Saturday May 3, 2008: The world’s most famous house became a playground for the rich and fabulous as Hollywood’s well known faces, famed athletes and internationally renowned physicians came together for a Mardi Gras Benefit at the Playboy Mansion. The evening of entertainment spotlighted Project Katrina Relief in its efforts to rebuild New Orleans and restore it to its status as a Mecca of history and inter-ethnic culture.
Proceeds from Saturday’s event went to support the efforts of U.S. Doctors for Africa who in partnership with Usher’s New Look Foundation and Louisiana State University will establish new medical and mental health services. The suicide rate has risen almost 400% after Hurricane Katrina. Tens of thousands of people are still displaced living in a trailer or homeless. People with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other chronic mental illnesses are unraveling because they can’t get the treatment they need. These organizations are building programs in New Orleans that will become permanent services and help rebuild and provide the city with better infrastructure to address the current problems and to manage future crisis and hopefully prevent this type of devastation from occurring so easily. For add’l information on US Doctors for Africa: www.usdfa.org
The 1st annual Project Katrina Relief Mardi Gras event was an unforgettable night of unadulterated fun as power players united to revive interest and create awareness about the devastation that still plagues New Orleans two and a half years after the hurricane ravaged the coastal city, in addition to generating funds much needed in the reconstruction. Over 400 guests mingled with celebrities & Playboy bunnies amidst the lavish backdrop of the Mansion, enjoyed live performances from rising stars Shawn Hlookoff, Stereofix, Mike Krum and Tamela d’ Amico while they feasted on authentic Cajun cuisine and revel in the luxurious atmosphere while benefiting the restoration of one of the prized jewels of the U.S.
Celebrities in attendance included Shannon Elizabeth; Peter Krause; Ian Ziering; Cuttino Mobley (NBA); Mel B. (Spice Girls, Dancing With The Stars); Jim Gaffigan (My Boys); Casey Connor (DJ/ Singer/ Songwriter); Shawn Hlookoff (Singer/Songwriter); Alana Curry (Revamped, The Source); Mark Ballas (Dancing with the Stars); Derek Hough (Dancing with the Stars); Shana Wall (Amazing Race); Tian Kitchen (Amazing Race); Rico De Largo (Musician); Dustin Megill (Stereofix); Kameron Alexander (Stereofix); Mark Allen (Stereofix); Ray Madavi (Stereofix); Robin Bain (The Real Wedding Crashers); Jamie McCall; Bridgetta Tomarchio; Katie Lohmann and more.