Goodall helps Aspen nonprofit |

Goodall helps Aspen nonprofit

A unique opportunity to meet with biologist and humanitarian Jane Goodall is a last-minute addition to a live auction benefiting the Aspen Youth Experience at its gala tonight.The local nonprofit brings at-risk youth from urban areas around the country to Aspen for youth camps that emphasize helping the kids make positive choices in their lives. This weekend is its annual fund raiser, the Celebrity Downhill.The final live auction item at tonight’s benefit gala at the St. Regis is tea for eight people with Jane Goodall on July 7. Bids for the item start at $10,000.Aspen Youth Experience board member Christina Sidoti works with the United Nations, doing long-term strategic work. She crossed paths with Goodall in Rome at the Nobel Peak Laureates Convention. She said she’ll never forget meeting the icon for the first time.”She’s ageless – she’s this elegant woman who looks through your eyes and looks into your heart,” Sidoti said. “She leaves you with a sense of calm, hope and faith.”Goodall first made history in the 1960s with her landmark studies of chimpanzees in Tanzania. She established the Jane Goodall Institute in the ’70s to support research, education and conservation programs. The Institute’s Roots & Shoots program supports assisting students in projects that benefit people, animals and the world.In 2002 Goodall was appointed a United Nations Messenger of Peace.”I have spoken at great length with Jane about at-risk children, and the organization with the Jane Goodall Institute,” Sidoti said. “Roots & Shoots and the Aspen Youth Experience have such kindred mission statements, that I explained how we bring kids to Aspen to plant seeds of change in their minds, and I asked if she’d come and help us. She said yes, anything she could do.”The highest bidder will not only get tea with seven friends and Jane Goodall, but will also support bringing Goodall to Aspen to speak with kids at Aspen Youth Experience’s summer Latino camp. In addition, the proceeds from the winning bid will be split between Aspen Youth Experience and the Jane Goodall Institute.Other auction items for tonight’s gala include a walk-on role with actor Dean Cain on his next production, a trip to Mexico, and a gourmet dinner with boxer Evander Holyfield in your own home catered by Aspen restaurant Piñons.Anyone who cannot attend the gala but wants to bid on the tea with Jane Goodall is welcome to call 917-648-9566 to place a bid until 8 p.m. today.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is

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