Stone raises $4 million for AIDS funds
The actress and AIDS campaigner set a new record by raising more than $4 million.india Updated: May 27, 2006 16:11 IST
US actress and AIDS campaigner Sharon Stone set a new Cannes record by raising more than $4 million for research into the disease at a celebrity auction.
The annual glittering evening organised by the Foundation for AIDS research (amFAR) has become one of the most highly-sought after parties at the Cannes Film Festival, with big companies and major fashion houses buying up tables costing up to $100,000 each.
For the third year running, the founder of amFar, Elizabeth Taylor, did not attend because of her poor health. But Stone was a relentless auctioneer late on Thursday persuading the 700 guests to dig deep for charity warning that "every six seconds someone dies".
US President George W Bush "spent $167 million on his electoral campaign, but not one dollar was spent on sex education ... one child dies every minute," she added.
A red piano belonging to the singer Elton John fetched some $230,000, while a pair of alligator boots by shoemaker to the stars Sergio Rossi raised $60,000.
Other goodies on offer included private tennis lessons with Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles, a sitting with photographer Peter Lindbergh, exclusive jewellery and clothes, as well as dream holidays.
Among the guests were jury members Samuel L. Jackson and Zhang Ziyi, as well as the US director Sofia Coppola, Ivana Trump, Lance Armstrong and John Galliano.
Since 1985, amFar has invested some $250 million in its programmes dealing with AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment and education and awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams throughout the world.