Press Release

Press Release | Berlin, 05/05/2018

‘Rosenball 2018’: Record Donations on 25th Anniversary of German Stroke Foundation

  • Liz Mohn and Bertelsmann CEO Thomas Rabe welcome more than 600 guests to the top-class charity gala in Berlin
  • Live performances by Bryan Ferry, Adel Tawil and Patricia Kelly

The “Rosenball 2018” to benefit the Stiftung Deutsche Schlaganfall-Hilfe (German Stroke Foundation) will serve up many highlights in Berlin on Saturday night, but the nicest one has already happened: a new donations record! Thanks to generous donations from the invited guests, an amount exceeding €300,000 had accrued by the evening of the ball – more than ever before. In combination with contributions from sponsors, a new record sum of over half a million euros was raised for charity. This year’s Rosenball is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the German Stroke Foundation. The organization was founded in 1993 by Liz Mohn and since then has run numerous initiatives to advance awareness and prevention of strokes, and better care for stroke patients. Acute care, for example, has improved massively thanks to a network of more than 300 certified stroke units across Germany, where stroke patients receive fast, effective treatment. In addition, the Stroke Foundation supports approximately 450 self-help groups in which some 16,000 stroke sufferers and their relatives are currently active, and maintains a close dialog with the medical community.

The anniversary of the German Stroke Foundation is being celebrated at the Rosenball with a stage program that is both varied and first-rate. The hosts, Liz Mohn and Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe, are expecting more than 600 well-known personalities from the media, culture, politics, business, and society in the Great Ballroom of Berlin's InterContinental Hotel. Guests can look forward to live performances by British music icon Bryan Ferry (“Don't Stop The Dance,” “Slave To Love”), Berlin singer/producer Adel Tawil (“So soll es bleiben,” “Lieder,” “Ist da jemand”) and Patricia Kelly, a member of the legendary “Kelly Family” and successful solo artist. Patricia Kelly will sing a ballad for the opening of the 13th Rosenball, while video portraits of 25 celebrity and 25 non-celebrity stroke sufferers recall the fate of the patients and the efforts of the German Stroke Foundation over the past 25 years.

Liz Mohn, founder and president of the German Stroke Foundation, explained: “Stroke affects us all, because it strikes around 270,000 people every year in Germany alone, young and old, men and women. But there is hope, because we have made great progress in the fight against this insidious disease in recent years. Our information and prevention campaigns have reached millions of people. Today, many people know how to recognize a stroke and what is the right thing to do. At the same time, together with the medical and research communities, we have ensured that those who are affected can receive faster, more targeted help. Today, significantly more people survive a stroke than 25 years ago. We are now taking the next step and increasing our efforts to improve aftercare so that stroke patients can count on optimal support even after the acute phase”.

Thomas Rabe, Chairman & CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “In recent years, the German Stroke Foundation has helped thousands of people – not just stroke patients, but also their families and loved ones. At the same time, it has promoted the further training of physicians and the equipment of hospitals and clinics. This commitment deserves our full support.”

The Rosenball is also the informal starting signal for a German Stroke Foundation anniversary campaign spanning several months: Starting in mid-May, print ads, billboards and online ads featuring people who show their solidarity with stroke sufferers will be shown nationwide in under the heading “Ich setze ein Zeichen” (I’m making a mark). All of them wear a red bar on their forehead, a mark that is derived from the Stroke Foundation logo and is meant to highlight the stroke center in the brain. Rosenball guests are also invited to “make their mark” of solidarity and let themselves be photographed on site with a virtually inserted red color bar. The number of photos taken will later be converted into a monetary donation.

Numerous public figures have confirmed their attendance at the Rosenball, including Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, Rita Süssmuth, and former EU Commissioner Viviane Reding, as well as actors Martina Gedeck, Veronica Ferres, Anna Loos, Daniel Donskoy, Mariella Ahrens, Hannelore Hoger, and Gerit Kling. TV stars Peter Kloeppel, Thomas Gottschalk, Jenke von Wilmsdorff, Wolfram Kons, Verona Pooth and Sylvie Meis as well as models Franziska Knuppe, and Shermine Shahrivar have also announced their arrival. The guest list also includes TV judges Judith Williams, Frank Thelen, Jorge González and Joachim Llambi, as well as dancers Isabel Edvardsson and Massimo Sinató with Rebecca Mir. TV presenters Nazan Eckes, Nina Moghaddam and Ruth Moschner, designer Jette Joop, author Hera Lind, athletes Maria Höfl-Riesch and Alexander Leipold, and musicians Alec Völkel and Sascha Vollmer from The BossHoss also plan to come. Carsten Maschmeyer, Erich and Regine Sixt, Friedrich von Metzler, Mario and Ute-Henriette Ohoven, as well as Clemens and Margit Tönnies are expected from the business community.

Bertelsmann will live stream events from the Rosenball red carpet to beginning at 6:00 p.m. On Twitter, the event will be covered using the hashtags #Rosenball18 and #SchlaganfallHilfe25.

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 119,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.2 billion in the 2017 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for entrepreneurship and creativity. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.

About the German Stroke Foundation
Each year, close to 270,000 people in Germany suffer a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Germany, and the most common cause of disability in adulthood. The German Stroke Foundation was founded by Liz Mohn in 1993. Independent and devoted to the common good, it is dedicated to its constitutional mandate to prevent strokes and contribute to improving the care of stroke patients. It develops innovative treatment concepts and makes an important contribution to improving the quality of care by issuing certifications for special stroke units. Approximately 200 doctors volunteer their time to support the awareness-building and information efforts of the Foundation, under whose umbrella more than 450 stroke support groups have also been set up nationwide.