It has become a highlight in the social calendar of Valais
(Wallis), the Swiss canton where FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter
was born. The Nuit des Neiges (Night of the Snow) is held every
year in Crans-Montana to raise funds for charity, and to celebrate
its 25th anniversary on Saturday 23 February 2008, the foundation
held a gala where football and the fight against cancer were both
given pride of place. The former was represented by the Sepp
Blatter Humanity and Football Foundation
, the latter by the AVEC (Association pour la Vie-Espoir
contre le Cancer).
The presidents of the two associations, Joseph S. Blatter and Professor David Khayat, along with the 500 attendees, enjoyed music from Les Forbans and Enrico Macias throughout an evening hosted by French TV star Stephane Bern.
For the 25th Nuit des Neiges, Linda Barras, President of the foundation, put together a star-studded guest-list including UEFA President Michel Platini, former Swiss internationals Jean-Paul Brigger and Stephane Chapuisat, FC Sion President Christian Constantin along with Christian Karembeu and his wife Adriana. "We're trying to make life better through sport," said Karembeu, a FIFA World Cup™-winner with France in 1998.
The money raised through donations and the raffle held during
the evening will be used to help projects run by both associations,
with Professor Khayat announcing that "the funds raised will
go towards opening a research centre for targeted therapy."
The Sepp Blatter Humanity and Football Foundation will again be putting the money raised towards football-related projects and humanitarian activities and institutions in Wallis. In 2006 for example, President Blatter's foundation awarded 25,000 Swiss francs to the Oberwallis disabled sports project (BSOW) which aims to give handicapped people improved access to sports equipment.