If you love ceramic elephants and famous people, and you'd like to help fight Africa's AIDS epidemic, then get out your checkbook. A number of high-profile celebrities, including George Clooney, Glenn Close, Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington, have agreed to scribble their names on ceramic elephants to raise funds for Project Zambi, a charity dedicated to raising awareness and funding programs that care for African children orphaned by AIDS.

The organization was started by Hasbro employees, who were inspired by the Chikumbuso Women and Orphans Project in Zambia. They created "Zambi the Elephant," sending a textile artist to Zambia to teach art workshops and get input from the children there on the design of the Zambi stuffed toy, which wiggles its ears, raises its trunk and makes happy sounds when you tickle its chest. The toy retails for $49.99 and Hasbro has committed 50 percent of the toy's net profits, with a minimum of $500,000, to Project Zambi.

Hasbro's 10-day celebrity auction to benefit Project Zambi will kick off on Oct. 5, offering an opportunity to bid on custom-designed ceramic Zambi figurines, signed by celebrities. In addition to the stars mentioned above, elephants will be signed by Susan Sarandon, Scarlett Johannson, James Taylor, Alicia Keyes and Heidi Klum. Some celebs have to share an elephant -- you can also bid on Zambis signed by Ellen DeGeneres/Portia de Rossi, the Jonas Brothers, Rhea Perlman/Danny DeVito, and Jennie Garth/Peter Facinelli.

All of the money from the auctioned elephants will go to the individual celebrity's charity of choice, such as the Hole in the Wall camps, Global Action for Children, and Save Africa's Villages.

So this is your chance to brag to friends, "Oh yeah, that's my collectible Leonardo di Caprio elephant!" And you don't get to say that every day. Bidding starts on Oct. 5th. To find out more, `check out www.projectzambi.com.
categories Cinematical