Gipfeltreffen Charity Dinner

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The long awaited Wings for Life GIPFELTREFFEN lived up to its name again this year. High-profile guests came together for a charity dinner at the Schafalm ski lodge against a stunning backdrop of the Austrian Alps 1,800 meters above sea level. Guests including Franz Beckenbauer, Hans Pum, Klaus Kröll, Heinz Kinigadner, Marco Büchel, Matthias Lanzinger, DJ Ötzi Gerry Friedle, Martin Tomczyk and Hannes Arch enjoyed a fabulous four course dinner and live performance from Rainhard Fendrich all to raise funds for a good cause. 100% of all of the money raised from the evening will go directly to cutting-edge spinal cord injury research.

Well known personalities of the sports, corporate and entertainment worlds were invited by Wings for Life co-founders Heinz Kinigadner and Dietrich Mateschitz to enjoy an evening filled with incredible food and live music. The core purpose of the event was to remind people of the Wings for Life mission: „Our vision is to find a cure for spinal cord injury. The 181,500 Euros raised this evening will allow Wings for Life to fund two world-class research projects for a whole year”, said two-times motocross champion Heinz Kinigadner.

German legend Franz Beckenbauer was hugely impressed by this unique evening: „I set up a foundation myself 30 years ago and I know how hard it is to raise money. That’s why it’s so important that we come together to raise vital awareness and funds for Wings for Life. It was a pleasure to be part of such a great evening.”
There were also many Austrian skiing stars on the guest list. Downhill world cup champion Klaus Kröll shared: “As an athlete you know how fast accidents can happen. This is why I’m so happy to be making a contribution.” His team mate Hannes Reichelt also said: “I have been looking forward to this evening. It’s an honour to be raising money for such a good cause.”

The celebrity couple Martin Tomczyk (DTM) and Christina Surer, who are used to racing at speed on the tracks instead of the slopes, said: “We’re here to support spinal cord research but also to spend a very pleasant evening with the Wings for Life family.”

140 guests enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere at this informal get together. Also attending were former ski champions Fritz Strobl, Hans Knauß, Werner Grissmann and Christa Kinshofer-Rembeck, double Olympic medalists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher as well as former F1 driver Karl Wendlinger.

The event hosted by Tom Walek had many highlights; the most notable was an auction with money-can’t-buy prizes including a DTM-weekend with Martin Tomczyk, an aerobatic flight with Hannes Arch, a skiing day with Hans Knauß and a specially commissioned painting by artist Alexander Steinwendtner. One lucky guest also won a luxury Hapag-Lloyd cruise worth 20,000 Euros.

The party ended with a bespoke live performance from Rainhard Fendrich, a well-loved Austrian star. Thanks to the generous support of the Schafalm ski lodge, the Schladming-Rohrmoos tourism organisation, the Planai Hochwurzen cable car company, the photographers Jürgen Skarwan, Martin Lugger, JCL Logistics, J.M. Gobillard, Siegfried Herzog liquors, florist Doll and Rainhard Fendrich 100% of the donations raised will go directly to spinal cord research.

© Photos: Martin Lugger; Jürgen Skarwan

Wings for Life would like to thank all guests and sponsors for their great support.