Last week marked the fourth Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala in Saint Tropez and I was once again fortunate enough to be invited. It was a night full of surprises, glamour and a vitally important cause – saving our planet. Held at the fabulous Domaine Bertaud Belieu vineyard the fundraiser lured countless celebrities, models and tycoons. Almost 900 guests to be exact.
During the outdoor cocktail party, my husband and I walked around the grounds viewing the incredible art that was just about to be auctioned off from artist like Gehry, Hirst, Koons and even a piece by Leo’s Titanic co-star Billy Zane (who was there too). Other Leo friends in attendance included Kate Winslet, Toby Maguire, Sean Penn, Adrian Brody, Gerard Butler and many of the planet’s most beautiful ladies; Doutzen Kroes, Karolina Kurkova, Imaan Hammam, Lindsay Ellington, Constance Joblanski and Ginta Lapina to name a few.
We all dined on a wonderful meat-free meal highlighting in-season and local ingredients accompanied by wine from the vineyard and Perrier Jouet Champagne. Once dinner was served, the lights went down and the night really got started. The Leonard DiCaprio Foundation raises funds to support projects around the world that build climate resiliency, protect vulnerable wildlife, and restore balance to threatened ecosystems and communities. The gala is their largest annual fundraiser and is crucial to funding LDF’s incredible work.
During the exciting live auction, a classic 1960s Porsche went for a cool 700,000 euros and an intimate dinner with Leo and his co-star and bestie Kate Winslet scored 450,000 euros. The bid was so popular that the two decided to offer dinner to each of the top three bidders, raising a total of 1.35 million euros for just that one lot!
But the highlight of the evening was the surprise performance by the one and only Madonna, half-way through the night, who performed five full songs. Not only did she sing and dance her heart out, but she harassed the rich guys in the front of the room who hadn’t bid on anything yet. It was hysterical and amazing. As if that wasn’t enough, to end the night, Lenny Kravitz took the stage and rocked out with his full band and light show.
All in all, the event raised over 30 million euros to continue the incredible work of LDF and the support it provides groups worldwide. Here are just three groups LDF supports and how you can learn more:
- Elephant Crisis Fund: One elephant is killed every 15 minutes for their tusks and at this rate the species will be gone within the next few decades. The Elephant Crisis fund has one goal, to end the ivory crisis once and for all.
- Pristine Seas: Our oceans are facing massive threats like overfishing, plastic pollution and carbon related threats like ocean acidification that are destroying their ability to function. That matters to all of us because they provide us with oxygen, food, and are crucial to the global economy but only 3% of our ocean is protected. The mission of Pristine Seas is to ensure that 20% of our oceans are protected by 2020.
- EarthEcho International: As one of the leading youth environmentally education non-profit organizations, EarthEcho believes that the key to building a sustainable planet is to empower youth with the knowledge and tools to build a sustainable world. Founded by my husband in honor of his father Philippe Sr. and grandfather Jacques Cousteau it has reached millions of youth around the world over the past 15 years.
These are just some of my favorites but you can learn all about the work of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and how to get involved here.
Want to see even more? Be sure to see Ashlan’s post about last year’s event here.