Cannes celebrity AIDS gig hit by credit crisis
A celebrity AIDS fundraising gala at Cannes headed this year by Sharon Stone and Bill Clinton was able to raise just 4.5 million dollars -- less than half the amount raised last year, organisers said on Friday.
In 2008, the mega gala organised by the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmfAR) raised 10 million dollars.
A highlight of the Thursday evening's event at the nearby Riviera town of Cap d'Antibes was the sale of Clinton's celebrated saxophone, which fetched 130,000 euros.
A-list celebrities who turned up included Annie Lennox, who sang several of her hits to 700 guests who paid 150,000 dollars (108,000 euros) for each 10-seater table, or 4,000 dollars (2,900) per head.
Cannes jury member, actress Robin Wright Penn, joined the fundraiser, along with Michele Yeoh, Elisabeth Hurley, "La Vie en Rose" star Marion Cotillard, Harvey Weinstein, Terry Gilliam, Danny Glover and "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson.
Models Claudia Schiffer and Eva Herzigova, the designer duo Dolce & Gabbana and Donatella Versace added a serious splash of glamour, joined by heiress Paris Hilton.
Oh, the tragedy of it all! Is it too much to expect that this (largely liberal) crowd of pampered, overpaid "A list" celebrities to, collectively, cough up more than $4.5 million for a good cause? I would venture to guess that many, if not all of these people are making, at the very least, eight figures per year, yet they use the "credit crisis" as an excuse not to open up their bulging bank accounts to a cause they so vociferously champion.
Better, I suppose, to beat the drum for more "government funding" for AIDS research thus burdening an already over burdened American middle-class, struggling to pay existing taxes, while eyeing the increases that will most assuredly come as a result of explosive deficits as far as the eye can see.
It would appear that these privileged gilded lilies would feel an obligation to share their enormous wealth with the causes about which they are so vocal. Look at the names above and the next time one of them says "we need more money spent on AIDS research" ask yourself "why didn't they put their money where their moth is when they had the chance?"