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When Johannesburg native Topaz Page-Green moved to Manhattan in 2001 to launch a modeling career, she worked with plenty of waifs who were happy to skip lunch. But on a visit home to South Africa three years later, the girl was struck by the sight of children in impoverished Soweto, huddled together under a tree during recess because they hadno school lunch. Within months, Topaz founded the Lunchbox Fund, a nonprofit that provides meals for African students. "I want to make stuff happen," says the NYU grad. "We don`t have time to waste." Topaz` passion has attracted megastars: Her pals Mario Batali, Helena Christensen and Mike Myers are supporters of the Lunchbox Fund, while Balthazar Getty and (Topaz` rumored onetime flame) Joaquin Phoenix sit on its board. She also models for Lacoste and Edun, so it`s little wonder that Edun`s co-founder, Bono, is a pal. So how did an unknown South African ascend into such elite circles? "I`ve known these people through mutual friends since I came to New York," Topaz shrugs. Though single, the Spanish Harlem resident rarely goes out merely to hobnob with the glitterati: "What the hell is the point of being on the scene for its own sake? If I go out, it`s because it helps the organization." For her December 11 gala at Milk Studios, Topaz has recruited Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Salman Rushdie to design lunchboxes for auction. As for the success of her efforts, she says, "I got lucky!"
List of links to Topaz Page-Green fansites:
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