The magic of Christmas was again made manifest at the auction of Christmas trees festooned with donated gifts at the Hotel de Paris on Tuesday evening.

The much-anticipated annual event is the primary source of funding for Action Innocence, which fights to keep children safe on the Internet. This year the special evening raised more than 156,000 euros for the charity.

Following introductory remarks from Louisette Levy-Soussan Azzoaglio, Action Innocence’s President and co-founder, Vice-President Nick Danziger thanked HSH Prince Albert, who was in attendance together with HSH Princess Charlene, for his unstinting support each and every year over the last 20 years.

“Thank you Monseigneur. Again on behalf of our board of directors, I also want to thank our President Louisette Levy-Soussan Azzoaglio, for the last 20 years she has been instrumental in the founding and continuing existence of Action Innocence. Thank you Louisette.

Our continuing presence and quality of delivery in schools throughout the Principality and across France would not have been possible without the commitment of our office manager Caroline St. Marc, and the psychologists who have been the lynchpin of our activities.

Here in Monaco, we would also like to thank our partner: the Direction de l’Education Nationale de la Jeunesse et des Sports.
And I personally would like to thank the committed members of our board of directors: Frédérique de Chambure, Roland Mélan, Serge Dautrebande, Nancy Dotta, Françoise Ragazzoni, Gérard Cohen and Régis Bergonzi. Thank you.

As some of you will know my work has taken me to over 100 countries and in to the Principality’s primary schools and Lycées. I can without any question of doubt say that over the last two decades of our existence the greatest change the world has seen has been the internet and the mobile device.

And so, if I am to make one observation over the 20 years of our existence we are, as relevant today, if not more so, than the day we began our activities.

You, as much as us, know our work with our children, with teachers, with parents remains.

We all know the internet is an extraordinary tool that has benefited mankind, but it has also come to represent all the traditional ills associated with addictions, fraud, bullying, trolls, violent images, pornography, identity theft, hacking, and, yes, viruses.

And so my last thanks is twofold: to you, our generous bidders for continuing to support our work to inform, engage and protect our children. Without you this important work would not take place, and finally to the businesses and artists for making each end of year so special by creating these magnificent Xmas trees. Thank you for your support!”

POTOS: Top, HSH Princess Charlene, Louisette Levy-Soussan Azzoaglio, Nick Danziger, and HSH Prince Albert, centre, the decorated trees, below, Stéphane Valéri of SBM, Louisette Levy-Soussan Azzoaglio and Nick Danziger ALL PHOTOS Martina Brodie