 weeks of April open as a hotel style, so get in touch for more details, and we hope to see you soon!! Ski Safe, Gareth