By Danielle Beurteaux
Illustration by Scott Bakal
No one paid $400,000 to sing with Aerosmith. No African tours or trips to Australia were auctioned off. In fact, there was no auction at all.
Instead, actresses Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta-Jones, along with husband Michael Douglas, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, and hedge fund managers including Robin Hood Foundation and Tudor Capital founder Paul Tudor Jones and Maverick Capital's Lee Ainslie egged on the 3,800 attendees at the annual Robin Hood charity bash to give, give, give.
And give they did. Through handheld bidding devices they pledged $27 million, which was added to the grants and board member donations collected.
Then that sum was doubled thanks to George Soros's $100 million matching grant, bringing the evening's total to a stunning $87.8 million. And yet the mood was subdued, the presentations earnest. The message was: We're serious, we're sensitive,...