Spend some green to get some green.
Unlike, the endangered African Electric Catfish or the giant Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, water scarcity is not a particularly difficult cause to rally behind. We all drink it; we all need it. And we’re all going to suffer if fresh water becomes scarcer and more polluted, as it inevitably will in the coming years. Accordingly, celebrities as varied and prominent as former president Bill Clinton, singer James Taylor, and model Coco Rocha congregated last week at Christie’s in New York City to raise money for water preservation programs run by the nonprofit organizations Oceana, Conservation International, Central Park Conservancy
and the National Resources Defense Council.
The event was Christie’s Bid to Save the Earth, a one-of-a-kind event which started in 2010 as a way to celebrate Earth Day by helping select nonprofits that make a difference. This year, a dazzling mix of actors, celebrities and philanthropists combined to donate over 200 sumptuous packages to be auctioned off, both on the web through non-profit advocacy auctioneers Charitybuzz and at Christie’s glamorous gala.
The private, carbon-neutral gala was co-chaired by luminaries such as Anna & Graydon Carter, James R. Hedges IV, Salma Hayek & François-Henri Pinault, and Susan & David Rockefeller, it raised more than $600,000 in proceeds – topped off with the offer to sail on the Hemisphere, the world’s largest luxury sailing catamaran, which was won for a mere $150,000.
Other luxury items – both at the live auction and online – include a 1989 Fender American Vintage ’62 Reissue Stratocaster Guitar, signed by Pearl Jam; VIP tickets to Saturday Night Live; having designer Gilles Mendel personally design you a couture gown and then attend the J. Mendel spring fashion show in 2013; a 13-day African safari; a Girard-Perregaux watch, which was custom designed for the event; as well as prints by artists like Peter Lik, Simon Cardwell and Stuart McLachlan.
All the auction items currently up for sale are not all over-the-top luxury, meant for those few who are able to drop four or five figures on a single item. Some of the more idiosyncratic and delightful lots up for sale include one-of-a-kind experiences like getting Glenn Close to record your voicemail message as Cruella de Vil; having New York Times bestseller novelist Mary Higgins Clark name a character after you in her next book; or getting a surfing lesson from surf god Laird Hamilton.
Bid to Save the Earth is still an event in its infancy, notes Toby Usnik, the head of communications at Christie’s. Still, the overwhelming support that the event and auction have received this year, as in years past, is heartening both for the lucky nonprofits and the causes that they champion.
And the donations offered are remarkable not only for their quantity and quality, but for coming from a variety of celebrities and organizations which support sustainability in their own practices, such as Stella McCartney and noted eco-activist Cameron Diaz. “We are moving towards an era where products are being developed in more sustainable ways, as a result of increased global awareness and the urgency of conservation. It can only be an advantage to minimize environmental impact and promote sustainability in production of goods or services,” Usnik said.
The total amount raised will be revealed once the online auction ends on April 19th. Until then, the opportunity to meet Harrison Ford on the set of his upcoming film, or go backstage with Anderson Cooper on the set of Anderson in New York City, is still up for grabs.
Check out the lots currently available online at Charitybuzz.