Benvenuto Club of Milan: women who help women

Suits, long dresses, elegant shoes. Everyone dressed up for the Grand Gala at Palazzo Parigi in Milan. On Saturday, May 20th, Benvenuto Club of Milan organized a charity dinner, which took place in the exclusive location in the city center. The international organization focuses on supporting expat women who move to Milan for work or family reasons.

The proceeds from the event, organized on the occasion of the Club’s 55th anniversary, will be donated to three local  charities: Le Vele, Portofranco, and CMB Italia.

Benvenuto Club of Milan

The association was founded in 1967 by a group of American, Italian, and British women. Its goal is to help newcomers settle into their homes in Milan. «The Club is a sort of parachute for ladies who arrive in the city without knowing anyone», explained Rachele Rutili, the association’s president. «We organize several cultural and entertainment events and activities, providing an opportunity for socializing and making new friends».

Rachele Rutili, presidente dell’associazione Benvenuto Club of Milan

Benvenuto Club of Milan is an autonomous, nonprofit, apolitical, and non-commercial organization. Currently, the association is composed of over 276 women from more than 48 countries. Over the years, it has provided hospitality to thousands of people during their stay in Milan.

Diana De Marchi, consigliera comunale di Milano

Among the guests, there was Diana De Marchi, Milan City Councillor. «Benvenuto Club helps women feel less alone», emphasized De Marchi, who is also president of the Council’s Equal Opportunities and Civil Rights Commission. The motto is put into practice day after day by the organization.

The Charity Gala

Palazzo Parigi, the luxurious hotel in the center of Milan, provided the setting for the event organized by Benvenuto Club. It was a dream location for an aperitif, a gala dinner, and a series of performances in a perfect Milanese atmosphere. Embodying the characteristic cosmopolitanism of the city and the values of the association, the event featured an Indian dance by Nathalie Rajawasala, an artist from Sri Lanka.

«The gala dinner was funded by very prestigious guests», says President Rutili. During the event, a prize lottery was organized with donations from local  companies. The proceeds were donated to three local nonprofit associations supported by the Benvenuto Club: Le Vele, Portofranco, and CMB Italia. «These charities receive the proceeds from all fundraising activities in which our club members participate throughout the year», said  the association’s president.

Milan restarts after Covid

Luciana Fioretti, director of New Comers committee of Benvenuto Club, takes care of welcoming new newcomers in Milan by organizing weekly drop-ins at various trendy locations. This way, foreigners can immediately discover the city’s most suitable places for making friends and new connections. «This year, we experienced a surge in club memberships because people have regained their desire for socializing after the Covid-19 epidemic – explained Fioretti – However, reintegrating into new and unfamiliar contexts can often be challenging when done alone. That’s where Benvenuto Club comes in».

Indeed, in a cosmopolitan city like Milan, it is important to promote support and integration activities to reduce the feelings of loneliness and disorientation that can overwhelm those who come  from other countries. In line with Benvenuto Club’s socially beneficial initiatives, the atmosphere at the 55th-anniversary evening was filled with friendship, joy, and inclusivity. The event concluded with the lyrical notes of Japanese singer Sayumi Kaneko. Following, a rock band started the dance in an exclusive cocktail party atmosphere. 

Japanese singer Sayumi Kaneko performing during the Gala

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