f.l.t.r.: D. Mateschitz, H. Kinigadner, A.Falkner, H. Kinigadner, J. Falkner
f.l.t.r.: D. Mateschitz, H. Kinigadner, A.Falkner, H. Kinigadner, J. Falkner 

Gipfeltreffen hits record high in donations

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The fourth Gipfeltreffen Charity Dinner in the Austrian Alps last Friday took us to Sölden in the Ötztal Valley. Top guests from the world of sports, business and entertainment met at a dazzling 3,040m to wine and dine in the fine stylish ambience of the ICE-Q Restaurant for a good cause. Donations climbed to a new record high of 230,000 Euros, which will go entirely into an innovative research project to help find a cure for spinal cord injury.

“I was so lucky in my career, and I’m so glad that I’m standing here now on my own two feet. This is the reason why I support Wings for Life with all my heart,” said Thomas Morgenstern. The former ski jumper was one of 85 invited guests, who had all come to the barrier-free restaurant at the Gaislachkogl Mountain to support people with spinal cord injury.

Actor Tobias Moretti, football manager Ralf Rangnick and Air Race pilot Hannes Arch were amongst those savouring culinary delights, having a great time chatting happily in a relaxed atmosphere.

The SASA Quintet got the party started with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for ski-jump legend Andreas Goldberger at midnight.

As on previous occasions Tom Walek, man on the mike at Ö3 radio station, made for a witty, entertaining Master of Ceremonies and coaxed the guests to bid in the silent auction. By the end of the evening donations had soared to an grand total of 230,00 Euros. Thanks to the great support from Bergbahnen Sölden mountain lifts, staging the event free of charge, all donations will go directly and without any deductions to Wings for Life.

“Slowly but surely, spinal cord research has been making headway. Today’s takings will allow us to enter another leg,” said a delighted Heinz Kinigadner, co-founder of Wings for Life. “We will use the donations to fund an exciting research project at the University of California (USA), which aims to bridge the injured part in the spinal cord using biomaterials. We hope that this project will help spinal cord injured patients to regain major bodily functions one day.”
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who made this wonderful evening and the generous donations possible. Of course, our warmest thanks go out to all the guests, to Bergbahnen Sölden mountain lifts and all their staff as well as our event partner Gfatterhofer Baugesellschaft. Furthermore, we’d like to thank the tourist board in Sölden (Tourismusverband Sölden),Siegried Herzog Destillate, Pirkner Events, the vintners of Weingut Engel, Weingut Paul Achs and Weingut Feiler-Artinger, Champagne J.M. Gobillard & Fils, Wiener Zuckerwerkstatt, the photographers Martin Lugger, David Robinson and Jürgen Skarwan, as well as our film maker Mathias Bergmann.

Photos: Jürgen Skarwan, Martin Lugger, David Robinson