|Event Raises More Than $300,000 for the Charity|
BEVERLY HILLS, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Sir Elton John hosted the Seventh Annual Oscar Night Party to Benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation on Sunday, March 21st. Completely sponsored by InStyle magazine, the event raised more than $300,000 for the charity.
The gala, which was held at Pagani restaurant in West Hollywood, began with a sold-out benefit dinner and viewing of the Academy Awards telecast, for 170 guests. InStyle retained Merv Griffin Productions to transform the eatery into a site worthy of Hollywood's most exciting night of the year. In celebration of Elton's new album, ``Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida,'' which will be released this week, guests entered the party through a specially- constructed 30-foot high pyramid. Dramatically lit from the inside, the pyramid also featured an obelisk of high density white light shooting out the top and into the sky.
Ronald Winston, Chairman of the House of Harry Winston, graciously donated ``his'' and ``her'' watches valued at more than $20,000 which were awarded to the dinner guests with the most correct predictions on their Oscar ballots. Seagram/Absolut Vodka donated all the spirits and Robert Mondavi winery contributed wine for the ten-hour event. Jaguar also donated a brand new $50,000 Jaguar S-Type which was raffled-off during the course of the evening with all proceeds benefiting the charity. All the communications equipment for the evening was donated by Motorola, including the 280SLK TalkAbout and the Motorola V-Series cellular phones.
This is the seventh year that Elton John has hosted the only major fund-raiser on Oscar night and it is the third year that his charity has joined forces with InStyle magazine, one of the hottest and most successful publications in the Time-Warner family. This year, InStyle underwrote 100% of the expenses for the entire evening to insure that the Elton John AIDS Foundation would be able to net at least $300,000 from the event.
Elton was joined at the dinner by Time-Warner CEO, Gerald Levin, Janet Jackson, Fran Drescher, Keri Russell, Sarah Michelle Geller, Rebecca Gayheart, Vivica Fox, kd lang, Camryn Manheim, Chris O'Donnell, Marlee Matlin, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Janine Turner, William H. Macy, Bernie Taupin, Robert Wagner (who was joined by all three of his daughters, Katie, Courtney and Natasha Gregson Wagner) and LeAnn Rimes, who sings with Elton John on the current #1 hit, ``Written In The Stars.''
Following dinner and the Oscar telecast, more than 900 guests responded to the after-party which was covered by media from all over the world. Celebrities who actually attended the after-party included: Alec Baldwin & Kim Basinger, Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Emily Watson, Helen Hunt, Geena Davis, Kevin Costner, Terrance Malick, Dylan McDermott, Natalie Cole, Norman Jewison, Joely Fisher, Ellen DeGeneres & Anne Heche, Burt Bacharach, Rod Stewart, Puff Daddy, Paula Abdul, Melissa Ethridge, Vonda Shepard, Jay Leno, Lea Thompson, Lisa Nicole Carson, Lynn Whitfield, Debra Messing, Jane Seymour & James Keach, Jim Caviezel, Stephen Baldwin, Carol Alt, Diane Lane, Ed McMahon, Marcia Gayharden, Virginia Madsen, Bill Maher, Tom Arnold, Greg Germann, Alicia Witt, Tori Spelling, Kelly Rutherford, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Amy Jo Johnson, Melissa Joan Hart, Vincent Young, Dan Cortes, David Chokachi, Pamela Anderson, Lionel Richie, Tia Carrera, Daisy Fuentes, Kyle Mclaughlin, Holly Robinson-Peete, Virginia Madsen, Howie Mandel, Hugh Hefner and Donny Osmond.
The celebration was capped off with a number of late night arrivals. Jim Carrey greeted Mariah Carey and both joined the booth of Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Lisa Marie Presley. The group was then joined by Val Kilmer and Oscar winner Bill Condon. Elton John was also joined by fellow countrymen Sir Ian McKellan and Lynn Redgrave.
``We're committed to raising awareness as well as funds at this event,'' stated Elton John. ``We're also committed to producing a fantastic party that deserves a presence on Oscar night. This month, Esquire magazine published a very sobering cover story on the fact that, contrary to popular belief, HIV is not under control in America. On Academy Awards night, when all the world is watching, it means a great deal to us that so many of our celebrity guests and friends come to our party and vocally support our efforts in the fight against AIDS. The awareness they raise in the media is an invaluable contribution to our work.''
The Elton John AIDS Foundation, which was established in 1992, is an international non-profit organization with offices in Los Angeles and London. The charity has one of the lowest overheads of any non-profit organization in the world, with approximately 84 to 86% of all funds raised going directly to patient care services and HIV/AIDS prevention education programs. To date, they have distributed more than $17 million in grants worldwide.
SOURCE: Elton John AIDS Foundation