Burns Supper 2008

The annual charity fundraising Budapest Burns Supper looks on target to have raised HUF 14 million (almost $80,000 at January 2008 exchange rates) this year, a record for the night according to Jock MacKenzie, chairman of the Robert Burns International Foundation.

The Burns Supper is a traditional event marking the birth of Rabbie (Robert) Burns, the national bard of Scotland. The super on Saturday, 26 January 2008 was the 11th held in Budapest, and attracted the usual mix of Scottish expats and Hungarian and international friends of Scotland.

In recent years, the supper has become a celebration of the work done by the RBIF throughout the year – the foundation specialises in helping Hungarian children in need – though it remains an important fundraiser.

Last year’s 10th anniversary supper raised HUF 10 million ($57,000). Although this year’s figures have yet to be finalized, MacKenzie, speaking exclusively to The Budapest Sun, said he was “comfortable” with the figures and was certain last year’s total had been eclipsed.

The generous support of the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal in keeping its prices “rock bottom” had ensured a profit was made on the tables, HUF 2 million ($11,400) was raised through the raffle and HUF 9 million ($51,400) through the silent and spoken auctions. The final total may yet go beyond HUF 14 million MacKenzie said. Included in it are strong pledges from companies for financial support.

“One of those is firm for HUF 3 million ($17,100), but it may yet become HUF 4 million ($22,800) or even HUF 5 million ($28,500)…. I’d like to thank all our sponsors, who have been even more generous this year, and our [organising] team for making all this happen so seamlessly, and achieving such a tremendous result.” The secret to the success, he believes, is keeping the evening a celebration and fun for all.

By Robin Marshall