Diamond Empowerment Fund raises $1m in London

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Money raised at London gala dinner will fund African education.

The first benefit dinner organised by the Diamond Empowerment Fund in London last week raised more than US$1 million (£619,000).

The event, called DEF London: Diamonds in the Sky, was held at Banqueting House in the city and was attended by a number of industry luminaries including Diamond Trading Company (DTC) chief executive Varda Shine and De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer and a number of celebrity guests.

At the sold-out dinner, Oppenheimer and Standard Chartered group chief executive Peter Sands were honoured by the charity for their commitment to corporate social responsibility and Shine was named Humanitarian of the Year. The crowd also heard from students who have directly benefitted from the charity.

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A fundraising auction was held during the evening with prizes including diamond jewellery, travel and sports packages, modelling sessions and the chance to open the first DTC sight of 2011. A supporting online auction at charitybuzz.com will continue until November 30.

The Diamond Empowerment Fund was created in the US in 2007. The charity’s mission is to raise money to support education initiatives in African communities.

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