Joe Wei, GMBA Class of 2017
It was just another ordinary Sunday in Beijing with a little haze and a little mist. Seventy were gathered for a night of fun and activities in lively Wudaokou for the fifth annual Christmas Charity Dinner, organized by Tsinghua Net Impact, to raise funds for Bethel China. Bethel is a non-government organization dedicated to assisting visually impaired orphans in China.
The joyous tune of Jingle Bells could be heard in the background as participants streamed into the Wenjin International Hotel. They were greeted by CHEERS Wines, the main sponsor of the night, serving a variety of delectable wines, adding greatly to the laughter and chatter as participants mingled during the pre-event cocktail reception.
A culmination of more than three weeks of intense marketing efforts through social media saw more than 50 pre-event sign-ups. The dinner brought together like-minded individuals from all walks of life – Tsinghua students and faculty, young professionals in Beijing – all gathered together to share Christmas cheer and to exchange views on philanthropy and social impact in China.
The crowd gave a resounding round of applause as Masters-of-Ceremony Ben Wu and Annabelle Low (GMBA ’18) took to the stage to kick off the night of festivities. They invited William Liu, Vice President of Net Impact, to give an opening speech.
William briefly introduced Net Impact and the club’s close friendship with Bethel China, from which was birthed this meaningful annual collaboration. Next, Linda, the representative of Bethel China, also shared the organization’s core values and ongoing endeavors in China. Particularly, she noted that all donation proceeds from the charity dinner would go directly to the funding of Project Dark Room. The goal of Project Dark Room is to simulate the experience of living visually impaired, in an effort to educate the public on the everyday difficulties faced by the children Bethel serves. In addition, Project Dark Room is also designed to enhance the children’s own visual capabilities.
Dinner proceedings commenced, and guests were treated to a delicious spread of Western and Oriental dishes. Amidst the feasting, Hong Jeong-Min, an undergraduate student from the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, performed a series of timeless Christmas classics, wowing the crowd with his adept guitar skills. The Net Impact Committee also formed a choir, leading a singalong to Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
In line with the season of giving, all guests went home with a little bag of goodies. Thanks to the generous sponsors, CHEERS Wine and Syllable, some lucky participants also walked away with the raffle’s grand prizes given to them by the Santa of the night.
The evening ended with William handing over the baton to Jia Yi Leong and Jianke Xiao of the Global MBA Class of 2018, who are taking over as President and Vice President of the club, respectively. Inheriting the tradition and tenets of Tsinghua Net Impact, Jiayi and Jianke will continue to lead the club in addressing issues of sustainability and social impact in China.
Deep appreciation goes out to all the sponsors of the event as well as to participants for their generous support of Net Impact and Bethel China.