Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leonardo Dicaprio raises $25 million in star-studded gala to save endangered animals

He's one of Hollywood's most high-profile environmentalists.
And on Wednesday night, Leonardo DiCaprio put his money where his mouth with the inaugural gala for his namesake foundation.

The A-list actor was joined by dozens of celebrity guests on the French Riviera for event, which raised an amazing $25 million to help protect earth's last remaining wild areas.

"There has never been, since the time of dinosaurs, as many plant and animal species disappearing so quickly,” DiCaprio told the audience during his opening remarks. “We must make efforts to protect rich biodiversity." 

The host of the evening added, "The wild species that depend on us to protect their habitat, like Tigers whose numbers have plummeted to under 3,200 left in the wild, or African elephants, who are being slaughtered at a rate of over 30,000 a year for their ivory tusks — they have no voice. We must be their ambassadors. We must be their protectors. We must stop their slaughter".

The event included an auction of artwork from artists like Damien Hirst and Pablo Picasso, DiCaprio's own Harley Davidson motorcycle signed by Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Bono, and rock n’ roll memorabilia available to 500 guests.

In attendance were names like Selena Gomez, Joan Collins, Petra Nemcova, Cara Delevingne, Jared Leto, Marion Cotillard, Robin Thicke and Bono (who auctioned off his personal guitar for $1 million). It’s been reported that tickets to the event cost between between $7,000 and $130,000. The proceeds went toward the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which funds projects and programs to help save endangered and threatened species around the world.

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