We were stunned by the turnout of people at the silent auction, especially on such an unusually cold and rainy evening, in Budapest. As well as the amount raised through the auction, we were touched by the encouraging words from many people. Some artist thanked us for creating this opportunity to help Japan, while others even asked us to do more events like this in order for them to give more! The most poignant words of the evening were given by a Hungarian businessman who said that “Japan has always given so much to world crises including the Hungarian chemical spillage disaster last year, so this is our turn to help.” He then went on to become the highest bidder of the entire auction and also sponsored the reception.
Nannette Vinson and David Wilkinson, the organisers of the auction, who worked around the clock to set up the event at such short notice, also have shown amazing generosity by giving up their rightful commision, as well as time, to give towards this fund raiser.
From the Japan Embassy, secretary general Mr Yasuda visited and expressed the gratitude of the Japanese to the organisers for their effort. Moreover, the director of the Japan Foundation, Ms Iwanaga, not only paid a visit but also showed a very personal kindness by bringing along Japanese rice-ball snacks (onigiri) which were appreciated very much.