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Elephants Raise 1.5 Million for Charity in London

Elephants Raise 1.5 Million for Charity in London

Elephant Parade in London helped raise $1.5 million

Monique Jessen | Tonic

July 01, 2010

As the city’s biggest outdoor art event and conservation project comes to an end, an auction of fiberglass elephants raises heaps of cash to save the real elephants in Asia from extinction.

In May, a herd of colorful fiberglass elephants arrived on the streets of London, all of them designed by famous artists and fashion designers. Wednesday night at a star-studded party and auction, the best of the bunch went under the hammer, raising almost $1.5 million to help save the Asian elephants from extinction.

Founder of the Elephant Family charity, Mark Shand (brother to Prince Charles’ wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall) hosted the Elephant Parade Mela at London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea along with patron of the charity, Goldie Hawn (at right) who had flown into the UK especially for the Indian-themed fundraiser.

“Anyone who loves elephants, and I do, will love Elephant Parade. It is not only the most beautiful, colorful and fun campaign, it also holds the key to saving the majestic species from extinction,” she said during a pre-dinner speech, reports Britain’s Daily Mail.

With 31 elephants for sale, including those designed by British fashion designers Alice Temperley, Matthew Williamson and American designer, Tommy Hilfiger, it was artist Jack Vettriano’s The Singing Butler Rides Again elephant that attracted the highest bid of the night — going for $231,000. It was certainly a great night for the endangered Asian elephant, whose population has declined as much as 90 percent in the last 100 years.

Meandering through the maze of 258 elephants on display at the event, were the Duchess of York’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, Elizabeth Hurley, Trinny Woodall and Princess Michael of Kent. But of course, the real stars of the night were the elephants and they certainly dazzled.

All of the $1.5 million raised from the auction will go to the Elephant Family charity and over 15 conservation charities working to help save the Asian elephant from distinction.

This article was originally published on Tonic

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