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Madonna gala raises $5.1M for aid

  |   Feb. 7, 2008 at 5:37 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The New York gala that Gucci and Madonna presided over Wednesday raised an estimated $5.1 million for Raising Malawi and UNICEF, Gucci said.

The money was raised through the sale of tickets to the star-studded event, as well as proceeds from a live auction.

The party, which took place in a tent on the North Lawn of the United Nations, was dedicated to raising money and awareness for orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Guardian newspaper said the United Nations was criticized by Internet bloggers and some mainstream media who claimed the gala was used to drum up publicity for a new Gucci store in New York, as well as the Kabbalah Centre, which has ties to Raising Malawi.

Gucci said it completely underwrote the event and 100 percent of the proceeds will be split equally between the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Raising Malawi.

Guests included Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Chris Rock, Orlando Bloom, Sean Combs, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Ellen Pompeo, Chris Ivery, Billy Joel, Donna Karan, Heidi Klum, Cynthia Nixon, Rosie O'Donnell, Alex Rodriguez, Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale, Jerry Seinfeld, Brooke Shields, Martha Stewart and Donald Trump.

Rihanna, Timbaland, Nelly Furtado and Alicia Keys performed at the event.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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