On Saturday evening, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (in a very luminous and symbolic gold dress) and husband Dr. Neil Murray hosted a fundraising event for her charity, Lumos, at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Watford, where the Harry Potter series was filmed.
At this magical place, Rowling excitedly revealed that she plans to go global with her Lumos charity. Shining along with Rowling and Murray at the Lumos event were Harry Potter film veterans Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Warwick Davis, and Evanna Lynch. Fellow English actor Hugh Grant also showed his support and was immediately targeted for recruitment by a group of Death Eaters that snaked their way onto the red carpet. Don’t do it, Hugh!
The attendees were treated to a lovely banquet in the beautifully decorated Hogwarts’ Great Hall, a part of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. An auction was held to raise funds for Lumos, and some items up for bidding included a drawing of the Sorting Hat by J.K. Rowling and a sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor. All donations raised from this event will go directly toward Lumos, which helps European children who have been placed in decrepit orphanages. Rowling stated that since Lumos’ beginnings in 2005, it has successfully helped governments take almost 12,000 children out of these appalling institutions, across the world. “We have prevented the deaths of more than 400 vulnerable children with disabilities who were not receiving the care they needed in institutions,” she said. Lumos has also helped the European Union (EU) on the allocation of money to reform education, social, and health services and care systems.
In addition to the auction funds received, Rowling has gifted £25 million (over $33 million) of her Harry Potter fortune to Lumos. Every last penny from the £18.9 million (over $25 million) sale of Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard went directly to the charity. Anonymous private donors, believed to be Rowling herself, have contributed £5.4 million (over $7 million), as well.
J.K. Rowling will also be putting her “Lumos Maxima” bracelet up for bid at an auction being held at Sotheby’s in London on December 10. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, the author revealed the bracelet was a gift from Rowling’s British editor, given to her the day the seventh Harry Potter book was released. The bracelet commemorates Harry Potter, featuring trinkets including a winged key, a spell book, and a bolt of lightning, and is expected to raise another £20,000 (over $26K) for Lumos. Lumos spokeswoman Vicky Gillings declared, of Rowling, “The power of one person to change things is incredible.”
Rowling admitted that there is much more needed to be done to significantly decrease the suffering of displaced European children, but that the Warner Bros. Studio event was a very large step in helping to achieve Lumos’ mission and goals.
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