Paris Hilton, other celebrities help Main Street art seller raise money for Haiti | ParkRecord.com

Paris Hilton, other celebrities help Main Street art seller raise money for Haiti

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

There were plenty of people walking around Park City during the Sundance Film Festival with their festival badges hanging from their neck — filmmakers, actors and journalists among them.

But just 200 or so of the festival-goers had laminated credentials from Silver Queen Fine Art, a Main Street gallery that held an impromptu fundraiser during the festival to bring in money for a not-for profit group assisting with the relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating earthquake. Timm Hilty, the owner of the gallery, said Silver Queen came up with an idea just before the festival started to raise money through the gallery’s credentials.

Silver Queen gave out its own credentials to festival-goers with the instruction to have them autographed by celebrities they see around Park City during Sundance. The festival drew numerous big-name actors, actresses and music stars.

Hilty said the autographed credentials will later be put up in an auction. The money raised in the auction will be donated to the not-for-profit, called Partners in Health.

"A lot of people come here to gawk and see movie stars . . . We thought we’d give them something to do," Hilty said.

He said approximately 50 of the credentials were returned with celebrity autographs. According to Hilty, some of the people who signed them include Paris Hilton, Ben Affleck, Tom Arnold and 50 Cent. He said the celebrities were generous in signing the credentials.

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"They thought it was great. They were really interested. They were, ‘Yea, we’ll give you a signature,’" Hilty said. "These people were more than thrilled to give us their time."

Hilty plans to start the auction of the signed credentials on Feb. 12. It is scheduled to last seven days and be conducted on the online auction house eBay. He said he would like to raise $2,000 in the auction. He has not informed the not-for-profit of his efforts.

"We thought what can we do," he said. "Their signatures can do something good for someone who needed it."

The full list of celebrity autographs will be available on the gallery’s blog by Friday. The blog’s address is silverqueenfineart.blogspot.com. Someone wanting to look at the autographed credentials may visit the gallery, 632 Main St., and ask to see them.

The earthquake struck just more than a week before the opening of Sundance, and the destruction in Haiti quickly drew the attention of celebrities who wanted to help the people in the Caribbean nation.

For more information about the autographed credentials or the auction, call the gallery at 649-6555. More information about Partners in Health’s Haiti programs is available on the group’s Web site, http://www.standwithhaiti.org .