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The 52nd Polish Ball

The 52nd Polish Ball occurred on April 20, 2024, at the historic JW Marriott Grosvenor House London.

This event was a significant occasion to celebrate Polish culture and an essential charitable event with a long tradition, strengthening Polish-British relations. The origins of the Ball date back to 1970, initiated by General Władysław Anders, which established its prestige and significance. This year's Ball focused on honouring the Reszke brothers, icons of Polish opera and symbols of Polish-British cultural ties. The event gathered guests worldwide, including ambassadors and other significant public figures, highlighting its international character and importance.

From the start, the Polish Ball has been an opportunity to celebrate Polish culture and raise funds for noble causes. The beneficiary of this year's Ball was the Society of Friends of the Sick "Hospice of St. Lazarus" in Krakow. It has provided comprehensive hospice care to people in the terminal stages of illness and their families since 1981. The hospice operates thanks to the support of many good-hearted individuals, and the care provided is completely free for the patients and their families, which is a crucial element of the organization's mission.

The evening began with a welcoming glass of champagne, followed by the ceremonial dance "Polonaise" led by the "Mazury" team, in which all guests participated. This traditional and elegant introduction to the evening highlighted the cultural character of the event and encouraged participants to celebrate and integrate, adding a unique ceremonial mood. Traditionally, a toast was raised for the King, and the British National Anthem was sung, followed by a toast for the President of the Republic of Poland and the singing of the Polish National Anthem.

The welcome speech highlighted the presence of international guests, including the daughter of General Władysław Anders, Ambassador Anna Maria Anders from Italy, and diplomatic representatives from other parts of the world, emphasizing the Polish Ball's global reach and impact. The evening's program included a "Mazury Dance Company" performance and the first waltz.

One of the highlights of the evening was the auction, which attracted attention thanks to the generosity and engagement of the guests. Among the auctioned items was a beautiful portrait by Barbara Kaczmarowska Hamilton, bid for 15,000 pounds. The artist has become known worldwide for her excellent skills in the art of portraiture, specializing in oil and pastel portraits. Another critical item at the auction was a football shirt signed by all the players of the Polish national team, donated by the players themselves, which reached a thousand pounds, and a voucher for designing and sewing any creation by Kuba Bonecki. The Bonecki brand was created by the well-known designer Kuba Bonecki, who has been involved in the fashion world for many years.

Other attractions included a silent auction, a lucky tree, and a lottery, further engaging participants.

The 52nd Polish Ball was held under the patronage of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent, who, in his letter, expressed appreciation for the role of the Polish Ball in the social life of the Polish community in Great Britain, emphasizing its valuable contribution to charitable projects both in Poland and around the world. He wished everyone a wonderful evening celebrating Polish art and culture and the friendship between the two countries.

Thanks to the organizers' efforts and the participants' support, the Polish Ball remains a significant event in the cultural calendar of Poles in Great Britain. It is also an essential bridge-building international understanding through art, tradition, and joint charitable activities. Its continuation contributes to maintaining Polish culture at a high level and promotes values that are the foundation of Polish identity abroad.

At this year's Ball, the editorial team of Wyspa TV again had the honour of attending and reporting on this unique event, which not only captured the magic and splendour of the Ball but also allowed for broad communication of its cultural and charitable message. Wyspa TV reporters, immersed in the atmosphere of the event, emphasized the feeling of incredible impressions and also spoke with unique guests, further enriching the narrative with the participants' personal stories.

The dinner and dessert at the 52nd Polish Ball were a gourmet highlight of the program, meeting the expectations of even the most demanding gourmets. Traditionally, delicious doughnuts were also served, ensuring that the evening ended on a sweet and unforgettable note.

Long live the Ball!

Editor Maria Anna Furman

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