SYDNEY, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Movie star Russell Crowe helped raise 400,000 Australian dollars (270,700 U.S. dollars) for Australia's New South Wales Rural Fire Service on Friday, by auctioning a sweat and ash covered baseball cap which he promised to sign and personalize to the highest bidder.
The move comes in the wake of devastating bushfires which ravaged Australia's east coast this month, which also affecteda rural property owned by the iconic actor, who starred in blockbusters including Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind and Robin Hood.
Barely retaining its original white colour, the filthy hat bears the logo of Australian football team the South Sydney Rabbitohs, which Crowe co-owns.
Crowe promised to match the highest bid on the hat, which on Friday morning went to the Australian co-founder of software company Atlassian, Mike Cannon-Brookes for 100,000 Australian dollars (67,600 U.S. dollars).
Atlassian's other co-founder Scott Farquhar, and co-founder of U.S. software company Qualtrics, Ryan Smith, both also pledged to contribute 100,000 Australian dollars each, taking the total donations to 400,000 Australian dollars (270,700 U.S. dollars).
"I'm not from Australia but have offices and friends there. Painful to watch," Smith said.
Cannon-Brookes' bid came with the stipulation that Crowe should "find a kid affected by the bushfires and make his day by giving him the hat."
He added that Crowe should also "sign it 'today is the day' and add your name," referring to a push to address the links between climate change and more extreme bushfire seasons.
Crowe said that he would be donating the money across several fire stations, many of whom continue to battle fires still burning across the state.
"I want to thank the volunteers all over the state and all over the country that work tirelessly to keep our communities safe," Crowe said.