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Margaret O'Brien, a legendary child star from the 1940s, has given her Oscar to the Sacramento AIDS Foundation.

The statuette from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be auctioned on the Web site, foundation officials said. The auction runs from March 9 to 25.

O'Brien's special child-star Oscar was presented at the 1945 Academy Awards after her performance in the musical "Meet Me in St. Louis" with Judy Garland the year before.

It was stolen in 1954 and didn't surface until 31 years later, when two sports memorabilia collectors found it at a Pasadena swap meet and returned it to her.

Money raised in the auction will pay for nationwide AIDS prevention commercials and perhaps an after-school special, said foundation spokeswoman Jennifer Novak.

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