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TV stars unite to help NYC; eBay.com announces auction

LOS ANGELES (BP)–In an unprecedented cooperative and collaborative effort, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC will present “America: A Tribute to Heroes,” a live two-hour, commercial-free simulcast tonight at 9 p.m. (EST), to raise funds and raise the spirits of all who have been touched by the horrific tragedy that has struck America.

From New York and Los Angeles, celebrities from television, feature films, music, sports and news will take part in an evening of music, memories, hope and inspiration.

Participating, as of press time, in alphabetical order, are: Bon Jovi, Amy Brenneman, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Sheryl Crow, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, The Dixie Chicks, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Calista Flockhart, Dennis Franz, Kelsey Grammer, Tom Hanks, Faith Hill, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Conan O’Brien, Tom Petty, Ray Romano, Julia Roberts, Paul Simon, Will Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Sela Ward, Robin Williams, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young.

All funds raised from the program will go to the relief effort. All costs will be underwritten by the four networks.

“America: A Tribute to Heroes” will be broadcast live in the Eastern and Central time zones and tape-delayed in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. It also will be videostreamed on the Internet. All of the other broadcast networks, cable networks and radio networks are being invited to carry the feed.

In other developments, New York Gov. George E. Pataki and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced that, in response to their call for support, eBay has created “Auction for America,” an interactive way for people around the world to help the victims and families of Sept. 11’s horrific terrorist attacks.

Auction for America can be accessed through www.auctionforamerica.org and www.ebay.com.

eBay users will be able to buy and sell goods on the Internet site specifically for the purpose of raising money for the victims and families. The company has challenged itself, through its community of 34 million registered users, to raise $100 million in 100 days.

“This unbearable tragedy has brought out the best in New Yorkers and people from around the world and has proven that every single individual can make a difference,” Pataki said. “eBay has stepped up in an unprecedented way, providing yet another example of how New Yorkers and people throughout the world are coming together to support the victims of this horrible attack.”

Through a separate “Auction for America” category on the site, eBay sellers can now list items that are earmarked for the “September 11th Fund.” The fund, established by the United Way of New York City and the New York Community Trust, is focused on short-term emergency assistance to provide for the urgent needs of people affected by the attacks.

In order for eBay to guarantee payments to the charities, all “Auction for America” transactions will be processed through Billpoint, eBay’s online credit card payments service. eBay, along with its partners, Visa USA, MasterCard International and Wells Fargo Bank, will waive all of their customary fees.

Meanwhile, Southern Baptists from 35 states have given more than $77,872 for an array of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts underway in New York City and Washington, D.C. Most of the donations have come from donations online at www.namb.net/dr. One hundred percent of those gifts will be used for disaster relief in the field, not for administration. Checks designated for Disaster Relief also may also be sent to NAMB by mail to P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Phone inquiries may be directed to 1-888-440-6262.

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