November 6, 2002 - Harry Potter Author At Stirling Castle

A lavish ball organized by Harry Potter author JK Rowling raised £275,000 for charity.  Organizers said guests had donated almost three times as much as expected during the Halloween banquet at Stirling castle.JK Rowling - Harry Potter Author

A total of £225,000 came from an after-dinner auction, with one un-named guest paying £10,000 for a walk-on part in the next Harry Potter movie.  Organizers had originally hoped to raise £100,000 from the event, which was in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland.
Other items included a studio tour in Los Angeles and a holiday on a private island in the West Indies.

The castle was transformed into a spooky Celtic banquet with fire-eaters, pipers and burning torches.  The event was limited to 225 guests, who paid at least £250 (about $405 US Dollars) to attend the event.

Glenda Mackenzie, fund-raising manager at Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland, said the figure of £275,000 was "beyond our wildest dreams".

"This amount could for instance double the number of specialist MS nurses in Scotland," she said.  "We are hugely grateful to our patron JK Rowling for her personal enthusiasm and support without which none of this would have been possible."

Ms Rowling, 37, is expecting a baby in the spring and lives in Scotland. Her mother died of MS at the age of 45.

Fifteen facts about Harry Potter & JK Rowling

1. The Harry Potter books have sold in excess of 110 million copies in more than 200 countries. Harry Potter

2. The series has been translated into 47 languages - only the Bible has been translated into more.

3. JK Rowling has amassed a personal fortune of at least £220 million and received an OBE from Prince Charles in March last year.

4. The first Harry Potter film, released last year, has become the second most successful film of all time behind Titanic.

5. The new movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, has been criticized for being too scary for young fans.

6. After graduating in French and classics at Exeter University, Rowling took up a post teaching English in Portugal.

7. Rowling was on a train from Manchester to London when she first imagined Harry. She got the name for the headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore, from the Old English for ‘bumblebee’.

8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was rejected by nine publishers, including HarperCollins, Transworld, and Penguin. It was eventually taken up by the Christopher Little Literary Agency. Bloomsbury Press accepted the manuscript.

9. Bloomsbury printed special orange and black covers for its "grown-up" readers of the novels, so they would not be embarrassed to be seen reading a children’s book in public.

10. Stephen Fry read the whole of the first book in an eight-hour marathon on Radio 4 on Boxing Day last year.

11. More than 600,000 children applied to play the lead role in the first film, and companies such as Coca-Cola and Lego competed to secure the Harry Potter name on their merchandise.

12. NOT everyone has been bewitched by Harry’s magic. The headmistress of a Church of England school in Kent banned the books because she believed Harry’s adventures went against the teachings of the Bible.

13. US director Steven Spielberg walked away from the Harry Potter film after JK Rowling refused to allow an American child actor to play Harry.

14. The next Harry Potter book is to be called Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It should have been published last summer, but has been repeatedly delayed.

15. Rowling won a writ for plagiarism from another children’s book writer, Nancy Stouffer, who had a hero called Larry Potter. Rowling admitted the lengthy legal battle had delayed the progress of book five, and that her perfectionist nature had also held up publication. At the weekend, she said she was "very close" to finishing the much-delayed book.

New Potter Movie Comes Out In Ten Days!
New Potter Movie out Nov 16th.