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Despite the recession, the holidays brought out the best in New Yorkers. The 3rd annual charity:ball to benefit charity:water – bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations – was held Monday. Actor and activist Adrian Grenier, hosted a live auction to sell off the opportunity to build 10 wells in Africa at $5,000 each. Bid winners included Jenna Elfman and Grenier himself.

The Metropolitan Pavilion generously donated the venue and the event production raising over $400,000 for charity:water. Alan Boss, president of Metropolitan Pavilion said, “[Founder Scott Harrison's] dedication stands as a beacon for others to do good.”

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Both Zenith and the Blavatnik Family Foundation donated a significant amount of their time, services and products to ensure a high level and quality event worthy of charity. Celebs in attendance included actor Matthew Modine, Summer Rayne Oakes, model/activist, Rocco DiSpirito, musicians Gnarls Barkley, and Amos Lee.

To date, charity: water has raised funds to build 890 freshwater wells in 8 African nations. When completed, they will serve more than 400,000 people with clean, safe water for 20 years! For more information, visit www.charitywater.org

Photo credit: Melissa Rosenberg

Additional contributor to this post is Shari Rosenberg