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Celebrity Support For Madeleine Fund Event

Original Source: SKY: WEDNESDAY 27 JANUARY 2010
9:29am UK, Wednesday January 27, 2010 David Williams, Sky News Online

Sir Richard Branson and JK Rowling are expected to be among the guests at a fund-raising event to mark the 1,000th day since Madeleine McCann went missing

Madeleine's Fund raised almost 2m in the first 10 months after she disappeared

Around 180 people have been invited by her parents Kate and Gerry McCann to attend the 150-a-head dinner, raffle and auction at Sir Richard's Kensington Roof Gardens in west London.

Half the money raised will go to the McCanns' fund to find their daughter, with the other half split between the charities Missing People and Missing Children Europe.

Supporters of the couple from Rothley, Leicestershire, will also launch 1,000 glowing paper lanterns into the night sky in Britain, Portugal and the US to coincide with the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.

It's 1,000 days since Madeleine McCann vanished and even now there are intelligent, sane and rational people, in Portgual and in the UK, who still believe that her parents Gerry and Kate phoned Sky News before they called the police.

Read more on Martin Brunt's Life of Crime


Sir Richard has offered his support

Almost 2m was raised for Madeleine's Fund in the first 10 months after she went missing from Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007.

But as the number of donations lessened her parents spent hundreds of thousands of pounds hiring a series of private detectives to continue the search.

McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell stressed there was no "crisis" in the fund, which currently stands at approximately 500,000.

"But even if the fund were to run dry, it doesn't mean the search stops," he said.

Mr Mitchell said the west London dinner would be attended primarily by the couple's friends and long-term supporters, including their millionaire backer Brian Kennedy.

The paper lanterns will be launched at 7.30pm British time from about 20 different locations, including Praia da Luz, Rothley and Mrs McCann's hometown of Liverpool.


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