A children’s charity co-founded by a Hong Kong socialite who plunged to her death from the top floor of a Los Angeles medical clinic says it has lost a “mentor and a friend”.
The Nepal-based Child Welfare Scheme paid tribute to jewellery designer and philanthropist Sandra D’Auriol, who died on January 22.
Zein Williams, a director of the charity, said D’Auriol left many achievements and accomplishments.
“She always wanted to leave the world in a better place,” Williams said.
The charity said it was angered by “inaccurate” reports and speculation surrounding the lead-up to D’Auriol’s death, adding that the group “all realised they needed to put the facts on paper”, without elaborating further.
Quoting the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, CBS News reported that D’Auriol went to the top of the Camden Medical Arts building in Beverly Hills last Wednesday, hours after having plastic surgery. Despite attempts by police to talk her down, she plunged to her death three hours later. She was naked when her body was found.
Born in India to British parents, D’Auriol, 53, moved to Hong Kong in 1983 and had been associated with CWS since 1999. Her jewellery, with a focus on jade, was exhibited in London, Paris, New York and Milan, with all the profits donated to children’s, women’s and environmental charities, including CWS.
In a statement earlier, the charity said: “It is with great sadness that we have learnt that CWS co-founder, director, mentor, and friend, Sandra D’Auriol passed away unexpectedly on January 22, 2014.
“Sandra was a significant supporter of CWS in Nepal in its early years and later helped to establish CWS’ highly successful fundraising arm in Hong Kong in 2003.
“Since then Sandra’s immeasurable contributions to CWS’ fundraising and strategic planning have made our life-changing work possible.
“Despite being a devoted mother and wife, jewellery designer and successful business woman she worked tirelessly to raise funds and guide us in our work.
“Sandra devoted her talent for designing elegant jewellery pieces to making the world a better place – all of the proceeds from her successful jewellery business were donated to over 20 humanitarian and environmental causes in Hong Kong and around the world. CWS was proud to be one of these recipients.
“All of us at CWS will miss Sandra and her never ending passion for life. Sandra encouraged us to dream and enabled us to achieve. Her ability to constantly see the positives in any challenging situation inspired us all.”
“We are devastated by her loss but will continue to draw upon her inspiration in our work and daily lives.”