After another successful White Hat Ball (WHB) in January of this year, there was much to celebrate, not only did the Cyber Security Industry leadership make a stance for the support of vulnerable children by raising £195,000 for NSPCC Childline but also demonstrated how our industry can come together to have fun in the process.
Sadly, that celebration was short lived as those same vulnerable children were/are stuck in homes, sometimes with their abusers as COVID took hold of our society.
The White Hat Ball committee, made up of senior leadership across our Cyber Security industry, were acutely aware of the impact from COVID on their own organisations, their teams, and society at large, including the possible difficulties on raising chartable funds for all good causes such as the White Hat Ball. The committee mobilised our efforts towards forward planning, working with our sponsors, NSPCC Childline, and our venue, The Royal Lancaster Hotel. Despite the challenges the hospitality industry was facing, the Lancaster management were incredibly supportive of our situation, and worked with the WHB committee to ease any impact and to explore more options.
Throughout June, July and August, WHB supporters, sponsors, and committee continued with ticket sales and seeking prizes, knowing that the format & size of the 2021 WHB would be different, should the ball be possible. During this time, NSPCC, and WHB committee, like many businesses in the UK and across the global, produced contingency planning approaches, performed cost benefit analysis, and sought to ensure the safety of our guests & employees.
Despite the dedication to find the best option, with meetings running into the evenings, and good progress being made with sincere commitment from guests and our sponsors. On the 7th of October, after consultation with NSPCC leadership, The Royal Lancaster Hotel, the White Hat Ball committee made the decision to hold an alternative online event, accompanied by a fundraising campaign, and sadly not the traditional White Hat Ball, which is usually attended by over 650+ guests.
To maintain our support for vulnerable children in our society especially at this time, the White Hat Ball will be launching our “White Hat Unforgettable day” campaign that will begin in November, run throughout December and January and conclude in a very special virtual celebration evening on the 29th of January 2021.
White Hat’s Unforgettable Day is a campaign that aims to raise £30,000, enough to fund Childline for one full day, the 29th January, when the original ball would have taken place. This ambitious and exciting campaign will bring together the Information Security community, concluding in an evening of celebration and entertainment on 29th January, for what would have been the sixteenth White Hat Ball.
Join the White Hat Committee and industry leaders in supporting this unforgettable day of Childline, by donating what you can here. Additionally, we also want you to help us spread the message to our community at large, encouraging companies and individuals to participate in online events, share the news of the day, and send a robust message to those vulnerable children, that have not been forgotten through fundraising.
Stephen Khan, White Hat Committee Chairperson