Robert Pattinson was the toast of the town Thursday night at the sixth annual GO GO Gala.
GO Campaign co-founder and CEO Scott Fifer thanked Pattinson on behalf of the 25 impoverished Cambodian girls he indirectly helped with an auction contribution. The actor donated a meet-and-greet on the set of "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" for the non-profit's online auction two years ago that sold to woman in Chicago for $80,000. That funding led to the creation of a Program Advancing Girls' Education (PAGE) in Cambodia.
"It's been remarkable how one auction item from a person in the Hollywood community can translate into changing the lives of girls forever," Fifer said before the gala.
The PAGE home will expand from 25 to 35 girls early next year.
The "Twilight" star continued his charitable streak by participating in the liveliest auction of the night. Pattinson bid $5,600 to win a cello made out of recycled material (built by Paraguay's Recycled Orchestra of Cateura). The overall event raised more than $500,000.
The Recycled Orchestra, which plays instruments made from garbage found in landfills, also performed last night, eliciting a standing ovation from the crowd. Maracas hand-made with beer and tomato paste cans adorned the tables.
Last night, the campaign, which works with local residents on grassroots projects aimed at improving the lives of orphans and children in need throughout the world, honored local hero Jane Ekayu -- a trauma therapist who rehabilitates child soldiers in Uganda.
"The model is to partner with local heroes on the ground because they know the problems in their community and they know best how to solve them," Fifer said. "It doesn't make sense for us to go into an area and pretend that we know something better than they do."
Adam Shankman may have been a "replacement" for Ewan McGregor, but the director/producer was the ideal event host through and through.
"Perhaps some of you were wondering, 'Who is this guy?'" Shankman said at the beginning of the night. "Others may be wondering, 'Wow, that's a nice looking aging, gay, Jewish man.' And 'Wow, the Bel Air Bay Club has really dumped all their restrictions.'"
However, Shankman also said he has a meaningful connection to the GO Campaign.
"My charitable leanings -- and I have a lot of leanings -- have always been with arts education and helping LGBT kids fight for their dignity, opportunities, rights and lives," he said. "The common thread of all of my work is kids."
Yesterday's fundraiser also drew stars that included musical guest Melissa Etheridge, Dermot Mulroney, Beth Behrs and Mike White.
"This is the future of the world, the future of philanthropy, the future of 'I have enough -- I have more than enough -- I want to share. I want to know that what I'm sharing is going to people who are spreading light, who are spreading love, who are making the life experience better for humans or children across the globe,'" Etheridge said before performing GO Campaign co-founder Vicki Kennedy's favorite song, "Come to My Window."
Fifer echoed that sentiment earlier in the day when discussing the annual fundraiser, where entertainment bizzers make up 75% of attendees.
"We really had a great response from the Hollywood community because they see the difference that we are able to make in the lives of children both here in the United States and across the world," he said. "They love that we cut out the red tape and that they can help us really have direct impact on children's lives and giving the same opportunity that we want for all children everywhere."
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