Green auction raises more than $1 million

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 24, 2012 12:13 PM
Green auction raises more than $1 million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A sailing holiday on the world's largest luxury catamaran and a painting and meeting with artist Peter Lik were among the top selling items in a Green Auction that raised more than $1.2 million for environmental charities.

The online and live auction at Christie's have reaped more than $6 million over three years for its beneficiaries, which this year included Oceana, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Central Park Conservancy and Conservation International.

Proceeds will be earmarked for each organization's water-conservation projects.

"We're grateful to be in the position to bring together four incredible not-for-profit organizations, and to have engaged passionate support from the artistic, philanthropic, and business communities," said Christie's head of communications Toby Usnik, one of the event's conceivers.

A live auction at Christie's on April 11 generated nearly $600,000 through the sale of four fantasy lots curated by each of the benefiting nonprofits, along with opportunities to donate directly to their specific environmental programs.

Oceana's sailing holiday fetched $150,000, while NRDC's Clean by Design Program, which helps to prevent water pollution and waste from industrial textile mills, elicited donations totaling $185,000.

In the online auction bidders paid $85,000 for Lik's work "Beyond Paradise" as well as a meeting with the artist in Las Vegas, and $13,500 to meet Harrison Ford on the set of his upcoming film "42."

Tickets to a James Taylor concert and a backstage tour and meeting with the singer-songwriter went for $5,800.

Top prices included a 1989 Fender American Vintage guitar signed by Pearl Jam, which sold for $28,000, and a two-week Kenyan safari which went for $26,000.

Susan Rockefeller, philanthropist and environmentalist, who along with her husband David Rockefeller has co-chaired the Green Auction since its inception, also designed two necklaces, each accented with a Swarovski crystal and selling for $100, which are still being sold online at charitybuzz.com.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; editing by Patricia Reaney)