Another Record Breaking Bazaar For Danish Table

Had anyone suggested only a few weeks back that the Danish table at the annual Hanoi international Women’s Club Charity Bazaar would contribute significantly to the coming year’s charity work; I for one would have laughed – and probably started to look for excuses for our humiliating performance. Not that I didn’t want to break records and sell all the Viking swords and shields and other good quality wooden toys that we had persuaded a somewhat sceptical local carpenter to produce for us. Not that I for a minute had any doubts that the “Happy Birthday” banners and pixy hats we had ordered would be fine indeed, and not that I didn’t think that our ryebread based sandwiches and Carlsberg beer would sell.

But with all that talk about global economic crisis, as well as a new Bazaar venue far out of down town Hanoi odds were already bad. With only a few pledges of sponsorships and the upcoming state visit taking its toll on Embassy staff as well as overshadowing any other agenda among Danes in Vietnam, it didn’t look like a successful bazaar at all. Quite the contrary.

And yet the Danish community pulled it off once again on Sunday, November 29th and handed over the record breaking amount of 98 million VND (5.500 US$) to HIWC on the day. Ad to that sponsorships of close to 5.000 US$ and you’ll begin to see why the charity people of HIWC are so fond of Danes.

Emerging from the stress of the state visit, Embassy staff gathered energy and picked up the phone to call Danish companies, which in turn pledged money donations and brought in so many gifts that we had to establish both an ordinary tombola as well as a children’s lottery in the very last minute.
Although the late pledges certainly created more work and a few almost sleepless nights, no one complained as emails with money pledges were forwarded, boxes of ceramics and red wine were carried through the doors – or when the phone call from LEGO’s agent in Vietnam came through to ask where they could deliver three big boxes and four huge bags of toys. Indeed the atmosphere was almost euphoric when the hotel manager, who had pledged two gift certificates for night stays, sent us four with the message “At Melia we like to exceed expectations”.
Unfairly perhaps, given that all deserve to be mentioned, these are but a few of the many pledges we received in those last hectic days before the bazaar.
Consequently it was Thursday afternoon before the printer could at last have all the logos of our sponsors – and 11.30 pm before she sent the final layout of our sponsorship banners and received the “go ahead”.

It was – of course – all well worth the effort. Sunday morning at the My Dinh Stadium people flocked to our red and white stall to enjoy traditional Danish Christmas food and beer, to try their luck at our tombolas and to do some Christmas shopping from our stock of toys and Christmas decorations. Quite a few told us how good and cosy it all looked, and frankly they were right. Not least because the larger area of the stall had drawn a bunch of happy Danish children in, who were having a fun time while helping out at the stall.

A huge thank you to all our sponsors, to all who donated food for the stall and to everyone who gave a couple of hours at the stall (or several days…), to anyone who came to support us buying food and beer, tickets for the lottery, or items from our stall.
Please come back next year all of you – and step forward again with your pledges of money, gifts or a helping hand. Only next year come a little earlier and save the coordinator the grey hair if you don’t mind…

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