AmCham Thanksgiving Charity Dinner

November 21st 2017, Military Club



The American Chamber of Commerce has been hosting the traditional Thanksgiving Charity Dinner for 14 years. This landmark event of the Chamber is a sitting dinner with a traditional American Thanksgiving Menu, live music and a special focus on fundraising. Traditionally over 200 AmCham members, U.S. citizens and official guests honor the event and contribute to the charity initiative.

The main goal is raising funds for the “Get Ready to Succeed” and “We Can” funds of the BCause Foundation. AmCham members are generous and long term contributors to the programmes, not only with funding, but by greeting and encouraging students in person at Thanksgiving dinners.

Fundraising for the event will occur in several ways:

  • Corporate Sponsorship
  • Silent and open auction for attractive items, offered by companies
  • Direct public personal or corporate donations to the fund
  • Corporate table booking for BGN 2000
  • Selling of raffle tickets


In 1621, after a hard and devastating first year in the New World the Pilgrim’s fall harvest was very successful and plentiful. There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires. They found they had enough food to put away for the winter.

The Pilgrims had beaten the odds. They built homes in the wilderness, they raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, and they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. Their Governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.

The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years. During the American Revolution (late 1770’s) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress.

In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.


Masters of Ceremony:  Angela Rodel and Stephan Shterev

Live Music by Militsa Gladnishka & Mihail Yossifov Sextet
Auction Master: Igor Markovski

18:30 – 19:00

Registration and Welcome Drinks  
19:00 – 19:30 Official Opening Ceremony

  • Welcoming Address by H.E. Eric Rubin
  • Remarks by Peter Ivanov, AmCham Executive Director
  • Remarks by Elitsa Barakova, BCause Foundation
19:30 – 20:15 Militsa Gladnishka & Mihail Yossifov Sextet Live
20:15 – 21:15 Open Bid Session
21:15 – 22:00 Militsa Gladnishka & Mihail Yossifov Sextet Live
22:00 – 22:30 Raffle Draw

Announcement of Silent Bid Results and Closing Remarks

Additional activiites and entertainment will be provided by scholarship recipients throughout the night.

Bozhena Serafimova and Emilio Borata are students at the National Academy of Art, majoring in “Illustration, book and print graphics” . Bozhena is a “Get Ready to Suceed” alumni. She and her colleague will paint qucik portraits or caricatures of guests upon request and availability in return for individual donations to the scholarship fund.

Stanimira Petkova and Desislava Petrovksa, violin and flute duet, will perform classical piesces for the guests.



Get Ready to Succeed is a scholarship programme supporting excelling students who have lost one or both their parents have been raised in institutions or with relatives.

BCause Foundation launched the Get Ready to Succeed programme in 2006. 11 years later we continue to encourage these young people to believe in their own abilities and to achieve success through education. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit. Our scholarship fellows are focused, highly motivated and hard-working. They all have a GPA of 5 and above. For 11 years together we have awarded 1140 scholarships, totaling over BGN 1 700 000.

For the 2017/2018 academic year Get Ready to Succeed programme has awarded 100 scholarships to outstanding young men and women.

Among them there are future doctors, lawyers, economists, journalists, biotechnology specialists, teachers, IT specialists and artists. The AmCham members are generous and long term contributors to the programme, not only with their financial support but also in providing them with opportunities for internships and career options.
Help us write the next page of young successful Bulgarians!


Denislav Petrov, fellow of the “Get Ready to Succeed” scholarship award, majoring in Heating, Ventilation and Gas Equipment at the Technical University, Gabrovo

 I think all the fellows of the “Get Ready to Succeed” scholarship program are looking for ways to express their gratitude for the people, who donated their scholarships. I also think deeds, not words are important. So, instead of saying “thank you”, we should show them their efforts are not in vain. Among the donors of “Get Ready to Succeed” there are probably people like me, people who know how hard it is sometimes. So, instead of offering them my words, I want my actions to speak for themselves: when I have the opportunity, I want to become one of the people, making this scholarship program possible.

  George Nanov, fellow of the “Get Ready to Succeed” scholarship award, majoring in Medicine at the Medical University – Plovdiv

 This year I was selected as a demonstrator at the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology after a competition in which academic achievements were the key criteria. I organized a successful public lecture on Medical Law at the Medical University of Plovdiv, with a guest lecturer – Dr. Maria Petrova. The theme was extremely up-to-date – “Legal risks for doctors”. My dreams are to graduate with academic distinction, to specialize in the field I am interested in and to become a successful young doctor. I am sincerely thankful to all of you – for believing in us, for reaching out to us in hard times. We all try to justify your faith in us!



The We Can Fund supports small projects of non-profit organisations working for social integration of disabled young people, youth without parents and from low income families. The organisations provide vocational training and employment opportunities.

Re-Act Assosiation helps the socially disadvantaged children receive better living conditions, professional realization and social integration. In the context of the existing social and economic circumstances in Bulgaria they are trying to contribute to the career development of all the adolescent children and youngsters who cannot choose or undertake the desired career path. Trainers from Re-Act do so by organizing different trainings and offering support and orientation when searching for work or a change in the personal career development.

Agapedia Education Center for Children Deprived of Parental Care was found in 2001 through the partnership of two organizations, Agapedia and Integra – BDS. Agapedia is a foundation established by the famous German football player Jürgen Klinsmann and is dedicated to helping children in difficulty. Integra – BDS works for the social and economic development in Bulgaria. The organization creates new opportunities for vulnerable and very poor people. Their staff includes psychologists, social workers, computer specialists.

Thanks to the project “Chasing happiness through work”, supported by We Can Fund of the BCause Foundation:

  • Seven young people (age 14- 21) graduated an English course and awarded English language certificate for intermediate level B1.
  • One boy took a driving license.
  • One boy graduated a cooking course and has a new profession now.
  • One girl successfully graduated 7th grade in school and started learning “”Computer Networks with English” at the School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
  • Three young people started their first work – at a gas station and at a pizza restaurant.

Thanks to the support of We Can Fund, Agapedia Foundation rented apartments for these young people and they already are completely self-sufficient, they work and support themselves.

Charity Auction

In order to raise funds for the charity initiatives we support, we present a wide variety of items, vouchers and pieces of art, which are displayed in a silent auction, as well as an open bid. Below you will find just some of the items, that will be auctioned openly.

LEFT: “Blue magic” painting by Plamen Petrov, 63 x 55 cm. Donated by Penkov, Markov and Partners

RIGHT: T-Shirt personally signed by tennis star Grigor Dimitrov, donated by Telenor Bulgaria.

  LEFT: Painting by Vyara Pancheva, paper collage with mixed materials, 30 x 40 cm.

RIGHT: Painting by Vyara Pancheva, paper collage with mixed materials, 30 x 40 cm.

  LEFT: GT-1 Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1.5 L wine bottle by manufacturer Le Plan Vermeersch

RIGHT: Red Wine Magnum Diamant Noir, 1.5 L by manufacturer La Vinsobraise

Donated by Vladislav Mihov, Japan Tobacco International

  LEFT: Painting by Vyara Pancheva, paper collage with mixed materials, 110 x 70 cm.

RIGHT: Painting by Vyara Pancheva, paper collage with mixed materials, 30 x 40 cm.


You can also contribute to the cause by purchasing raffle tickets for 5 BGN (or 5 tickets for 20 BGN).

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Corporate Sponsors