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Fundraiser led by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou raises €864k for Pelagos Sanctuary 

Fundraiser led by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou raises €864k for Pelagos Sanctuary 

stelios pelagos

An incredible €864,000 was raised at the annual Stelios Foundation fundraiser in Monaco thanks to generous donations from 60 philanthropists, including the UBS Optimus Foundation and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou himself.  

The fundraiser, which was held on Wednesday 27th September in the Principality of Monaco, saw some 60 specially invited guests and philanthropists dig deep to support the important work being done by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to protect the Pelagos Sanctuary.  

This protected marine zone covers roughly 90,000km2 of the Mediterranean Sea, an area stretching from the coasts of Italy, Southern France and Monaco to the island of Sardinia, encompassing the island of Corsica. It falls beneath the protections of the Pelagos Agreement, a joint declaration signed between the three afore mentioned nations, which has made the conservation of marine mammals in the area its most central mission.  

The recent fundraiser is an annual occurrence in Monaco – this is the 11th such event – and was well-attended by local dignitaries, including Prince Albert, who accepted the donation on behalf of his eponymous foundation and the WWF.  

In all, €223,000 was donated directly to the cause by open-handed guests, and a further €170,000 was raised through a live auction.  

The generosity continued as the UBS Optimus Foundation increased the sum by another 10% on the total, before the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation doubled the amount to reach the astronomical sum of €864,000.  

“I am touched that so many friends responded to the call to save our seas,” said Monaco resident Sir Stelios. “The Pelagos Sanctuary is very close to our home and we have to preserve it. The sum raised is up 154% on last year and brings the grand total raised for the cause by our joint efforts since 2013 to €2.5 million. We are looking forward to breaking the record again next year as we are here to help for the long run!” 

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Photo credit: Stelios Philanthropic Foundation