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How was Chi Fan started?
In 2009, after attending numerous charity fundraisers where most of the money raised went to underwrite the event and not to those in need, founder Michael Crain had an idea. He approached his friends in the restaurant industry and asked them to donate a table of 10, recruited his other friends to serve as a table host and from there Chi Fan for Charity was born. Without the overhead of a large ballroom and with everything donated, 100% of what guests pay for their seat goes directly to selected charities. To date, we have raised 3.2million RMB (almost 4 million HKD) for 17 worthy causes.
What is the mission of Chi Fan?
Chi Fan for Charity seeks to serve China’s disenfranchised population by linking the best restaurants with both diners who are passionate about making a difference in their city. Restaurants have a creative way to market and give back to their community and diners have a unique way to try new restaurants and make new friends while supporting a worthwhile cause. As the cause has grown geographically, the aim has been to provide a unique way for grassroots charities in each location to make a bigger impact on the local communities that they serve.
What is Chi Fan’s geographical focus?
The event started in Beijing in 2009, spread to Shanghai in 2011. Last year we hosted the inaugural event in Hong Kong. There has been talk about expanding to Singapore too.
What are Chi Fan’s goals for Hong Kong specifically?
Chi Fan for Charity in Hong Kong hopes to make a meaningful impact on grassroots charities to give them an additional platform to raise awareness of the work they are doing. It’s also a great and unique way to bring people together to do something amazing for our community.
How can Hong Kongers get involved with Chi Fan?
There are many ways in which Hong Kongers can get involved! From being a table host to a restaurant host, to being a sponsor or a part of the team who plan and organise the event itself. We are always keen to have people involved across all aspects – and is part of the Chi Fan for Charity ethos of bringing people together.
What are some of your favourite charities, other than Chi Fan of course?
There are many great charities in Hong Kong and as part of the voting process we’ve been exposed to some really great causes. Our aim is to be a fundraising conduit for all of them. Hopefully, we can help them all at some point!
All photos courtesy of Chi Fan for Charity.