News Archive: June 2007|
Gillian at Gorbachev Foundation Fundraiser Last Week
Posted at 10:00 AM (PDT) on Monday, June 11, 2007
Stars light up Raisa's midsummer fantasy at Hampton Court
By Louise Hannah
3rd June 2007
Sir Elton John and J.K. Rowling were among the celebrities at a stunning gala dinner in aid of the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation.
Hampton Court Palace provided an imposing backdrop to the event, hosted by Mikhail Gorbachev to raise funds for the foundation, which was established in memory of his late wife Raisa to help find a cure for cancer in children.
Tatler editor Geordie Greig and Evgeny Lebedev, whose family co-own one of Russia's few remaining independent newspapers, hosted the event alongside the former Soviet President, who greeted each guest individually as they arrived.
Patrons of the spectacular event, themed around a Russian midsummer fantasy, include Madonna, Lady Thatcher and Viscountess Rothermere, wife of Viscount Rothermere, Chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust, owners of The Mail on Sunday.
A glittering array of guests including Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Tom Stoppard, Sir David Frost, Ralph Fiennes, Steven Berkoff, Simon and Yasmin Le Bon, Minnie Driver, Kim Cattrall, Gillian Anderson, Anna Friel, Sadie Frost, Elle Macpherson and Naomi Campbell were treated to dinner and performances by Elton John and the Scissor Sisters.
Mr Gorbachev, whose wife died of leukaemia in 1999, spoke movingly about how proceeds from the event would be used. He said: "Through the creation of the Raisa Gorbachev Centre of Children's Haematology and Transplantology in St Petersburg, much-needed medical care of an international standard will soon be available.
"Our efforts in this project give hope to many sick children and their parents. I call upon both Russian and international organisations and individuals to join us in taking action for this very worthy cause."
As the Lebedev family generously agreed to underwrite the event, all money raised will go straight to the foundation.
Mr Lebedev said: "To witness life-saving changes that have been brought as a result of the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation to the most vulnerable people in the world, those children who cannot afford to have cancer treated, has been not only moving but very motivating."
The foundation set up to commemorate Mrs Gorbachev's life aims to finance projects such as the creation of a national bone marrow register in Russia, as well as supporting the families of children diagnosed with terminal cancer.