Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Geocom-Kinross Gold Mine Plans Draw Celebrity Attention – Charity Whitewater Raft trip with Robert Kennedy on Chile’s Futaleufu River nets $94,000 usd

Celebrities Enjoy Antics at Banff Charity

[Jan 23, 2008] The Edmonton Journal

It was a good bench-emptying hockey brawl and at the centre, gloves flying, was Karen Percy-Lowe.

Jerseys were pulled off and into the fray jumped Oscar winner Tim Robbins (Mystic River); singer-songwriter Tom Cochrane and Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill), and would-be MP Justin Trudeau.

"We were just acting," said Percy-Lowe. "Last year's impromptu hockey game was so much fun that we thought we'd stage a couple of games this year."

The mock "fight" took place on a rink at the Fairmont Banff Springs Celebrity Sports Invitational.

Alec Baldwin (The Departed, The Good Shepherd) emceed the Saturday night gala and former child-evangelist Marjoe Gortner acted as auctioneer.

Some $900,000 was raised to support Robert F. Kennedy's Waterkeeper Alliance, fighting worldwide to clean up rivers and lakes and conserve water.

Few had hockey skates last year, but stars were told there would be games on the Friday and Saturday nights this year.

"It was mainly a Canadian sort of thing," said Percy-Lowe. "We even have red and black team jerseys now."

The Friday game ended about midnight, but it was after the witching hour before the game began Saturday.

The stars had gone to Sunshine Village to compete in a snowshoe-toboggan and cross-country ski races Friday and downhill slalom ski races Saturday.

Most of the money raised, $750,000, came from the live auction at the black-tie, salmon tartar-and-Alberta beef gala.

Gordon Downie, lead singer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, raised a cool $100,000 by offering a concert in a private home.


"I believe that is the most ever raised by a single item at one of our auctions," said Toronto lawyer Matt Mattson, Canadian representative to the Waterkeeper Alliance board of directors.

"But all our celebrity guests were articulate about the cause they were supporting, particularly the Canadians."

Margaret Trudeau, her right arm in a sling, looked a tad uncomfortable at the dinner.

"I dislocated my arm in the last run of the day Friday," she said. "I should know better than to try and keep up with the Kennedy boys."

Skiing with the same competitive edge as his elder brother Robert, was Matthew Kennedy, a lawyer and Harvard University graduate.

Kennedy crossing the Futaleufu on a Tyrolean Traverse

An item that sold twice, for a total of $94,000, was a whitewater trip with Robert Kennedy Jr. on Chile's Futaleufu River. (A real steal: kayak lessons, hot tubs and the services of a masseuse were included.)

(For a future picture of the Futaleufu River Valley, see: Double threat of Cyanide Leach Mining and Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) imperils the Futaleufu River Valley - Kinross Gold & Geocom Resources responsible )

Kennedy was also happy when a family was offered a day of falconry with him -- he's a master falconer and former president of the New York State Falconer's Association -- and it sold for $60,000.

Golf with Wayne Gretzky at Ontario's Georgian Bay Club the day before the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic begins on the newest PGA stop, sold for $14,000.


Bidding for a week at Mark Messier's brand new beach house at Runaway Hill Inn in the Bahamas was keen. Mark will try to be there. It fetched $18,000.

Lawyer Mattson is off on a one-week trip through Cree wilderness in Ontario's Arctic lowlands offered by author Joseph Boyden. It sold for $18,000.

"Boyden's debut novel, Three Day Road, won international acclaim for its depiction of Canada's First Nations and the contributions to the First World War," said Mattson.

"A trip through remote, fragile ecosystem is a dream."

Lesser mortals wouldn't have been able to lace up their skates after gathering around the stage to encourage former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald and his band. (One gentleman brandishing an open bottle of Patron tequila offered everyone a drink.)

But it was Downie, a minor league hockey goalie who played for an Ontario Championship-winning, bantam-level team in 1979, who lead the stars to the ice. An unpredictable game followed.

(The games are not part of the TV program that will be beamed to a North American audience of some 70 million.)

Oscar-winning Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) was shooed off the ice for following her long-time partner, six-feet-five-inches-tall Robbins, around the ice with a video camera.

Former New York Rangers goaltender Mike Richter, thrice named to NHL All-Star teams, skated powerfully in his goalie skates.

And Jason Priestly (Beverly Hills 90210) looked like a real hockey player, while Alicia Silverstone (Clueless, Batman and Robin), a model since she was six, looked fantastic.

Tired after some heavy-duty skiing, Percy-Lowe, a double-bronze ski medalist at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, led cheerleading from the bench, along with husband and Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe, and friends, Edmonton lawyer Doug Goss and his wife, Provincial Court Judge Joanne Goss.

The game went until after 3 a.m.

Here is the full article: Edmonton Journal