Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio added a $125,000 Ed Ruscha to his growing collection after securing the artwork at the star studded Haiti Rising gala charity auction in Beverly Hills on Saturday night.
DiCaprio also placed bids on several other items including Julia Roberts and Danny Moder’s 1967 Toyota Land Cruiser, but only walked away with the Ruscha, one of the evening’s most coveted lots.
The event was organized by fellow Hollywood actor Sean Penn and attracted the who’s who of the film industry as the stars generously took out their checkbooks to raise a staggering $37 million benefiting the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.
According to the non-profit’s website its mission is “[t]o save lives and build sustainable programs with the Haitian people quickly and effectively.” According to CBS8, the money will go toward rebuilding the island nation following Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
Sean Penn started the gala by holding a passionate speech about the J/P HRO’s humanitarian work on the disaster prone island nation, which remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Emcees Bill Maher and Nick Jonas moderated the proceedings as Jonas shared his personal motivations behind his support for J/P HRO. “As someone living with type one diabetes since the age of 13, I understand not only the importance of education, also the critical nature of access,” he told the audience. “I was shocked when I saw some of the numbers of lives lost while living with diabetes, specifically in Haiti.”
Maher and Jonas went on to lighten the atmosphere by joking with each other and the audience, while magician David Blaine performed an array of impressive party tricks, and Beck delighted the audience with a surprise performance.
Other notable guests included Lily Collins, Pamela Anderson, Jason Segal, Connie Britton, Diane Kruger, Jeffrey Tambor, Emile Hirsch, and Edward Norton.
Praising the charity’s work, actress Sophia Bush told InStyle, “We were just talking about how incredibly important it is to continue doing the work after disasters have left the news cycle. The people in Haiti are still suffering, and it’s up to us to keep committed.”
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