Experienced pilot John Travolta (pictured with aid vounteers), flew five tons of food and 400 doses of tetanus vaccine into Baton Rouge
Photo: AFP
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Fellow screen star Sean Penn ran into problems with his personal rescue mission after the boat he had hired to help rescue survivors sprang a leak. Repairs completed, the Mystic River star was soon back afloat, however
Photo: Rex

6 SEPTEMBER 2005

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Celebs from the worlds of music and cinema have been doing their bit to help in the wake of last Monday's devastating hurricane in the southern US.

For some, their action took the form of large donations, while others, such as John Travolta and Sean Penn, lent their help first hand.

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Rappers Sean "Diddy" Combs and Jay-Z pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross, as did Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage, who owns a home in New Orleans. According to his publicist the Adaptation star "wishes to help his neighbours during this most devastating time".

Also making a hefty financial gesture was Celine Dion. Visibly upset during an interview on US TV, the Canadian songbird, who donated $1 million to relief efforts, explained: "There's people still there, waiting to be rescued, and for me it's not acceptable."

John Travolta and Sean Penn took a more hands-on approach. Along with his wife Kelly Preston, the Pulp Fiction actor, who is an experienced pilot, flew five tons of food and 400 doses of tetanus vaccine into the neighbouring city of Baton Rouge before touring New Orleans.

Also in the stricken city was Mystic River star Sean Penn. The 45-year-old ran into difficulty with his efforts after a boat he hired to help rescue stranded victims sprang a leak.

Meanwhile further relief events and aid funds are in the pipeline. Chat show host and New Orleans native Ellen DeGeneres is in the process of setting up a relief fund, and a star-studded charity concert entitled 'Shelter From The Storm: A Concert For The Gulf Coast' is due to be staged on September 9.

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