Charity Ball to End Teen Suicide Held in Almaty

The Fifth Charitable Ball, one of the brightest events in the country’s social calendar, was held in Almaty on May 4.

This year’s ball was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Royal Tulip Hotel.

Gediminas Taranda, the artistic director of the Imperial Russian Ballet co-hosted the ball with Kazakh actress Karlygash Mukhamedzhanova.

Russian opera star Dmitry Khvorostovsky performed his world famous hits at the Ball. The famous Russian baritone also performed a number of patriotic songs including “Dark Night” and “Katyusha.”

Violinist Marat Bissengaliyev played Salut d’Amour composition with an orchestra conducted by Vag Papyan. The British Touch and Go rock groups also performed.

This year’s star debutants were actress Aliya Telebarisovoya from the historical film epic “Zhauzhurek Myn Bala” (“A Thousand Brave Warriors”), Ukrainian singer Christina Mezhinskaya and beauty queen Zhazira Nurimbetova who was “Miss Kazakhstan 2012.”

Some 3,400 young people applied to participate in this year’s ball. Sixty couples from age 18 to 23 were selected to take part.

All the funds raised at the event were donated to the Friend campaign against adolescent suicide. The charity will be opening an on-line support centre in September. Kazakhstan ranks third in the world in its per capita number of teenage suicides. The aim of the project is to reduce this figure and provide counselling services and support for depressed teenagers.

Twelve psychologists specialising in adolescent suicide will man the centre round the clock 24/7. They will be available via phone or Skype. The centre will also be open to calls for help and advice from parents.

All the funds raised at last year’s Fourth Almaty Charitable Ball were donated to in vitro fertilization (IVF) programmes to help childless families to have children. Six families received certificates for in vitro fertilization in April 2012 from the proceeds of last year’s ball and three of those mothers have already given birth to children.

The Charity Ball annually brings together more than 1,000 guests from the country’s business, scientific and cultural elites. It is held in accordance with the classical canons of the Vienna Opera Ball, and annually attracts international celebrities. In different years, Almaty was visited Alessandro Safina, Lara Fabian, Sir Roger George Moore, Neil Shikoff and others.

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