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Last Updated: Monday, 5 September 2005, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Stars unite for hurricane relief
Actor Sean Penn (left) in New Orleans
Actor Sean Penn (left) said he wanted to help the victims
An all-star charity concert to raise money for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina is being organised in the US.

Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast will be held on 9 September to appeal for donations.

The as-yet-unnamed stars will pay tribute to victims and rescuers who worked in the stricken area.

The event is being put together by producer Joel Gallen, who was behind a similar event aired in the days after the 11 September attacks on the US.

It's great that they're being evacuated out of the disaster but now they need places to go and live
Macy Gray

US comedy legend Jerry Lewis used his annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon - which has been running for 39 years - to raise money for victims of the hurricane.

Lewis decided to devote the telethon to both children with muscular dystrophy and Katrina victims after seeing TV news reports from the Gulf Coast, raising a total of $3m (1.6m).

Meanwhile, more US celebrities have been offering their help in the flooded areas.

Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn, 45, went to New Orleans to rescue children stranded by the floodwaters.

Shelter

But the small boat the actor was piloting sprang a leak and began taking in water seconds after launch, leaving Penn and his entourage to paddle back.

R&B singer Macy Gray also joined the ranks of celebrities trying to help those affected by flying to Houston, Texas, where up to 200,000 victims are being housed in shelters and the city's Astrodome stadium.

"It's great that they're being evacuated out of the disaster but now they need places to go and live," she told CNN.

Arts organisations are also looking at ways of raising money to help the areas devastated by the storm, which struck last Monday.

Kristin Sosnowsky, who is helping to set up an Arts United for Hurricane Relief programme, urged groups to participate.

"Some of the ways that they might participate is by placing a donation jar in the their lobby, including an insert or ad in the programme, including a link on their website or possibly donating the proceeds of a special performance," she said.





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