In partnership with Google, world-renowned brokerage Sotheby’s has put together a virtual auction to raise funds for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) foundation in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The IRC has been fighting to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus by providing life-saving programs to vulnerable communities in more than 40 different countries across the globe, and it’s continuously aiming to scale up its efforts.
By participating in Sotheby’s Mayday COVID-19 Charity Auction, bidders will have the chance to win one-on-one Google Meet video call experiences with some of the world’s leading figures in the arts, sports, business and politics.
Ever wanted to sing with Sting, formerly of the Police? Well, you might be able to. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, perhaps you’d like to be taught Shakespearean acting by Patrick Stewart himself? That’s an option, too.
Also included in the star-studded roster of virtual meetups is the New York City rock band The Strokes, British actor-comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and U.S. politician Hillary Clinton, among many others.
The interest of “Downton Abbey” fans might also be piqued when they find out they can win a virtual tour of Highclere Castle in Hampshire country, England.
Better yet, creator Julian Fellowes will lead the castle tour, along with Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, who play the Earl and Countess of Grantham.
“Sotheby’s has a long tradition of supporting charitable organizations in times of need,” said Charles F. Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s, in an official statement on Monday.
“We are proud to bring our centuries of experience and the power of our online auctions to bear against the impact of COVID-19,” he added.
“With the partnership of Google and so many leading figures who have pledged to support this unique venture, we hope to be able to deliver meaningful resources for the extraordinary efforts of the International Rescue Committee, needed now more than ever.”
Additional auction listings include a call with real-live Apollo 9 astronaut Russell “Rusty” Schweickart and virtual coaching from fitness and health author Tim Ferriss.
You could potentially discuss politics with former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright or debate artistic methods with acclaimed designer Paul Smith or British artist-sculptor Marc Quinn.
Bidding for each charity experience begins at a price of US$50, with no minimum set price.
The Mayday COVID-19 Charity Auction kicks off this Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m. ET and will run until May 8.
Additional details and auction listings can be found through the official Sotheby’s website.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.