The 14th annual Budapest Burns Supper, held at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest on Saturday 29 January 2011, hit its charity fund raising target.

 

The evening, held in honour of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, has become a major event in the Budapest social calendar, and has raised hundreds of millions of forints for sick Hungarian children over the years. While full figures will take some time to confirm, Jock MacKenzie of the Robert Burns International Foundation was upbeat about the total.

“We can say that HUF 5.5 million net clear of all direct costs was raised on the night to help sick and underprivileged children,” he said after the black tie and Highland dress ball. That would put it on a par with last year’s event and, given the foundation’s zero overhead policy, all of that will go to worthy causes. “The net distributable sum is a very significant sum in present circumstances,” McKenzie added.

Guest of honour at the evening was Andy Roxburgh. A long-time friend of  Zoltán Magyar, the founder of the RBIF, Roxburgh has connections with the Budapest Burns Supper through another footballing name. Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager of Manchester United Football Club and the honorary president of the RBIF, has been a friend of Roxburgh since their playing days in the 1970s. Currently a UEFA Technical Director, Roxburgh played for a number of Scottish clubs, and successfully coached the juniors to the UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship in 1982. He is best known, however, for his seven-year period in charge of the national squad from 1986 to 1993.

The Burns Supper also saw the EUR 50,000 Marathon Effort For SOTE II officially closed by appeal chairman Patrick McMenamin of the Caledonia Bar. To do so, the final HUF 3 million had to be found, and that money is in addition to the HUF 5.5 million raised at the Supper. The appeal is paying for three parent and child suites for “distant trauma” patients coming into Budapest from the Hungarian countryside at the second department of paediatrics at SOTE University Hospital. The units are expected to come into use in February or March. The funds were raised through sponsorship of expats Simon Saunders and Harry Harron, who completed the Marathon des Sables, five and a half marathons in six days across the Sahara desert, in April 2010.

By: Robin Marshall, MBE