The French-American Chamber of Commerce honored Mr. Giuseppe Risi, Founder and Owner of Risi Competizione-ALMS GT2 Champions, winners of the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans (GT2) for his continuous involvement and contribution to the French-American community in an exclusive black tie Benefit Gala.
Three hundred guests gathered in the ball room of the InterContinental Hotel Houston to toast Mr. Risi's actions and victories with Pommery Champagne. The evening featured a cocktail reception followed by a three-course dinner paired with wines. A Customized Video Presentation themed "Victory Oh What a Ride" created by Professional Event Designer Cindy Casaly depicted Mr. Risi's work and special thanks from members of his team. The Honorable Cristiano Maggipinto, Consul General of Italy in Houston, The Honorable Pierre Grandjouan, Consul General of France in Houston, and international racing star Mika Salo, former Ferrari F1 driver and member of the 2008 Le Mans winning team, expressed their appreciation of Mr. Risi's work and of the French-American Chamber of Commerce.
Ten lucky guests left with magnificent live auction packages, which included:
- Two VIP Passes to the 2009 24 hours Le Mans Race with airfare to Paris provided by Continental Airlines;
- Two Passes for an exclusive tour of the Ferrari factory in Milan, Italy with airfare provided by Continental Airlines;
- Ferrari two-day driving experience for one with airfare to Montreal, Canada provided by Continental Airlines;
- 100 mile test drive on the 2009 Ferrari’s newest convertible “The California” Driving Experience in Houston;
- 2009 Vespa;
- One of a Kind 15 strand gem quality Pearls opera length necklace from Valobra Jewelry;
- Six Course Degustation Dinner and wine for 10 guests at Masraff's On Post Oak Lane;
- Authentic Racing Shoes signed and worn by Mika Salo (from the 12 Hours of Sebring Race);
- Official qualifying race glove worn and signed by driver Jaime Melo (from the 12 hours of Sebring Race);
- A painting signed by French artist Anne-Laure Lavagna representing the Le Mans circuit in Ferrari's colors.
Eventually, guests enjoyed an extraordinary night of dancing and networking. Not only were the six Ferrari cars on display but guests were also encouraged to experience the thrill of being in the amazing vehicles! The winning trophees were on stage and additional Ferrari cars were parked in front of the InterContinental Hotel. One lucky winner of the raffle walked away with a pair of Continental Airlines BusinessFirst cabin tickets valid to any Continental Airlines destinations systemwide (including Europe, Israel, India, Asia and South America).
We hope that you enjoyed the evening and that you will enjoy the pictures!
The French-American Chamber of Commerce, Houston would like to particularly thank: Mr. Giuseppe Risi, Mr. Mika Salo, Mr. Simon Dawson, Ferrari and Risi Competizione, Mrs. Cindy Casaly, Designer Events & I to I Management, Mr. & Mrs. Jamal Daniel, The Levant Fondation, Mr. Aaron Demerson & Mr. Mortada Mohammed, The Office of the Governor Rick Perry, Mr. Frederic Gossens, Pommery Champagne, Mr. Garry Baumann, The InterContinental Hotel, Mrs. Cheryl Reed, Continental Airlines - The Exclusive and Official Airline of the FACC, Mr. Luc Messier, ConocoPhillips, Mr. Didier Hornet, VallourecMannesmanTubes, Mr. Geoffroy Petit, Total Petrochemicals, Mr. Dennis Petito, Calyon Corporate & Investment Bank, Mr. Zin Smati, GDF Suez NA, Texas World Speedway, Adship, Anne-Laure Lavagna, Mr. Terry M. Giles, Michel's Hair & Colour Salon, Motorola, Valobra Jewelry.