Ocean's Thirteen Premiere Benefit
Lights, Camera, Action (for Darfur)

(June 8, 2007) From the IRC's Emily Holland, just back from the Ocean’s Thirteen premiere in Chicago, Illinois.

Hundreds flocked to Chicago’s AMC theater on North Water Street yesterday to get a glimpse of the cast of Ocean’s Thirteen. They walked away with more than just autographs and photos--a new knowledge of the IRC and even t-shirts. The red carpet was soon a blur of yellow.

It was the first celebrity stake-out for some. Diehard veterans had arrived at 4:30 that morning. Among the crowd were several college students who had participated in activities to support the relief effort in Darfur. One young woman I spoke to had organized a hunger strike to raise money and awareness.

In our group was Marco Wek from South Sudan, who shared the story of his harrowing boyhood and his new life in America. Marco is working two jobs, seven days a week at our IRC office in Boston and also as a parking lot attendant. His motivation? To support his wife, daughter and twin sons and finance their dream of buying a home.

One thing’s for certain: no one walked away disappointed! George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Ellen Barkin, Bernie Mac and Matt Damon worked the crowd, signing autographs and snapping photos. We snapped a few, too…of our new supporters (like these folks above). Stay tuned for a video on their thoughts from the red carpet about Darfur and these admirable celebrities who are lending a big hand to support our efforts.

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