The Gala dinner at the Londoner
The Gala dinner at the Londoner Blake Ezra/United Hatzalah

On Thursday evening, June 9th, 300 people gathered at the Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square, London, in support of the lifesaving emergency medical service work that is done by volunteer first responders in Israel.

The event, which was hosted by British Friends of United Hatzalah, was the second dinner to be held in the UK since Friends of United Hatzalah opened operations there. In attendance were Co-chairs Vered Aaron and Ilana Metzger, as well as the host of the evening singer and actress Liraz Charhi, and Ambassador of Israel to the United Kingdom Tzipi Hotovely.

In addition, five volunteer EMTs from Israel flew in to talk to the gathered crowd of supporters and share their stories, including stories from the organization’s recent operation Orange Wings which was aimed at assisting Ukrainian refugees both in Ukraine as well as in Moldova, and other surrounding countries.

During the evening, a live auction took place and some spectacular art pieces were sold, all of which were donated for the event by the artists. One such piece was a pigment print photo of Tolsto, the elephant, by the photographer Michel Ghatan who donated it. Other featured pieces were donated by renowned artists such as Yuval Mahler, Arie Azene, Lorenzo Agius, Eva Lanska, and many others.

“The crowd was overawed by the rescue stories that they heard during the event,” said Assaf Admoni, CEO of British Friends of United Hatzalah. “It was a remarkable evening that raised £1.3 million. We thank everyone for coming and making this spectacular evening a success. We will be saving many more lives in Israel thanks to the generosity shown by the community here in London on Thursday.”

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer, who was also present for the event added, “We deeply appreciate everyone who has given their support to our organization during this special event. Thanks to the support of the London community, and the matching grant from our chairman Mark Gerson, we will have new ambucycles on the streets of Israel, we will be able to add more volunteers to our network and we will have more trauma and medical kits and more defibrillators given to volunteers throughout Israel. We are blown away by your generosity, warmth, and recognition for our work.”