The Budapest Burns Supper has been a highlight of the expat ball season for more than twenty years now. Saturday night saw another incredible effort to raise money for sick and under privileged children in Hungary.

On Saturday 25th January the Corinthia Hotel Budapest once again hosted a night of haggis, whisky, pipers, the work of Rabbie Burns and of course, a huge fund-raising effort. Over 300 guests packed into the elegant hotel ballroom, dressed in their Scottish finery.

The event loosely follows the format of a traditional Burns Supper, a tribute to the life and works of Scotland’s Bard, Robert Burns. Saturday night started out with Scottish songs, performed by the choir of the Budapest British International School, after which the pipers and drummers, specially flown in from Scotland as always, announced that dinner will shortly be served.

Charity and Culture at the 23rd Budapest Burns Supper

Highlights of the evening included a very amusing toast to the lassies and lassies’ reply, given by professional actors Shyvonne Ahmmad and Angus Taylor from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and a rendition of Burns’ poem O Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast in Hungarian by Hungarian Scottish Society and Robert Burns International Foundation founder, Zoltán Magyar.

SME Awards

For the second year in a row, the organisers of the Burns Supper focused on the growing Small and Medium Enterprise Sponsorship scheme. Whilst smaller businesses cannot make the significant donations that multinational companies can, as a percentage of their revenue, their contributions are far larger.

The purpose of the SME sponsorship scheme is to allow smaller companies to have their own fund-raising projects, rather than their contributions going into a larger “pot”.

This time, the RBIF chose to honour two SMEs that have donated larger amounts to the foundation. Eszter Balázs, an insurance agent with Generali, donates a percentage of every sale she makes, an incredible commitment for a small business owner. Stuart McAlister represented his company, Inter Relocation, which has donated funds to help hospitals in Makó and Hódmezővásárhely buy key equipment over the last two years.

Both Eszter and Stuart were awarded with traditional Scottish Quaichs, shared sipping cups that symbolise their organisations’ spirit of giving.

An amazing result

Preliminary figures suggest that the 23rd Budapest Burns Supper raised in excess of 11 million HUF. This is another incredible result and will significantly aid the Robert Burns International Foundation in reaching its charitable goals for 2020.

Photo credits: Pelle Zoltán Photography/ Robert Burns International Foundation