Gold Inspires Hope

Leaves of ChangeTM unites celebrities, charities and gold

(NEW YORK) - World Gold Council has announced plans for a celebrity charitable initiative entitled Leaves of ChangeTM which launched in fall 2008 in preparation for a May 2009 gala and charity auction. A-List celebrities will be invited to design a gold pendant necklace incorporating a leaf motif. World Gold Council will find a suitable gold jewelry designer to make each celebrity's necklace. Celebrity participants will choose to have proceeds from the sale of their designs benefit their favorite charity or Jewelers for Children (www.jewelersforchildren.org). This high profile charitable benefit will culminate in spring 2009 with an exclusive Los Angeles gala event, during which a simultaneous live and online auction will be held, raising funds and awareness for all of the participating charities.

Participating jewelry designers will create an exclusive set of three pieces from the celebrity design, one being gifted to the celebrity and one being auctioned off in May 2009 with proceeds going to the designated charities. The third piece will travel on a mini-tour to various cities in the top ten jewelry markets to further raise awareness for the multiple charities. Working together, jewelers and celebrities will create memorable works of art which will make a lasting impact on society.

messing-dec"Bringing together highly talented celebrities with renowned jewelry designers will create exciting and innovative gold designs," says John Calnon, Managing Director for World Gold Council, US. "The simultaneous benefit to multiple charities, especially in such difficult economic times, makes for a meaningful and lasting impact."

The first confirmed celebrity participant is Debra Messing, executive producer and star of USA network's new series "The Starter Wife." Debra's participation in Leaves of ChangeTM will include a collaboration with celebrated goldsmith Robert Lee Morris and will benefit her preferred charity Youth AIDS (www.youthaids.org).

(image left - Actress Debra Messing is the first confirmed celebrity participant in Leaves of ChangeTM. She will collaborate with celebrated goldsmith Robert Lee Morris and will benefit her preferred charity Youth AIDS.)

"Since the beginning of civilization, gold jewelry has held a powerful emotional place in global culture," says Mike Pace, VP of Marketing for World Gold Council. "It's exciting to capitalize on gold's profound and enduring emotional significance by supporting so many worthy causes."

Leaves of ChangeTM producer, Deanna Russo of ENTegrity, will build upon her strong relationships within the entertainment industry, including Christina Applegate, Jewel, Gisele and Marcia Gay Harden to make Leaves of ChangeTM a truly successful and memorable initiative.

All celebrity leaf designs will be accessible to the public on www.leavesofchange.org and press photos of both the celebrities and their designs will be available by April 2009.

A changing leaf is one of life's most symbolic and beautiful gifts. Combining this meaningful inspiration of nature with the enduring radiance of gold sends a message of hope to this ever changing world.

For information visit www.gold.org.

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