Ed Norton Hosts a Benefit for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Fund
Starting at Home
Ed Norton may do most of his work as an environmentalist under the radar, but the actor was more than happy to play host at a New York City benefit for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Fund. "I'm trying to make people realize that we have failed to do certain things, but there is still the opportunity to do right," said Norton, who brought friends, benefactors and representatives from the Kenya-based organization together at the famed Christie's Auction House to discuss issues in East Africa and their impact on the rest of the world. "If we want certain parts of the world that are the lungs and heart of the global ecosystem to survive, we have to find ways to engage the people who actually live there in the benefits of being good stewards."
Justin Long and Sophia Bush
"I'm a very passionate environmentalist and I'm also a huge fan of Ed Norton," said Sophia Bush-who paired her Herve Leger dress with House of Lavande jewelry and a Cecelia clutch. "We have to come to terms with what's happening in the world and in our environment. It's so important to pay attention." The One Tree Hill actress discussed the issue of the evening with Justin Long in a quiet corner during the cocktail hour.
"I drive a hybrid," said Rosie Perez. "Where I come from in Brooklyn, if people see you driving something that's not an SUV they don't understand. They think it's because you're not doing well!" After recording her name in event sponsor Dewar's Signature Book of Expressions, Perez browsed the items up for silent auction and caught up with friends like producer Shauna Robertson.
Funnyman Paul Rudd entertained Norton and his fellow guests before the evening's progam got underway. Over dinner, a visiting Maasai tribal leader spoke about the mission of the fund-promoting convservation, health and education in the Maasai community.
As they sipped cocktails, guests bid on silent auction items including Nars beauty products, an Urban Zen shopping spree and a Cartier La Dona watch. During a live auction, acclaimed author John Grisham offered to name characters in his next novel for the three highest bidders, while Norton offered lunch on the set of his next film. By the end of the evening, more than $200,000 had been raised to support programs provided by the Maasai Conservation Fund.
Dinner guests were welcomed into Christie's intimate executive board room, where they tucked into cold-weather comfort foods like roasted tomato soup, truffle grilled cheese sandwiches and rich mini-Black Forest cakes with shaved dark chocolate.