NYC charity auction pledges to benefit environment

AP News
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Posted: Mar 17, 2011 1:25 AM

A day of golfing and lunch with former president Bill Clinton, flying with Harrison Ford on his private aircraft and sailing off the coast of Maine with the Rockefellers are just a few of the celebrity and luxury items being offered at an auction to benefit four leading environmental organizations.

The online component of the second annual Bid to Save the Earth auction was launched Thursday and runs through April 7. A live companion sale is scheduled for March 29 at Christie's auction house.

The event will benefit the Central Park Conservancy, Conservation International, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Oceana. It raised $2.4 million for the four organizations last year.

"It's a fabulous opportunity to raise awareness about nonprofit organizations that are doing some of the most innovative and important work," said Sue Rockefeller, the chair of Oceana's ocean council, who with her husband, David Rockefeller Jr., is donating a day of sailing on their racing yacht plus lunch and a stroll through the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine.

Conservation International protects natural resources around the world. The Natural Resources Defense Council focuses on clean air and water issues. Oceana works on ocean conservation. And the Central Park Conservancy maintains the splendor of the park and enhances its original design, by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

"The complexities of these environmental problems," Rockefeller added, "are such that we need these kinds of organizations working together to solve these problems."

Bidders also will have the opportunity to vie for a dinner with comedian Chevy Chase and his wife; a flight to Paris for the Chanel Couture Experience and a meeting with fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld; and prime seats to a Lady Gaga performance and a backstage meet-and-greet with her.

More than 200 lots are being offered, with estimates ranging from $350 for tickets to a performance of Shakespeare in Central Park to $125,000 for a Vanity Fair Oscars After Party Experience.

Other celebrity items include an eight-day culinary package touring chef Alain Ducasse's restaurants in New York, Paris, Provence and Tuscany and an hour-long styling session with fashion editor Andre Leon Talley and designer Diane Von Furstenberg at her New York boutique.

Many of the auction lots offer more than one item. The Chanel lot, for example, also includes a private tour of late fashion designer Coco Chanel's apartment, five nights at The Ritz-Carlton hotel and a Chanel handbag.

The winner of the flight with Ford, star of the "Indiana Jones" movies, also will be treated to round-trip airfare to Los Angeles and four nights at The Ritz hotel.

The Chanel, Ford and Clinton items are among five fantasy lots being offered at Christie's live auction and online at charitybuzz.com.

Following the live auction, Vogue, a new partner in the benefit venture this year, will present the Runway to Green program, which will feature creations by Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch and 23 other designers committed to reducing the water, chemicals and energy in the manufacturing of clothing. The designs will be labeled Clean by Design, appear in stores in August and be highlighted at the net-a-porter.com luxury fashion retailer website. A percentage of the sale proceeds will go to the four nonprofits.

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Online:

http://www.christies.com

http://www.charitybuzz.com/BidtoSaveTheEarth