One would think. But I had heard from a stage mother several years ago that they can be purchased.. When I lived in L.A., my husband said something about actors being able to purchase their star as well. So I know that it's done.
Yes, I believe they are purchased and the money goes into some kind of a charity fund. I also heard that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce sponsers this event. I say congrats to Eric - it is nice to see veteran actors be recognized for their body of work!