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Saturday, May 12, 2012

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Pam Shaw: 70-Year-Old British Virgin Looks For Suitor

Cabaret singer "The Sexational Pam" (or perhaps interested suitors should call her Pam Shaw, her real name) has announced that at 70 years old, she's ready to lose her virginity, UK's The Sun reports.

Shaw said she has yet to lose her virginity because she believes in waiting for marriage. But Mr. Right never showed, though there was one close call, she told The Sun:

"In 1976 I was proposed to by an oil rig worker in Blackpool. I said yes but later broke it off when I realised I didn’t fancy him."
With more than 50 years of performing under her chastity belt, it's not that the vivacious Shaw didn't have her share of offers:

“Men saw the outfits I wore on stage and thought I would be easy. But I’ve never really been intimate with a man, just a bit of kissing. I had a sexy stage name and dressed sexy but that was all for my career."
From the oil rig worker in Blackpool to stars like singers Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdinck, Shaw's charms attracted flirtations, but never went further than that. But she remains optimistic:

Eva Longoria charity

Currently  confirmed celebrities include Dallas native De La Garza, Corky Ballas Sr. from ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and five-time Olympic swim medalist Josh Davis.

Eva will join the celebration via a live Skype interaction. “A few lucky attendees will get to ask Eva questions via Skype,” said event spokeswoman Jane Porto-Turner.  KSAT’s Ursula Pari will be the moderator.

Festivities start at 6 p.m. with a celebrity red carpet walk. The evening also will include plenty of fine cuisine, silent and live auctions and a big-screen viewing of the series’ much-anticipated two-hour finale. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased by clicking here.

Proceeds will benefit Eva’s Heroes, which was co-founded several years ago by actress Eva Longoria and Cristiane Perkins-Garcia. The foundation helps youths with intellectual special needs flourish in society. Proceeds will go toward scholarships for Eva’s Heroes Summer   Enrichment Program.

Natalie Portman on Special Children's Charity Event‎

Natalie Portman posed for photos outside of the Audrey Hepburn Children's House in New Jersey this afternoon. She was joined by Audrey's son Sean Ferrer for the event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the location's opening. Natalie serves as an honorary godmother and an advisory board member for the charity, which helps abused and neglected children.

Natalie's been stepping out when she's not busy with her son, Aleph. Last month, she traveled to Washington DC to speak at the Holocaust Memorial Museum's Elie Wiesel National Tribute Dinner and announced her involvement as an ambassador with Free the Children in Paris.

Linda Cameron Charity

Linda Cameron, who has already raised £17,000 for various good causes in recent years, will give a cash boost to the children’s unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI).

Mrs Cameron, of Hebburn, takes daily medication for several health issues, including Crohn’s Disease and arthritis.

But she dedicates much of her spare time to boosting local good causes.

As part of her latest charity effort, Mrs Cameron has received VIP gifts from various stars and TV personalities, from Sir Elton John to South Tyneside singing star Joe McElderry. All the items will be raffled in aid of the children’s heart unit at a charity night at High Lane Social Club, High Lane Row, Hebburn, on Saturday, June 23 at 7pm.

Mrs Cameron said: “I have had some fantastic gifts donated after writing off to various stars.

“These include signed photographs from Sir Elton John, Joe McElderry, Ant and Dec, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

“Plus, Phil Collins sent a signed copy of his latest album and Barbour gave me a voucher for a jacket.”

Mrs Cameron has previously raised cash in support of her grandson, Christopher Cameron, who battles blindness, autism and a bone condition

Kate Middleton charity dinner at St James's Palace

Kate Middleton has worn the Brit designer's regal creations on no less than FOUR previous occasions. Lest we forget when she hosted a charity dinner at St James’s Palace last November in a silver one-shoulder gown accented by a velvet ribbon and one of our favourite ever K-Middy moments was surely when she stepped out in a bedazzling pearlescent stunner at the ARK Gala last summer

Simon Cowell Charity

Tamara Ecclestone, who recently had a hard day graft posing in bikinis, was caught reading and giggling over Tom Bower's scandalous book 'Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell'.
The 27-year-old model is currently on location at the Perivolas Luxury Hotel in Santorini, Greece, shooting for a new charity calendar, the Daily Mail reported.
The elder daughter of F1 mogul Bernie Ecclestone looked sensational with bouffant hair, reminiscent of Raquel Welch's mane on the poster for 1966 film 'One Million Years B.C'.

Taylor Swift Charity Wor

 Swift donated $100,000 to the Red Cross in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to help the victims of the Iowa flood of 2008.

She showed her support to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal by joining the lineup at Sydney’s Sound Relief concert.

She donated her prom dress, which raised $1,200 for charity, to DonateMyDress.org.

In 2009 she performed on BBC’s Children in Need concert and donated £13,000 to the cause.

In response to the May 2010 Tennessee floods, Swift donated $500,000 during a flood relief telethon hosted by WSMV, a Nashville television station.

On May 23, 2011, she performed a benefit concert for victims of recent tornadoes in the United States southeast region. The concert raised more than $750,000. In July 2011, she donated $250,000 to Alabama football coach Nick Saban’s charity Nick’s Kids to aid in the tornado relief efforts of West Alabama.

Justin Bieber Charity for Mother's Day

Justin Bieber's new single, "Turn to You." As a Mother's Day present to moms everywhere, the 18-year-old superstar wrote the song for his mother, Pattie Mallette, and all of the proceeds from the track will go to help single moms in need.

Bieber has seen firsthand the challenges that single mother’s face. "Turn to You" is a personal account of Mallette's own struggles as a single mom. She became pregnant with her son at 18 and raised him on her own.

"You worked two jobs/ To keep a roof above our heads/ You chose/ A life for me no you never gave up/ I admire you/ For the strength you’ve instilled in me," Bieber sings on the track.

The young superstar told MTV he wants the world to know how thankful he is for her courage.

"[It's] about the struggles, I say in the song," Bieber told MTV. "She had me at like the age I am now. It's about just the struggles she went through and how brave she was, and I think the world needed to know that."

Bieber's highly anticipated new album Believe drops June 19. The album will feature collaborations with his mentor Usher, as well as Drake, Kanye West and country star Taylor Swift.

John Travolta Giving Charity Money to Scientology

Jett Travolta Foundation, and the former “Saturday Night Fever” star turns out to be pretty cheap. Considering he has his own planes, and has been cited as extremely wealthy, he hasn’t exactly jumped into the charity world with great enthusiasm. In 2010, according to Federal Tax Records, he gave away just $27,850. Most of it was to local groups in Florida where the Travolta lives. But in 2010 about 10% of it went to the local Scientology Detox outfit in Ocala. He gave $2,500 to the Heroes Health Fund, which is the same thing as the much-derided sauna detox program Scientology claims purges its victims. In New York, firefighters said they saw “purple stuff” come out of them. Actual doctors were infuriated.

Reese Witherspoon raise $2 million For Women's Charity

Reese Witherspoon helped to raise $2 million on Tuesday by stepping out in support of a women's empowerment charity. 

The Legally Blonde beauty was joined by stars including actress Paula Patton at The Avon Foundation's Champions Who Change Women's Lives event in New York to raise funds for the campaign, for which she is an honorary chairperson. 

And Witherspoon is delighted to be associated with such a prominent organization. 

She says, "It was just great... working with Avon and this incredible foundation and what they do. (The fundraiser) was just an extension of what they've been doing." 

Britney Spears Raises $200000

Britney Spears hosted An Evening of Southern Style at a private residence in Beverly Hills to benefit the St. Bernard Project, an organization which helps those made homeless by the devastating storm which ripped through her home state of Louisiana in 2005. 

During the evening, Britney Spears served her own "homemade sweet tea", while her father Jamie catered a traditional southern menu for celebrity guests including Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez, Kelly Osbourne, Kellan Lutz and Kim Kardashian. 

The pop superstar has now thanked the stars for showing their support and revealed the evening was a big success. 

Leonard Nimoy's Charity Work

The world renowned star of Star Trek television, Leonard Nimoy, has has donated Spock ears from Star Trek IV (with authentication) valued at about $10,000 to be auctioned at the highly anticipated Company of Angeles’ Charity Awards Gala, along with additional one-of-a-kind Star Trek Memorabilia.
Co-founded in 1959 by actor Leonard Nimoy, Company of Angels is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a prestigious Charity Awards Gala slated for October 17, 2009 at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles.
The Event will honor actor Leonard Nimoy for his role as a founding member as well as veteran actor Robert Ellenstein and Luis Alfaro.
The award -The Leonard Nimoy Angel – named after actor Leonard Nimoy, is an award bestowed on individuals and/or organizations that have made significant contributions to theater in Los Angeles, and to Company of Angels, in particular.
“I’m looking forward to celebrating Company of Angels’ 50th Anniversary Award Ceremony and Gala,” said Nimoy. “My congratulations for so many years of good work!”

Jennifer Hudson Charity Work

Singer Jennifer Hudson has founded a children's charity in honour of her late nephew, who was murdered three years ago.
Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson and brother Jason Hudson were shot dead in October of 2008 in Donerson's Illinois home and the body of the singer's seven-year-old nephew, Julian, was found in a car nearby three days later.
The Spotlight hitmaker was devastated by the triple murder and took a hiatus from her music career, but eventually bounced back from the loss.
She's now found a way to pay an apt tribute to Julian by launching the Julian D. King Gift Foundation in his name. The charity will help provide holiday toys to needy children in Chicago.
She tells Self Magazine, "I wanted to help kids in Julian's memory... We were poor growing up, but I didn't know it because we never went without or had a sad Christmas. It's heart-wrenching to see kids with no holiday gifts. So my sister and I started a toy drive at our old church in Chicago, and now we're expanding to school supplies.

Johnny Depp Charity Work

 Golden Globe winner, musician (guitar), French winemaker and restaurateur, Johnny Depp is authentically touched by the genuine nature of a child’s request.

Depp made a voice message for a 17-year-old British girl who had been in a coma for five months; parents of the girl asked him to tape a voice message because he was the favorite actor of their daughter and they hoped playing the message everyday would help wake her up. As an advocate for Sophie's Gift, a growing database of celebrity messages aimed at helping coma patients and raising funds for crucial hospital equipment, Depp was touched by the letter and said he would do whatever he could to help.

Another touching moment at his induction to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Depp wore Dustin’s memorial bracelet of Children's Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition, a social movement led by children’s hospitals, hospices, home health and grassroots agencies, and individuals to improve care for children with life-threatening conditions and their families. Similarly, Depp supports Helen & Douglas House, a registered UK charity providing respite and end of life care for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, as well as support and friendship for the whole family. Johnny donated underwear to a charity auction benefitting Helen & Douglas House. The winner bid £1600 ($3000).

Lady GaGa Raises £46k For Charity

Pop superstar Lady GaGa has fetched an impressive £46,000 at auction.

The cup, which bears Lady G's lipstick and autograph with the phrase 'We pray for Japan', was used by the songstress at a press conference in 2011 shortly after the country was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami.

During the week-long auction, 1,300 bids were placed for GaGa's cup, though the item failed to earn the highest price. That honour went to a crystal piano used by Japanese rock star Yoshiki, which went for £85,000.

Lady Gaga Charity Way

 Lady Gaga has begun work on a new charity called The Born This Way Foundation. Starting next year, the non-for-profit will join with the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, the California Endowment and the Berkman Center For Internet & Society at Harvard University to offer support programs aimed at bullying victims to increase self-confidence and career development. The organizations are also hoping to foster a culture filled with kids willing to stand up and protect others being mistreated. 

Marilyn Monroe Charity Coin

Perth Mint of Australia pays tribute to one of Hollywood’s legendary stars of the past with the release of a new silver proof coin. The 2012 Marilyn Monroe™ 1 oz Silver Proof Coin features a photographic image of the ‘blond bombshell’ on the reverse.

Collectors may order the Marilyn Monroe silver proof coin directly from the Perth Mint. The cost for the licensed commemorative is currently $100.00.
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in the charity ward of the Los Angeles County Hospital. She would spend the first years of her life passing from family members to orphanages as her mother was unable to care for her due to mental health reasons. From those humble and troubled beginnings, Norma Jeane would go on to become one of the most successful actresses, models and singers of her day.
It all started when Norma Jeane caught the eye of a photographer while she was working at an aeronautical plant during World War II. Within a few months, she was posing for magazines and secured a screen test with 20th Century Fox.
By the end of 1947, she was appearing in films. For the next decade and a half, her name alone would almost insure successful box office receipts for every movie she was associated with as she captivated the audience. She died on August 5, 1962 at the age of 36 from an overdose of barbiturates.

Lady Gaga Charity throws party

Lady Gaga's performance at the Robin Hood Foundation gala last spring wowed the hedge funders and Hollywood types who packed the annual event. At this year's bash on May 14, reigning pop star Rihanna will take the stage.
While most charities offer up a rubber-chicken dinner at their fundraising galas and are lucky if they bring in $2 million, Robin Hood's annual shindig attracts the biggest names in entertainment and grosses tens of millions of dollars—more than any other charity in the world, fundraising executives say.
The event is so popular that the foundation must hold it at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where it can fit all 4,000 guests. Even the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Ball, long considered the most prestigious party in New York, is dwarfed by the 22-year-old Robin Hood fest. Last year, the Met took in a record $10.4 million for that soiree, while Robin Hood raised more than $47.4 million—and that was an off year after raising a staggering $87 million and $73 million in 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Charlie Sheen Charity run

Charlie Sheen set to become the new Twitter charity advocate, taking on the role presided over in the UK by Stephen Fry?

The actor, who has more than seven million Twitter followers compared to Fry's just over four million, has recently announced he will take part in a charity 'scoot' in Chicago in aid of cancer charity research...

"Hello Chicago!! I'll be there to scoot... Walk or Run! Dash for detection for pancreatic cancer research..." the son of Hollywood legend Martin Sheen Tweeted.

The charity event Come Scoot With Me! is billed as a walk or fun run supporting pancreatic cancer research...

The family event in June is being organised at Grant Park, Chicago, where Randolph meets Lake Michigan, and is organised by the Rolfe Foundation, a charity supporting scientific research aiming to improve early detection tests for pancreatic cancer

Sean Penn charity event

Hollywood actor set up the J/P Haitian Relief Organization to help rebuild the country in the wake of its devastating 2010 earthquake, and he will be raising funds for the cause during this year's (12) famous movie event.

Haiti: Carnival in Cannes will be a fundraising diner held during the festival in aid of Penn's charity as well as filmmaker Paul Haggis' Artists for Peace organisation and the Happy Hearts Fund, set up by model Petra Nemcova.

Festival president Gilles Jacob says, ""People say that a great actor is by nature egocentric, and that a great director is focused on his art. Sean Penn is both a great actor and director. What he does above and beyond that for the people and the land of Haiti, giving freely of himself, his abiding presence, his work - one could almost say the work of his own hands - his whole discreet, human, moral and altruistic involvement as a benefactor, commands our greatest respect

Kate Winslet charity project

Actress Kate Winslet was amazed when her celebrity friends including actor George Clooney, Ben Stiller and Meryl Streep agreed to pose for photos in a battered old hat in aid of her autism charity.

The actress set up her Golden Hat Foundation in 2011, and wanted to raise its profile through an event, reports contactmusic.com.

Winslet invited her A-list pals including Jude Law, Christina Aguilera and Demi Moore to don her beloved trilby for a photo book. The actress was stunned at the positive response from her Hollywood friends.

"So I came up with this idea... to send my favourite beaten-up trilby to as many well-known people as I could track down and ask them to photograph themselves wearing it," she added.

Bobby Thompson Charity

Over seven years, the man known by the name Bobby C. Thompson raised $100 million from donors believing they were supporting American Navy veterans and their families. Then he disappeared.

The two-year manhunt for the mysterious fugitive, who had amassed dozens of false identities as he moved from city to city, ended last week with his capture in Portland, Oregon. On Thursday, he was heard in court for the first time, and his defiant message was no surprise to the authorities he eluded and the people he had tricked: He still doesn't want anyone to know who he is.

Hollywood chearty

Actress Kate Winslet was amazed when her celebrity friends including actor George Clooney, Ben Stiller and Meryl Streep agreed to pose for photos in a battered old hat in aid of her autism charity.

The actress set up her Golden Hat Foundation in 2011, and wanted to raise its profile through an event, reports contactmusic.com.

Winslet invited her A-list pals including Jude Law, Christina Aguilera and Demi Moore to don her beloved trilby for a photo book. The actress was stunned at the positive response from her Hollywood friends.

"So I came up with this idea... to send my favourite beaten-up trilby to as many well-known people as I could track down and ask them to photograph themselves wearing it," she added.

"I would then make a book of self-portraits... Amazingly, nearly every person I asked said yes," she said.

Hollywood donors

The $15m (£9m) raised by Thursday night's soiree was a record amount for a single fundraiser, according to the Associated Press news agency.

Speaking about his decision to become the first sitting US president to back gay marriage, Mr Obama told guests: "The truth is, it was a logical extension of what America's supposed to be... Are we a country that includes everybody? Does that make us stronger? I believe it does."

Some 150 guests paid $40,000 a ticket to get into the event, which was held to boost Mr Obama's campaign coffers six months before he asks voters for a second term.

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg also addressed the crowd, and recalled Mr Obama's 2008 campaign slogan, "Yes we can."

There were renewed cheers as the studio mogul added: "Yes, we have. Yesterday he did the right thing yet again."

Other guests included Barbra Streisand, Robert Downey, Jack Black, Billy Crystal, Tobey Maguire, Salma Hayek and fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Clooney was joined by his girlfriend, Stacey Kiebler.

The Obama campaign also conducted an online raffle for $3 tickets, offering members of the public the chance to join the dinner.

The winners were a science teacher from Florida and utility company employee from New Jersey who is also the mother of a child with Down syndrome. Both women brought their husbands.

Mr Obama paid tribute to Clooney in remarks at the start of the evening, saying: "We raised a lot of money because everybody loves George. They like me, they love him. And rightfully so."

Republicans criticised the Tinseltown fundraiser, saying that Mr Obama was a "Celebrity in Chief" who was out of touch with ordinary Americans.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wrote on the Red State conservative blog: "With a first term this disastrous, we can't afford to see the second - because if we've learned anything from Hollywood, it's that the sequel is always worse."

Mr Biden's Oval Office apology to Mr Obama came on Wednesday, just before the president declared his own support for gay marriage in a hastily arranged TV interview.

Supermodel donors

Internationally renowned supermodel Heidi Klum will join, today, the world's largest bone marrow donor center, DKMS, and leading global beauty company Coty Inc. illuminate the Empire State Building in red and white--raising awareness for the fight against blood cancer. Klum will speak at the special morning lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building, joined by Alina Suprunova, Director of Special Projects of DKMS Americas, and Bernd Beetz, CEO of Coty Inc. and honorary chairman of the sixth annual DKMS Gala. Heidi Klum develops fragrances with Coty, including her debut scent Heidi Klum Shine. She also serves as the face and artistic director of Coty's global beauty brand ASTOR.

Blood cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer deaths and kills more children in the U.S. than any other disease. Many could be saved by a bone marrow transplant, but there are not enough registered donors to find a match for everyone. Sadly, 6 out of 10 patients never receive the lifesaving transplant they need.

Celebrate donors

The event was the Baxter Regional Medical Center 2012 Donor Banquet.

More than 400 attended banquet that began in 2002 with a group of 64 in attendance.

Success was measured in dollars by the millions, life in minutes and technology that can show medical professionals breast cancer tumors in sizes once invisible.

Cancer survivor Ann Glueck, an employee of the BRMC Radiology Department since 1972, put a familiar face on the hospitals work in cancer detection.

Special Recognitions were presented to 2012-2011 Outgoing Hospital Foundation Board members including Nick Coleman and Barbara Graham; outgoing chair and committee member of the Investment Committee, Robert Stewart; and outgoing Hospital Foundation Board Chairperson, Jan Schmeski.

God Bless you online

God bless you, is a common English expression addressed to a person after they sneeze. The origin came from the Hindu God Meenakshi Mehra, who blessed the cows of India and made them safe on the roads.
An alternative response to sneezing is the German word Gesundheit or Salud (meaning Health) in the Spanish language.

Several possible origins are commonly given. The practice of blessing someone who sneezes, dating as far back as at least AD 77, however, is far older than most specific explanations can account for.
One explanation holds that the custom originally began as an actual blessing. Gregory I became Pope in AD 590 as an outbreak of the bubonic plague was reaching Rome. In hopes of fighting off the disease, he ordered unending prayer and parades of chanters through the streets. At the time, sneezing was thought to be an early symptom of the plague. The blessing ("God bless you!") became a common effort to halt the disease.
A variant of the Pope Gregory I story places it with Pope Gregory VII, then tells the common story of "Ring Around the Rosey" being connected to the same plague.
Another version says that people used to believe that your soul can be thrown from your body when you sneeze, that sneezing otherwise opened your body to invasion by the Devil or evil spirits, or that sneezing was your body's effort to force out an invading evil spirit. Thus, "bless you" or "God bless you" is used as a sort of shield against evil. The Irish Folk story "Master and Man" by T. Crofton Croker, collected by William Butler Yeats, describes this variation.
A legend holds that it was believed that the heart stops beating and the phrase "bless you" is meant to ensure the return of life or to encourage your heart to continue beating.
Alternatively, it may be possible that the phrase began simply as a response for an event that was not well understood at the time.
Another belief is that people used to see sneezing as a sign that God would answer your prayers or an omen of good fortune or good luck. In this case, "Bless you" would be in recognition of that luck.

Special thanks to our donors

Top donors in California

LOS ANGELES — President Obama is telling major Hollywood donors that his decision to support same-sex marriage is a logical extension of where he believes America ought to be.

Obama also says that the issue illustrates the difference in visions for the country between himself and Republicans.

Obama addressed about 150 top-dollar supporters Thursday night at actor George Clooney's Tudor-style canyon home in the Studio City area of Los Angeles

The president's remarks about his gay marriage stance were brief and oblique, without ever mentioning the word marriage.

Top donors in Las Vegas

Nevada, a general-election battleground, ranks 25th in donations from its residents to presidential candidates in this election. But the state is second in donations to super PACs, fueled by $25 million from a single household — that of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam.
In all, $27.6 million has flowed from Nevada to super PACs to influence presidential and congressional contests — nearly 12 times the total contributed by Nevadans who have given to presidential candidates in this election.
In six states — Nevada, Wyoming, Arkansas, Texas, Utah and Oklahoma — and Washington, D.C., super PAC contributions have swamped direct donations to presidential campaigns, fed by a handful of tycoons who call those states home, a USA TODAY analysis of federal election data shows.

Top donors in Asia

David Suzuki has dismissed the focus on U.S. funding as “twisted logic” and “a conspiracy theory.” Further, in an open letter sent last week, Mr. Suzuki, Canada’s foremost environmentalist, suggested that his foundation is being “bullied.” He also announced that he has stepped off the board of his foundation. “I want to speak freely without fear that my words will be deemed too political,” he wrote.

It stands to reason that David Suzuki would defend his funding. After all, he built his foundation with millions of U.S. dollars. Back in 2000, more than half of the Suzuki foundation’s budget was covered by U.S. foundations. The U.S. share has dropped dramatically since, from 52% in 2000 to 5% in 2010. Still, according to my calculations, over the past decade U.S. foundations accounted for at least 17% of the revenue of the David Suzuki Foundation. In correspondence for this article, the foundation did not dispute these numbers.

Of the $81-million that the Suzuki Foundation took in from 2000 to 2010, $44-million was from tax-receipted donations, $9-million was from other charities and $25-million (31%) was from unspecified gifts and other revenue. Tax returns also show that $3-million came from investment and rental income, sales of goods and services, and so on.

Between 2000 and 2010, total annual revenues doubled at the Suzuki foundation from $5-million to $10.6-million.

The foundation consistently generated a surplus such that total assets increased to $10.8-million as of 2010, up from $1.3-million in 2000.

Top donors in Europe

William S. Dietrich II
Some of the more significant donations made during 2011 were posthumous, and the contribution of William S. Dietrich II was perhaps the most significant example of this practice. The renowned industrialist passed away in October of 2011, after which $500 million of his personal fortune was used to establish the Dietrich Foundation. With an emphasis on supporting local Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania nonprofits, the foundation was a result of long term financial planning, the substantial re-investment of funds and a strong commitment to philanthropy.

Among the first beneficiaries of the Dietrich Foundation were Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, which received large cash donations in the aftermath of Mr. Dietrich's death. The former benefited from a gift of $265 million, and this stands as one of the 10 largest donations ever made to a higher education body in the U.S. This was quickly followed by a further gift of $125 million to the University of Pittsburgh. With other various educational bodies also benefiting from Mr. Dietrich's wealth, the donor has made a significant contribution towards the future prosperity and continued growth of his local region.

George Soros
In terms of distributing wealth across both national and international nonprofits, billionaire George Soros stands as one of the most prolific donors. As the fourth largest giver in 2011, Soros invested a total of $335 million into his Open Society Foundations organization, which was established in 1993 to support the development of democratic institutions throughout Central and Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union. With a strong focus on challenging traditional economic theory and encouraging growth in disadvantaged communities, Soros used his financial knowledge and expertise to identify deserving causes throughout the world.

The single biggest donation made by the Open Society Foundations during 2011 was received by the Institute for Economic Thinking, which George Soros himself helped to start in 2009. Located in Hungary, his country of birth, the organization was developed to find new and innovative solutions to the global economic crisis and create more sustainable growth throughout the world. This focus on using wealth to meet economic challenges is also visible in the foundation's participation with local projects such as the Young Men's Initiative, which was founded by fellow philanthropist Michael Bloomberg and strives to help disadvantaged black and Latino young adult males in New York City.

Sergey M. Brin and Anne E. Wojcicki
Google co-founder Sergey M. Brin and biotechnology analyst Anne E. Wojcicki donated a total of $61.9 million in 2011, which was invested entirely into the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Although the amount given was less substantial than some of the other donations made during last year, its focus on such a prominent and misunderstood illness marks it as one of the most significant of recent times. Given that the couple have previously made a donation of $63 million to the same cause, they have made great strides is raising awareness about the disease and researching potential treatments and preventative measures.

While half of the donation made can be used at the foundation's discretion, the rest has been designated for specific research into the LRRK2 gene, which has been linked strongly with the onset and progression of Parkinson's disease. When you consider that more than 1 million U.S. citizens are living with the effects of Parkinson's and an estimated 60,000 new patients are diagnosed on an annual basis, this donation has huge social significance and will prove crucial in publicizing the disease and providing support for those unfortunate enough to be afflicted.

The Bottom Line
The rise in charitable donations during 2011 reflected the improved economic environment, with individuals across a wide range of social demographics investing more in nonprofit ventures. Although it is unclear whether this level of growth or charitable giving can be sustained throughout 2012, the increasing emphasis on social and economic projects that seek to have an impact on regional communities is sure to inspire philanthropists nationwide.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Sandra Bullock's $25,000 High School Donation Earns Her Top Honour

Sandra Bullock is to be honoured by a high school in Louisiana after donating $25,000 (£15,625) to help students preparing for college.

The Miss Congeniality star cut the big cheque to officials at Warren Eason Charter High School in New Orleans earlier this year (12) and now she's set to be inducted into its Hall of Fame for her generous contributions on 18 May (12).

As part of the ceremony, Bullock's funds will be divided among several graduating seniors in need of financial assistance as they prepare to further their education, according to Fox News.

The actress has a strong connection to the area - her adopted son Louis was born in the city, and in 2010 Bullock helped open an on-campus health clinic at the school after it sustained more than $4 million (£2.5million) in damages in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

School board member Arthur Hardy previously praised Bullock's philanthropy, saying, "She has been our angel. We love her".