The ever giving Russell Simmons, along with his brother Danny Simmons and Rush Philanthropic Arts, helped raise over $575,000 dollars on Saturday during his Art For Life Miami Beach fundraiser. The exclusive event honored Wyclef Jean, John Legend, financial expert Suze Orman and real estate developer R. Donahue Peebles. Celebrities like Miami Heat players Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning, and Ricky Davis, NFL Player Larry Johnson; film director and Miami native Brett Ratner, Scott Stapp of Creed and his wife Jaclyn, designer Julian Chang, comedian Pauly Shore, Latin sensation Paulina Rubio and others, showed up at the event.
Beyond a celebrity auction, guests pledged $1000 to sponsor a child to participate in the foundation’s arts education program for a year during the evening. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt sponsored 5 Rush Kids in his honor; Dwyane Wade, Larry Johnson & Julissa Bermudez, and John Legend each sponsored 10 Rush Kids; as did Amber and Loren Ridinger, and event Honorary Chairman Sean “Diddy” Combs. A percentage of net proceeds for Art for Live Miami Beach will go back into the Miami Dade County via grants to art programs for disadvantaged youth.