January 16th, 2012
04:59 PM ET
Before the Golden Globes this weekend, there was another fete with A-listers in attendance: A fundraiser gala for Sean Penn's J/P Haitian Relief Organization.
Penn, who has been assisting with earthquake relief for Haiti since the disaster struck in January of 2010, was honored on Saturday night at the event and officially named the ambassador at large to Haiti by the country's Minister of Foreign and Religious Affairs, Laurent Lamothe.
The dinner, which was organized by Cinema for Peace, raised $5 million to put toward the efforts of rebuilding, according to a statement, and Penn told CNN at the event that Haiti is at a crucial turning point.
"The work that has been done, while slow and frustrating in many cases, it is a miraculous amount of work that has been done in the last two years," the actor said. "If we’re able to follow through on that – build the trust between the countries and build the trust between the organizations that are doing productive work as opposed to those that don’t - I think that this could be a dynamic jump forward."
The 51-year-old star was joined by Hollywood names like George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kim Kardashian and Mel Gibson, as well as those in the political arena, like California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Kardashian, who recently traveled to Haiti, told CNN that her trip was illuminating.
“I didn’t have any expectations going down there and I really wanted to learn for myself," she said. "When I got down there, I felt like there is so much that needs to be done, I didn’t know where to start. So, by working with different organizations you really learn what you can do to help, and I just think that everyone can help in any way, whether it's online [or otherwise]. My experience was definitely eye-opening, and I can’t wait to go back.”
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