A special music gala brought by Mercedes-Benz, dealersUpdated: 2012-06-18 07:56
The representatives of the winning dealers of the third Mercedes-Benz Partnership Award and committee members of Star Fund. Photos Provided to China Daily
A group of children stood on the grand stage to deliver an outstanding percussion performance, using not drums and tambourines but different parts of a vehicle to produce an invigorating harmony of beats and rhythm. This was staged at the Great Hall of the People on June 15 in Beijing .
The creative performance was brought by a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
As a surprise to the audience, the "Live Your Dreams - Happy Music Classroom Music Gala" was a special concert that featured many heartwarming performances by hundreds of kids, many of which were supported and presented by Mercedes-Benz dealers.
While the children performed marvelously that night, some could not even sing a complete song a year ago - a testament to the change that music has brought into their lives.
This gala served as a joyous get-together for students from Hope Schools, as well as kids of Mercedes-Benz dealers and car owners.
Upon the call-for-action of this nationwide event, Mercedes-Benz dealers have acted as a strong pillar of support, with many dealers actively reaching out to Hope Schools closest to them in vicinity and offering voluntary assistance for the students' preparation in terms of program designing, performance training and even costume providing.
One dealer invited a professional dance instructor to help with choreography for an ethnic dance; another dealer held stage shows to rehearse the dance routines well and fully express the emotions of left-behind children; and yet another dealer invited celebrities to get involved.
While each dealer had its own way of offering assistance, one thing they all had in common was they exerted maximum effort to help the kids exhibit their musical talents onstage.
The event was also a great opportunity for kids from the countryside to make new friends from the city.
Dedicated to music education
The deep passion and dedication from Mercedes-Benz dealers were not confined to this one-off event.
The music gala was the fruition of concerted efforts between Mercedes-Benz and its nationwide dealers over the past two years in furthering its initiatives to elevate standards of music education in China, as part of the automaker's CSR initiative - the Happy Music Classroom Program.
Inspired and motivated by the program, the dealers have on their own accord gone all out to bring the joy of music closer to the children in need.
Some dealers also made donations to establish a Happy Music Classroom with the same standard as Mercedes-Benz Hope Schools across China, while others have gone a step further to build Hope Schools for children in need.
Other equally caring gestures from the dealers include personally driving long distances to rural areas to visit the students at the Hope Schools, and engage in volunteer teaching and organizing mini music concerts.
One dealer had even brought a total of 125 students on a fully sponsored trip to Beijing for a visit to the National Center for the Performing Arts to appreciate top-notch musical performances.
Beginning with a shared dream
The synergy in CSR efforts forged between Mercedes-Benz and its dealer partners started with a shared dream of contributing significantly to the well-being of the Chinese society.
This dated all the way back to 2007 with the establishment of the Mercedes-Benz's CSR initiative - the Green Legacy Program, which pledged to preserve world heritage sites in China.
Mercedes-Benz dealers have shown great enthusiasm by devoting themselves to public welfare work such as caring for newborn pandas from ravaged habitats, restoring damaged world heritage sites, and many more.
The CSR partnership between Mercedes-Benz and its dealers reached a new peak of the accomplishment in June 2010, when the automaker established the Star Fund with the support of its nationwide dealer network.
Mercedes-Benz dealers have played an extremely significant role in the sustainability of the Star Fund.
With dealers agreeing to generously donate a portion of revenues to the Star Fund with the sale of every car, the growth of Mercedes-Benz sales translates to a sizeable donation to various philanthropic causes.
To date, most of the dealers from the Mercedes-Benz family have joined in this monetary support.
The success of the Star Fund has inspired many dealers to embark on innovative CSR initiatives of their own.
Over the years, following their increasing proactive contributions, more and more dealers have become well-known socially responsible citizens in their local communities and regions.
Collective efforts for greater impact
Donations are just a part of the many ways to help. Generating awareness and motivating others to join a worthy cause is an equally essential component.
Over the past years, Mercedes-Benz has invited more than 600 dealership representatives and car owners to visit Hope Schools as volunteers, visit the panda sanctuaries and Lushan Mountain.
And more than 50 dealerships have also taken part in the automaker's world heritage site legacy photography competition of South China Karst mountains, with the winning works displayed at dealer showrooms to create even wider public awareness for preservation of the treasured sites.
Apart from offering manpower, the dealers have leveraged their network to encourage customers and individuals to work with Mercedes-Benz on its CSR efforts.
Many dealers and car owners have joined Mercedes-Benz's Star Ambassador Volunteer Program, which further develops the automaker's CSR program through increasing public engagement and involvement.
The joint commitment to meaningful causes between the premium automaker and its dealers proves to be the win-win collaboration for both parties, and serves as a new benchmark for companies seeking synergized CSR efforts with their partners.
In honoring the dealers for their contributions to social responsibility, the inaugural Mercedes-Benz CSR Partnership Award was launched since 2009 to recognize outstanding dealers in social responsibility efforts and encourage greater participation in CSR cause.
(China Daily 06/18/2012 page8)