The LeonardoÂ DiCaprioÂ Foundation (LDF) held itsÂ annualÂ fundraising gala in St. Tropez last night, hosted by Foundation Chairman LeonardoÂ DiCaprioÂ andÂ LDF Global Fundraising ChairmanÂ MilutinÂ Gatsby. More than $40Â Million was raised to benefit LDF,Â which isÂ dedicated to protecting Earthâ€™s last wild places andÂ implementing solutions to preserve and save the environment.
LeonardoÂ DiCaprioÂ opened the evening with an impassioned speech about the Foundationâ€™s work and stated, â€œTonightâ€™s event isÂ aboutÂ supportingÂ LDFsÂ
DiCaprio continued, “Iâ€™m incredibly proud to be part of a night that will allow us to do so much to protect the planet.â€œ
The live auction event, presented byÂ long-term partnerÂ Julius Baer and co-sponsors Chopard and Armani, opened with LeonardoÂ offering several personal items up for bid, including his own RolexÂ DaytonaÂ CosmographÂ watch
The event featured an extensive live auctionÂ of fine art, luxury items, and once-in-a-lifetime experiencesÂ conducted by Simon deÂ Pury, some highlights of which included:
- Ownership of an estate home onÂ LeonardoÂ DiCaprioâ€™sÂ own BelizeÂ island,Â BlackadoreÂ Caye
, sold to Tom Barrack for over $11 Million. This was the first and only time that a private estate home was offered for auction onÂ BlackadoreÂ Caye, which is being developed as the worldâ€™s greenest island resort. The remaining 45 estates will be offered by private invitation only.
- HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco donated several once-in-a-lifetime experiences to the auction, offering to accompany the winning bidder on each: An arctic expedition, which sold for more than $1.6 Million,Â andÂ private diving at Monacoâ€™sunique protectedÂ LarvottoÂ Marine Reserve, which raised over $400,000.
- A private concert with Elton John sold twice for a total of $3 million.
- A limited re-editionÂ of Rodinâ€™s â€œThe Thinker,â€ made in connection with the Rodin Museum using iconic sculptureâ€™s original cast, sold for nearly $2 Million.
- Richard Princeâ€™s â€œUntitled (Cowboy)â€ 2012 sold for more than $2 Million.
- Movie producer Harvey Weinstein donated a stunning collection of experiences, offering to have the winning bidder be his personal guestÂ at the most coveted events in the world for an entire year. This included access to the Academy Awards, screenings and events at the Cannes Film Festival, the Met Gala, and White House Correspondents Dinner, a visit to a Weinstein CompanyÂ movie set, and more. The package raised $1.1Â Million.
- A painting by RudolfÂ StingelÂ sold to LenÂ Blavatnikfor $900,000. Mr.Â BlavatnikÂ spent over $2 Million on the night in he auction.
The gala featuredÂ a surprise impromptu performance by Elton John, who sang a number of his iconic hits, including â€œTiny Dancer,â€ andÂ a special performance by nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter John Legend.Â Supporters in attendance included Event Chairs HRH Albert II Prince of Monaco, Boris F.J.Â Collardi, CEO of Presenting Sponsor Julius Baer, the leading Swiss private banking group, MarionÂ Cotillard,Â PhillipeÂ
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Since 1998, the LeonardoÂ DiCaprioÂ Foundation (LDF) has been on a mission to protect the Earthâ€™s last wild places, implementing solutions that restore balance to threatened ecosystems, and ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of all its inhabitants.
Through grantmaking, public campaigns and media initiatives LDF, a component fund of the California Community Foundation, brings attention and needed funding to three areas: protecting biodiversity, ocean & forest conservation, and climate change. The Foundation works in close collaboration with a broad network of environmental leaders and experts, effective organizations, and committed philanthropists to identify and support innovative, results-driven projects in the worldâ€™s most wild and threatened ecosystems. Currently LDF supports over 70 high-impact projects in more than 40 countries around the world.Â
For more information visitÂ www.leonardodicaprio.
About LeonardoÂ DiCaprio
DiCaprioÂ is also a leading environment activist, and serves as Chairman of the LeonardoÂ DiCaprioÂ Foundation (â€œLDFâ€). He was recently designated as the United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate Change and received the 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award for his work to protect the environment and endangered species. In addition to founding LDF in 1998,Â DiCaprioÂ also serves on the board of several environmental organizations, including: World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographicâ€™s Pristine Seas, the fundersâ€™ collaborative Oceans 5, and International Fund for Animal Welfare.
About Julius Baer
Julius Baer is the leading Swiss private banking group, with a focus on servicing and advising sophisticated private clients and a premium brand in global wealth management. Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd., the renowned Swiss private bank which celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2015, is the principal operating company of Julius Baer Group Ltd. Julius Baer employs a staff of over 5,000, including more than 1,000 relationship managers, and is present in over 25 countries and some 50 locations.