Good Works Update: amFar’s Cinema Against AIDS Gala’s Results Are In!

AmFar’s Cinema Against AIDS gala had a record-breaking night on May 22nd, raising over $10 Million to benefit amfAR’s HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention Programs.

Sharon Stone, AmFar’s Fundaraising Chair, kicked off the program with a special appeal in honor of her 50th birthday in which she pledged a $100,000 and encouraged others in the room to meet her pledge. Within 10 minutes, $2 million was raised. Happy Birthday, Sharon!

As always the legendary auction, conducted by Stone and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, did not dissappoint with it’s big ticket items. Below are a few highlights of the lots sold.

Sharon Stone ‘s meticulously restored vintage Porsche 911 Targa, went for $810,000.

A private two-song set courtesy of Madonna, sold for $560,000. The Material Girl also personally auctioned a diamond-encrusted alligator skin Chanel purse designed by Karl Lagerfeld that included her personal lip gloss, compact mirror, and blotting papers for a whopping $486,000.

Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Donatella Versace auctioned off Madonna’s personalized, custom-made white Gibson acoustic guitar created especially for her “Confessions” tour for $486,000. And “24 Hours with Diddy,” an impromtu item contributed by Combs, went for $324,000 .

Auction honorable mentions include private sittings with filmmaker/artist Julian Schanbel ($486,000) and photographer Patrick Demarchelier ($324,000), as well as a lot featuring a movie set visit to Nine and an original manuscript by author Paul Coelho ($243,000).

AmfAR’s annual Cinema Against AIDS galas have generated more than $43 million for AIDS research since 1993. amfAR’s mission is to fund HIV/AIDS researchers worldwide and translate that research into effective treatment, prevention, and education programs worldwide.


Good Works: Christian Siriano, Gabrielle Union Want YOU to Get Out to Vote While Hillary Duff Tackles Hunger in Florida

Lil Romeo, Gabrielle Union, Tamera Mowry and Project Runway fashionista Christian Siriano came out last night to support the American Eagle ‘Declare Yourself’ t-shirt reveal at Palihouse in Los Angeles. The iconic VOTE t-shirt will hit American Eagle stores and today through June 24th. For each t-shirt purchased, American Eagle Outfitters will donate $5 to Declare Yourself to support the organization’s year-round voter outreach initiatives.The t-shirt retails for $15.50.
Hillary Duff was in Boca Raton to launch the “Boca Blessings in a Backpack” initiative, which helps meet the nutritional needs of children and families. Duff’s three year partnership with the organization has resulted in the delivery of over 6 million meals to those less fortunate in select cities across the country. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Duff and Blessings in a Back Pack distributed over 2.5 million meals throughout the Gulf Coast in two months time.

Good Works

Alicia Keys was in Louisana today to honor the students of Frederick A. Douglass High School for their environmental achievements under Lexus’s ‘Keys to Innovation’ environmental initiative. The program honors urban schools that have successfully put environmental programs in their schools and communities. In addition to a meeting with Keys, the students will receive a donation of $2,000 for their efforts.

And over on the French Rivera….amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 2008 benefit also took place at Le Moulin de Mougins during the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Here’s the run down…Madonna and Sharon Stone co-hosted the festivities. Mary J. Blige performed. Clips of Madonna’s new documentary,  I Am Because We Are, shed light on the Malawian AIDS crisis. An A-list crowd that included Natalie Portman, Sean”P.Diddy”Combs, Harvey Weinstein, Kenneth Cole, Dennis Hopper, and a host of others all came out to support the cause. The total of funds raised are being tabulated and will be made public shortly.

Emmy-Award winner Joe Pantoliano and Academy Award winner, Marcia Gay Harden, participated in a news conference on the Stigma of Mental Illness Among Veterans Being Treated in the Public Mental Health System in Washington, DC. Pantoliano is the founder of No Kidding, Me Too! a nonprofit organization comprised of entertainment industry members united in an effort to educate Americans about the epidemic related to brain disease in all forms.

Hip Hop Humanitarian Wyclef Jean Launches "Together For Haiti"

Hip-hop icon Wyclef Jean launched a new initiative to help his native Haiti on Tuesday in response to last month’s deadly food riots.

“Together For Haiti” is a collaborative effort of the World Food Programme, the Pan American Development Foundation and Yele Haiti, Wyclef’s charitable foundation.

“We are not only interested in feeding people in response to the current crisis, but we want to offer them an alternative that can help them in a sustainable way”, said Jean at the Manhattan press conference where he was flanked by musician Paul Simon, model/activist Petra Nemcova, and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs.

The initiative hopes to raise $48 million in six months to create 1, 800 jobs, distribute food to 1.5 million people and provide fertilizers to 55,000 farmers. It also intends to offer 9,000 micro-enterprise grants to families so that they can start their own small businesses. At launch time, the charity claims to have already secured $1.5 million in contributions.
Haiti is reportedly the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where 90% of its 8 million people earn less than $1 per day, unemployment is close to 80% and more than half the population is under 21 years of age. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, the majority of Haitians consume a paltry 460 calories per day (the recommended amount is at least 2,100 calories daily). Soaring food prices in Haiti ignited riots in April, leaving six people dead and 200 injured. As a result, Prime minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis was also ousted.

Since his entry into the music business in 1994, Wyclef has been raising awareness about his impoverished homeland. His activism not only led to the launch of his own successful foundation, Yele Haiti, but to an appointment by Haitian President Rene Preval to serve as an ambassador to improve the nation’s image abroad.

For more information on “Together for Haiti” or to donate go to: