Audemars Piguet co-sponsors benefit to rebuild Afghanistan

Swiss Luxury watch brand Audemars Piguet is co-sponsoring a star-studded benefit for the Afghanistan World Foundation AWF), at which Muhammad Ali will also be honored for his humanitarian efforts for Afghanistan’s children.

The gala, called “Time to Give to Afghanistan” will be held Dec. 2 at the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles.

Audemars Piguet is providing 18 of its exquisite timepieces, each engraved with the signature of a celebrity from politics, sports, and entertainment, which will be auctioned at the gala by Christie’s auction house. Prominent participants in the watch program include Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan; Dr. Henry Kissinger; Ali, Tom Cruise, Adrien Brody, Al Pacino, Sigourney Weaver, Natalie Cole, Charlize Theron, Julianne Moore, Helen Hunt, Celine Dion, Jessica Lange, Shaquille O’Neal, Faith Hill, Penelope Cruz, Benecio del Toro, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The AWF will use funds raised in the auction to help rebuild educational and public health care systems in Afghanistan, with an emphasis on children and family services.

Audemars Piguet and NetJets, a provider of luxury private jet aircraft, are underwriting the event. Other participants include Rolls-Royce Motor Cars (which is donating a 2004 Rolls-Royce Phantom to the live auction), and the Robb Report, and Worth magazines. All auction items, including the watches, are display at Christie’s in Beverly Hills, starting Nov. 15.

Speaking for the event sponsors, Francois-Henry Bennahmias, president of Audemars Piguet North America, said, “Corporations must play a role in helping rebuild the country of Afghanistan. Our associates at NetJets and the other companies helping us with ‘Time to Give’ are pleased to be a part of this event that honors Muhammad Ali and the cause of freedom in Afghanistan.”

Ali will receive the AWF Freedom Award for his humanitarian efforts on behalf of Afghanistan and its children.” Muhammad Ali has traveled in Afghanistan on behalf of the United Nations, and his efforts earned him the love and respect of the Afghan people,” says event chairman Sonia Cole. “[He shows how] one person does have the power to make a difference to millions of people. His concern for those in need and suffering crosses oceans and cultures, and reaches hearts.”

Natalie Cole, head of the Celebrity Committee, Stevie Wonder, and Chaka Kahn, and other top performers, will headline the entertainment program.