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Celebrity Philanthropy News
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Black Tie International: Celebrity Philanthropy News-
Petra Nemcova


Petra Nemcova

Petra Nemcova.  Photo by:  Sara Herbert-Galloway
Happy Hearts Fund Ball,
 A Masquerade in Venice



November 17th, 2008. New York City. Cipriani Wall Street rolled out the red carpet for the Happy Hearts Fund 2008 Ball. Guests were adorned with Venetian masks, hundreds of large golden candelabras decorated the long tables in the grand room, a Cirque du Soliel performer hung from a trapeze swing, all that was missing were gondolas.
Petra Nemcova, Founder and Chairwoman took the stage to welcome us and acknowledge the distinguished supporters receiving Heart of Gold Awards. Infinite Heart of Gold Awards were presented to two men: Bernhard Lotterer, CEO AFP Integra, ING Columbia and Peru who brought tears to our eyes when he spoke of the devastation the earthquake caused in Peru and Wyclef Jean Founder and Chairman of Yele Haiti.
Heart of Gold Awards were presented to Carol and Stewart Rahr of Kinray, Inc. Stewart surprised everyone  during his acceptance speech when he volunteered to donate $1 million dollars to The Happy Hearts Fund. The second recipient, David M. Hryck, Partner, DLA Piper US LLP spoke of his legal work for the organization and about the catastrophic devastation of the earthquakes in Haiti and Peru. The third recipient of a Heart of Gold Award was Jeffrey Tarrant who practically brought the 'house down' as guests applauded him. He is CEO of Protege Partners LLC, a Hedge Fund. Jeffrey is well respected for his humanitarian efforts.
Simon du Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company ran the live auction. One would never know that our economy is in trouble by the money being bid. A week at the East Hampton home of Russell Simmons fetched $28,000. A gentleman bought car # 234 prior to the production of the 100% electric sports car made by Teslo motors for $160,000 and donated it back. The car was auctioned again for another $150,000. Another gentleman stood up and made a $250,000 pledge. Other amazing live auction items included Valentine's Day in Venice, A Day with Quincy Jones, a trip to Germany to meet Wladimir Klitschko, current holder of the IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles, trips to Utah and Italy, a VIP visit to the Indy 500 including a ride in the pace car and on and on. Petra announced that the total raised last night was $3,448,000. Now that is impressive!
Happy Hearts Fund is a charitable foundation which improves the lives of children through education, technology, and sustainability. HHF was launched in 2006 with the ultimate objective of uniting people under the same umbrella of providing hope and opportunity to disaster-struck areas worldwide through the creation of educational and sustainable initiatives for children. Today, just two years on, the Happy Hearts Fund is present in 12 countries on 5 different continents, and has positively contributed to the lives of over 20,500 children and in turn over 100,000 community members. To date, all costs and expenses have been underwritten allowing 100% of the money raised to help the children.
To learn more go to:
Story by Sara Herbert-Galloway
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