(Reuters) – The Cannes film festival took time out from the movies to raise money for Haiti on Friday night, with Sean Penn at the helm pleading the humanitarian cause at a celebrity gala.
“Okay, room. Haiti is watching us tonight like you cannot believe,” Penn told the black-tie crowd who had paid up to $100,000 for a table at the “Carnival in Cannes”, just steps from the famous red carpet.
Three people paid $100,000 each in an auction to accompany Penn on a three-day trip to Haiti where the actor, a two-time Academy Award winner, has been active since the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake.
Announced this morning… during its run this year, the Cannes Film Festival will host a fund-raising event for… Haiti.
The fundraiser, to be presented by Giorgio Armani, will benefit various organizations and their ongoing humanitarian work in Haiti, like Sean Penn’s J/P HRO, Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice, and Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Fund.
By Joshua Paul, MD
In the wake of Haiti’s devastating earthquake of January 2010, scores of NGOs, charities and disaster experts flocked to the country in a valiant effort to conquer the chaos. Former United States President Bill Clinton was one of the first famous names to join the surge. Also on the scene have been Wyclef Jean, Sean Penn, Oprah Winfrey and many others.
By some accounts, there are more than 3,000 NGOs operating in Haiti today. This can be seen throughout the countryside as small foci of non-profit developments, orphanages, water wells and primary schools. The tragedy is that there is minimal collaboration among these organizations. This lack of cooperation leads to redundancy, reinvention of the wheel and, in some cases, total waste.
Actor Sean Penn is being honored by a group of Nobel laureates for his relief work in Haiti following the country’s devastating January 2010 earthquake.
Penn is to receive the 2012 Peace Summit Award at the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. The event will be held in Chicago next month and is expected to draw such luminaries as Poland’s Lech Walesa and the Dalai Lama.