NEW YORK – A chance to see and be seen with Leonardo DiCaprio (search) in Los Angeles. Or eat clam chowder with Ben Affleck (search) in Boston. Or have a night on the town with Ricky Martin in Miami. These aren't necessarily fantasies for those with deep, charitable pockets.
These celebs — as well as Sarah Jessica Parker and Benjamin Bratt (search) — will auction dinner in their company for charities they have chosen individually. The bidding begins Thursday and concludes on Oct. 3. It is being held on a Web site run by eBay, accessible through Godiva.com, the sponsor of the decadent fund-raiser.
The winning bidder can bring seven friends to the dinner, each of which will be created by a well-known chef and topped off by a new truffle from Godiva. For the hosting celebrities, the pressure to entertain their guests is clear.
"I'll bring my clown makeup and do some juggling or something," Martin told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday.
But the singer was more interested in talking about his charity, People for Children (search), a project of the Ricky Martin Foundation. The Latin singer created the organization in 1997 to help eliminate the trafficking of children.
When Martin first learned that child trafficking wasn't just the shuffling of children across borders but an extensive problem of exploitation for prostitution, he was thrown.
"I had no idea what child trafficking was," Martin said. "At the end of the day, we're talking about organized crime."
The other dinners will raise money for various causes including the prevention of global warming and UNICEF (search).