24 JULY 2007

Upon her release from an LA detention facility, Paris Hilton assured the world she would use her fame "in a good way". "I feel as if I'm a different person… Now I would like to make a difference," the heiress told US chat show host Barbara Walters. And she seems to be making good on that promise after stepping out to a friend's charity gala to raise money for children with spinal cord injuries.

"It's a great organisation," she says of pal Jesse Billauer's Life Rolls On foundation. "It gives people hope, and I'm really happy to be here to support Jesse". The 26-year-old bid for, and won, a $17,500 surfing lesson with Jesse - a former pro surfer who was paralysed in a surf accident - and actor Adam Sandler.

Even the stunning outfit she wore to the Beverly Hills Hotel event was helping someone else. The Simple Life star was promoting the work of 19-year-old fashion student Jonathan Bash, whom she met when he assisted her at a petrol station. "He said he loved me and my style and showed me 30 dresses he designed just for me. I was amazed by how incredibly talented he was," she said.

Due to start shooting a new movie next month, Paris has said she'll continue to help where she can. After visiting an LA children's hospital on Sunday she revealed: "I met with philanthropists and they're doing a summit with five major charities and we'll be doing stuff all over the world. I'm excited."

Photo: ©
The heiress, who was supporting a charity fundraiser organised by her pal Jesse (above), also took the opportunity to help out someone else. She was wearing an outfit by 19-year-old wannabe fashion designer Jonathan Bash, whom she met when he assisted her at a petrol stationPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Paris - who bid $17,500 for a surfing lesson in the auction - customised a Toms shoe at the event. The manufacturer donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold Photo: © Getty Images