A Celebration of Freedom
An International Benefit for the Afghanistan World Foundation

St. Regis Hotel, Century City, Los Angeles, CA

Muhammad Ali is given the Freedom Award at a charity benefit for the Afghanistan World Foundation.

An important aspect of the work of Afghanistan World Foundation is the much needed public awareness of the predicament of the Afghan people suffering through 27 years of war. It is said “To whom much is given, much is expected” and those amongst us who have shown compassion to the Afghan people serve as an inspiration to every individual who is Blessed with the capacity to contribute in their own special way.

The St. Regis hotel in Los Angeles was the setting for a high-profile gala event to raise funds for the Afghanistan World Foundation. All the proceeds from the evening were directed to high priority needs in the post-war reconstruction of Afghanistan specifically to fund projects such as the construction of the Mother and Child hospital in Kabul, and the rebuilding of schools. Honorary Chairpersons for the event were President George H.W. Bush, President Hamid Karzai, President Bill Clinton and Mrs. Nancy Reagan. The proceeds for the dinner benefit included an auction conducted by Christie's of 18 watches, lifetime pieces by Audemars Piguet, engraved with signatures of personalities from the worlds of entertainment, sports, and politics, as well as the auction of a Rolls Royce Phantom and private jet trips from NetJets. The cost of the gala event was graciously underwritten by Audemars Piguet and NetJets. The Guest of Honor was Muhammad Ali, who received the Foundation’s Freedom Award for his work in helping the Afghani people.

Preview Party at Westime for the Afghanistan World Foundation Auction featuring 18 Collectible Audemars Piguet Timepieces - Link

The evening opened with a welcome from Master of Ceremonies Pat O'Brien. Natalie Cole then stepped on the dais and addressed the needs of the people of Afghanistan, spoke about the work of the Foundation and the contribution by Muhammad Ali in aiding the Afghan people. Natalie brought out Foundation Chair Sonia Nassery Cole, who narrated her story of growing up in and then leaving Afghanistan. She related how a meeting with Ronald Regan started her on a path to helping the people of her homeland. Sonia spoke about Muhammad Ali's efforts to help the people of Afghanistan, and the great work he has done. When it was time to present the Freedom Award, Quincy Jones provided a tribute to Muhammad Ali and the good works of his Muhammad Ali Center. A sumptuous Afghan dinner was followed by an exhilarating concert performance featuring Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole and Chaka Kahn. The event received both print and broadcast media coverage nationally in the United States as well a wider international audience by satellite programming. It gave much comfort to the Afghan people to know that their pleas had been heard and help was on the way.

14k –Celebrity auction for Afghanistan World Foundation held at St Regis Hotel -

Time to Give: A celebration of freedom international benefit for the Afghanistan World Foundation. St. Regis Hotel, Century City, Los Angeles, CA. Dec 2, 2003

The roots of Audemars Piguet date back to 1875, when the 23-year-old Jules-Louis Audemars met Edward-Auguste Piguet, then only 21, at Vallée de Joux, which is considered to be the cradle of prestige watch-making. Their hometown was Le Brassus. When they graduated school they went to Vallée de Joux to start working in their favorite field of watch manufacturing.

Thus Audemars started producing component parts for movements and Piguet got the job of a repasseur, whose job it was to make the final regulation of the timepiece. They founded a firm later known as Audemars, Piguet et Cie.

Since 1882, members of the Audemars and Piguet families have always been on the board of directors and thus directly or indirectly ran the company.

Rare combination of ingenuity, respect for tradition, and uncanny marketing instincts continue to keep Audemars Piguet on the cutting edge of horological innovation, with a long list of “worldsfirsts” to prove it. Heir to a proud legacy of tradition, excellence and innovation, the brand’s core values, Audemars Piguet, grateful for the years and success and recognition, has always felt compelled to give back to the community. Since 1992 in Europe and worldwide with the Audemars Piguet Foundation dedicated to the preservation of the natural heritage of our planet, Audemars Piguet has devoted 1,200,000 Swiss francs to forest conservation and environmental education projects and to ten children’s aid projects. Since the first Time to Give Celebrity Watch Auction in New York in 2000 to celebrate its 125th anniversary, Audemars Piguet has raised more than $3,000,0000 in the United States alone, benefiting primarily children’s and womens’ charities, including the Inner City Games Foundation, The Muhammad Ali Center, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Challenge for the Children, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


Hamid Karzai

George Bush

Nancy Reagan

Senator Diane Feinstein
Richard Santulli

Philippe C. Merk Audemars Pigue CEO

AWF Celebrity Ambassadors: Link


In today’s world, businesses can no longer operate in isolation, says NetJets Chairman and CEO Richard Santulli. “Now more than ever, a universal view of the world we live in is mandatory and so it an obligation to be a good citizen. NewJets has always endeavored to nurture a caring, safe environment for our employees and clients, and it is in this spirit that we are pleased and honored to support the Afghanistan World Foundation in its efforts to assist in the successful rebuilding of the Afghan nation.



Fax: 310.453.9278 / Public Charity Status: 170(b)(A)(vi) • California Charitable Trust Registry No.: CT-119905 • Website by: Mancha