So Many Causes, So Little Time

Celebrities have long lent their names and checkbooks to their favorite charity organizations. Not all have shared Bono's savvy and smarts, but they have nonetheless helped raise awareness of--and donations to--a wide variety of causes. A sampling:

Princess Diana:

Jay and Mavis Leno: The host of American television's "Tonight Show" and his wife recently donated $100,000 to educate the public about the Taliban's oppression of women in Afghanistan. Mavis Leno sits on the board of the Feminist Majority, which is leading the Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid.

Richard Gere: The star of "Pretty Woman" was the first big name to embrace the cause of freedom for Tibet. A devout Buddhist, Gere for more than 15 years has been an outspoken critic of China's occupation of its neighbor. He cofounded New York's Tibet House, a cultural center, and joined the board of the International Campaign, a lobby group with close ties to Tibet's government-in-exile. Gere has met with the Dalai Lama numerous times. In recent years, fellow celebs ranging from Bernardo Bertolucci to the Beastie Boys have taken up the cause.

Elizabeth Taylor: A cofounder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, Taylor has also been the group's top fund-raiser. She has raised millions of dollars through star-studded auctions, where bidders have been known to pay $65,000 for a Princess Diana gown and $50,000 for a package of one-hour tennis lessons with Chris Evert, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Monica Seles and Steffi Graf.

Sting: In 1988 the rock star and his wife, Trudie Styler, helped create the Rainforest Foundation to protect the Brazilian jungle. Since then, Sting has raised money through benefit concerts and raised awareness of the dangers of deforestation. His efforts have, among other things, succeeded in halting work on a hydroelectric dam in the state of Para, which threatened to flood surrounding villages.

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