RSVIP: Hugh Jackman and Wife Launch 1.4 Billion Reasons DVD
"I met Hugh Evans at the Australia 2020 Summit, which was a conference about ideas that the Prime Minister held," Hugh Jackman, far right, who hosted the fete with his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, told RSVIP.
"He was so young I thought he was one of the waiters," continued Jackman, who said he had waved Evans over, hoping to get a drink. "Two hours later, he was still telling me all of these ideas. This young guy was so switched on. . . ."
"The look tonight," explained Van Wyck, while scruffy actor Gerard Butler wandered in wearing frayed jeans and a biker jacket, "is pared-down chic."
"It's really about the message," says Van Wyck, who hails from Arkansas. "It's about the cause. Everything went toward getting the people here. I'm donating my time and even the red carpet. I believe in what they're doing."
Several of Jackman's famous friends pitched in unique auction items, including a lunch with Rupert Murdoch, which was already going for $7,000 on http://www.charitybuzz.com/gpp. And it wasn't just a friendly lunch; the winner of this lot is invited to pitch the billionaire media mogul business ideas at the table. Murdoch's wife, Wendi, explained that not even she has full access to her husband's hectic lunch agenda.
"He's always busy," she said. In fact, the couple rarely meet for lunch, "as I also have no time," she indicated with a laugh.
Legendary chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean Georges, Vong, JoJo, The Mercer Kitchen, and Prime fame, was auctioning private cooking lessons and a one-of-a-kind dinner for six. Yum.
Spiritual healer Deepak Chopra generously auctioned a personal "Seduction of Spirit" class.
And Jackman himself offered one bidder a chance to join him in a workout session while, likely shirt free, he pumps iron and bulks up to play the lead role in "Wolverine II." Needless to say, a sea of women's hands were raised in the Titus 1 theater at MoMA when Jackman referenced the lot.
Auction items will be available online until November 11.
The good news in the 1.4 Billion Reasons DVD is that, according to Evans, the number of people living in extreme poverty, or on less than $1.25 per day, has been reduced by half, to 1.4 billion, since the 1980s.
"It gives you hope," said Jay Sugarman, CEO of iStar Financial, whose wife, the modernist interior designer Kelly Behun, hosted the event with Wendy Murdoch, Jackman, and Furness.
After the moving DVD and a lively discussion led by Evans highlighting healthcare, clean water, education, infrastructure, microfinancing and empowering women, the tony group moved to a vast atrium upstairs for cocktails, flanked by a giant Karen Walker cut-paper-art mural silhouette referencing the Civil War.
Thanks to Van Wyck, red, blue, and yellow votive candles sparkled in tall glass cylinders.
Jeweler to the stars Lorraine Schwartz mentioned that she had donated $10,000 that night to become a platinum member of the organization. "I did what I can do," said Schwartz, her slender new "2B Happy 2B" bracelet in pink diamonds, glimmering at her wrist. "What is it to give $10 or $20 to help another person?"