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 shakira on robin hood raises

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MensajeTema: shakira on robin hood raises   Jue 29 Mayo 2008, 11:00 pm

Robin Hood Raises $56.5 Million as Shakira, Crow Sing

May 28 (Bloomberg) -- The Robin Hood Foundation's annual gala last night in New York raised $56.5 million, a drop of more than $15 million from the 2007 event as subprime mortgage losses and job
reductions reverberated at Wall Street's biggest charity event.

About 3,700 executives from Wall Street banks, hedge funds and private-equity companies were moved away from the problems of Bear Stearns Cos. and the credit crunch with serenades by Shakira, John Legend and Sheryl Crow.
With 2007's gala raising $72 million, last night's take represents about a 21.5 percent decline.

``I'm pleased and surprised that the total raised was as high as it was because I thought it would have been lower,'' John Whitehead, the former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs & Co. and a philanthropist, said in a phone interview today. ``It still shows a fabulous generosity in the Wall Street community at a time when business is much worse than it was a year ago.''

The dip in donations came amid global economic weakening as financial companies around the world cut more than 83,000 jobs since last July. Banks and brokerages, which employ many of Robin Hood's donors, have taken $383 billion in write downs and credit losses.

The festivities at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center attracted Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. co-founder Henry Kravis and Pequot Capital Management Inc. Chairman Arthur Samberg.

David Saltzman, Robin Hood's executive director, said in an interview at the Javits Center that the estimated total could be higher after all donations are counted as early as today. He said the evening's tally, at a time that banks are laying off staff, still showed an ``extraordinary'' display of generosity.

Tough Times

``Despite what's going on in the economy, people who are in a position to help others step up, and during tough times they step up even more,'' Saltzman said.

High finance mixed with the world of entertainment as Conan O'Brien of NBC's ``Late Night'' program hosted the event. Celebrities in attendance included the rapper Jay-Z, Rush Communications Chairman Russell Simmons and former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw.

Musician David Byrne, who attended the gala with his girlfriend Cindy Sherman, said the gala bustling with entertainment and finance-industry stars was ``quite a scene.''

``The bids are probably going to be outside of my tax bracket,'' Byrne said in an interview about the event's auction while waiting outside the Javits Center.

Hip-Twitching

After a dinner of filet of beef, grilled chicken and bow-tie pasta, the attendees listened to live music performed by Shakira, the hip-twitching Colombian pop singer, and rock star Crow, who made a surprise appearance and took the stage for a rendition of ``Lean on Me.''

The Robin Hood gala has become one of New York's largest philanthropic events with its huge annual tally and donor list. It's also a symbolic gesture in which Wall Street's richest extend a hand for a night to the city's poorest. One of out every five New Yorkers lives in poverty and about 300,000 people receive food from a soup kitchen or food pantry weekly, the foundation points out on its Web site.

The $1.9 trillion hedge-fund industry is off to its worst start in almost two decades as some firms have been forced to liquidate or sell their holdings this year. Saltzman said individual donations ranged from $1 to ``millions of dollars.''

In 2007, John Paulson, founder of the New York-based Paulson & Co., led all hedge-fund managers with an estimated $3.7 billion in pay, according to Institutional Investor's Alpha Magazine.

Poverty-Fighting

The proceeds from the event, including the auction, will go to more than 240 poverty-fighting programs in the city. They include the Abraham House in the South Bronx, which offers social services to relatives of prison inmates and ex-inmates; the Children's Defense Fund-New York, which seeks better access to health care for poor children and Broadway Housing Communities in New York, which provides shelter for the formerly homeless or the mentally ill.

Designer David Stark turned a portion of the Javits Center into an other-worldly open space filled with makeshift walls and house-shaped structures partially composed of the merchandise to be given to many aid recipients of Robin Hood-funded programs. A tornado-shaped tower of 3,000 sneakers donated by Nike Inc. left some attendees slack jawed at first sight.

Instead of flowers as centerpieces on the dining tables, two Quanta laptops took their place. The computers were donated by One Laptop per Child, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, nonprofit that provides low-cost computers for children in developing countries. Office-supplies distributor Staples Inc. donated 3,000 calculators mounted on a towering wall. They will be given to participants in job training programs.

``Every single penny raised tonight goes to help people claw their way out of poverty and build better lives for themselves and their families,'' Saltzman said.


Source: bloomberg.com
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MensajeTema: Re: shakira on robin hood raises   Vie 30 Mayo 2008, 6:08 pm

shakira also plan to meet with NY mayor for works on poor childs.....
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