This evening, Sir Paul and Heather hosted an Adopt-A-Minefield benefit for about 1,000 guests at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Their guests enjoyed a vegan dinner followed by musical performances by Sir Paul and Tony Bennett. Jay Leno served as the master of ceremonies.
Upon his arrival at the Beverly Hilton, Sir Paul told reporters that governments should "listen to the voice of the people" and sign a treaty banning land mines:
"People don't like land mines, especially the survivors and the people who are living in the countries with them. They think they are cowardly, like we do, so I think it's down to the governments to actually just listen to the people and sign the treaty and get rid of all these things and there would be an end to it. It's been gratifying to see so much money raised through our first five galas alone. But while we work diligently to clear minefields and help survivors, we must stop production of new mines entirely to rid the world of these deadly, unnecessary weapons."
"We've come a long way since the 1997 treaty that bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of mines, but we have a long way to go. Although it's been ratified by 135 countries, the U.S., China and Russia have not, and it's critical that the international community continues to pressure these nations to clear a path to a safer world ... We've cleared 21 million meters of square land at Adopt-A-Minefield. It only takes $30 to make a child walk again, so you can make a difference."
Benefit guests included actors Ray Romano, Tony Bennett, Alec Baldwin, Pam Anderson, Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, Cameron Crowe, Cheryl Hines, JC Chasez, Julia Ormond, Josh Groban and January Jones. The benefit raised approximately $2 million through the evening's ticket sales and auction items, plus an additional $1 million dollars generously donated by Gibson Guitars. The cost of producing a landmine is as low as $3 while the cost of removal can go up to $1,000.
An Adopt-A-Minefield online auction will run through November 29 at http://www.charityfolks.com . You have the opportunity to bid on such things as musical instruments autographed by Sting, Phil Collins, James Taylor, John Mayer and Tom Petty as well as VIP concert tickets and first-class vacations.
For further information on Adopt-A-Minefield, please visit the website at http://www.landmines.org .
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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