First LDF St. Tropez gala raises $25M for environmental conservation

Emperor penguins diving into the water.

The St. Tropez Gala hosted by Foundation Chairman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Event Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Foundation Executive Director Justin Winters and the Event’s Chairs: Boris Collardi, Philippe Cousteau and Jared Leto raised over $25 million to support the work of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, dedicated to protecting Earth’s last wild places and implementing solutions to build a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world.

Leonardo DiCaprio opened the evening with an impassioned speech about the Foundation’s work and stated, Today we stand at the 11th Hour – facing a tipping point of environmental crises unprecedented in human history. Not since the age of the dinosaurs have so many species of plants and animals become extinct in such a short period of time. We must now make an effort to protect the rich biodiversity that could allow nature to eventually recover. The good news is there are solutions to these massive problems. Efforts like tonight will start addressing them.“

DiCaprio proceeded to open the live auction with his own Harley-Davidson Motorcycle signed by Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro and himself, with an extensive live auction conducted by Simon de Pury. The highest bid of the night was for a Damien Hirst sculpture depicting a gilded unicorn, “Golden Myth” which was sold to billionaire Len Blavatnik for over $6 million.

Bono took the stage with Julian Lennon, and took down the house with their own rendition of “Stand By Me.” Bono stayed on stage to auction off his personal guitar for $1 million. A walk on role in one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s next films was sold twice for a total of $2.4 million dollars. A Picasso drawing was sold to Patrice Motsepe for $1 million.

Guests in attendance, many of whom participated in the evening’s auction included: Bono, Marion Cotillard, Jared Leto, Selena Gomez, Cara Delevingne, Petra Nemcova, Robin Thicke, Julian Lennon, Natasha Poly, Toni Garnn, Dean and Dan Caten, Joan Collins, Philippe Cousteau, Ashlan Gorse Cousteau, Alina Baikova, Caroline Scheufele, among many others.

Since 1998, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has built longstanding relationships with environmental leaders and experts, staying continually engaged and active on the most pressing issues of our day – protecting biodiversity, oceans and forest conservation, and climate change.

The Foundation’s strategic approach to philanthropy relies upon key partnerships with effective environmental organizations and active collaboration with other funders that share the Foundation’s goals and can magnify its impact. Efforts are directed in two areas – providing grants to innovative, results-driven initiatives and media efforts that inspire the public to make a difference in the fight to protect our planet for future generations.

Last updated April 27, 2017

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