Stars Turn Out to Raise Hope — and Funds — For Pakistani Flood Victims

Two hundred people turned out for an auction-cum-celebrity-fundraiser at Carnivale in Chicago on Sunday, January 16. Stars for Hope, hosted by OPEN Chicago, included silent and live auctions, speeches by representatives from Oxfam America and the US State Department and celebrity entertainment. The stars in attendance were Iqbal Theba, known for his role as Principal Figgins on “Glee,” Aasif Mandvi of “The Daily Show,” Malika Ameen, a contestant on “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” and Faran Tahir, who appeared in “Star Trek” and “Iron Man”. Theba and Tahir entertained the audience by acting out a proposed “Glee” script, with Theba running through the tables to serenade the audience with American and Pakistani songs while they ate lunch. Following dessert, Mandvi performed a standup routine that plunged into risque territory and earned him a standing ovation.

Among the items up for silent auction were a private, in-home baking class by Ameen and a “Glee” call sheet, script and DVD — all autographed by the cast. But the afternoon’s hottest items were two sets of four Daily Show tickets along with a private backstage tour led by Mandvi, which went for a total of $10,500. Including ticket sales, the event raised over $40,000. All proceeds will go to the Karachi Relief Trust and Oxfam America, benefiting survivors of last summer’s floods.

Divanee caught up with the celebrity attendees to get their take on the event and ongoing efforts in Pakistan — click through the gallery to see what they had to say.

All photos by Amina Elahi.

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  • Maleeha

    Frankly, this was an odd event. OPEN Chicago is not a 501(c)3 organization as some may have believed. Why give proceeds to Oxfam, which has one of the highest overhead costs?

    But, what I found most unusual was this was more about the organizers doing a show to hang out with “stars” under the guise of helping “flood victims.”

    The event seemed to have spent a lot of money. We should be careful about doing events that are truly to help others instead of doing events that are for self-serving name and fame.

    That’s my honest opinion as much as it may sound harsh to hear it.

  • Kate

    So glad to see that Malika Ameen was in attendance! She is a great chef and an even sweeter person. It doesn’t surprise me that she would open her heart for a good cause. Wish I had won the cooking class with her!

  • An organizer

    OPEN is a 501(c)6. Our event partner was Paksef, is a 501(c)3 . Any confusion is on part of individuals. The intent is to create awareness and publicity around the “need” to keep the disaster in the news. The media showed up thanks to the generous time of the stars, enabling keeping it in the news. We are grateful for the giving celebrities and generous partners who made this into a success on a shoe string budget!

    Kate thank you for your kind words!

  • Pingback: My shots from Stars for Hope, a fundraiser benefiting Pakistani flood victims | 1.16.11 « Amina Elahi

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