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Elton John Aids Foundation raises record amount at 32nd annual Academy Awards Viewing Party

Grander, with a record $10·8 million raised to bring an end to HIV stigma and Aids, Sir Elton John and David Furnish were supported by an A-list audience
March 11, 2024/9.46

Frazer Harrison; Theo Wargo; Monica Schipper
Sir Elton John and David Furnish, along with Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka and Tiffany Haddish hosted the Elton John Aids Foundation’s 32nd annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, raising US$10·8 million in the process.

The record amount goes toward funding local experts on four continents to challenge discrimination, prevent infections, provide treatment, and influence governments to end Aids.

Since its inception in 1992, the Foundation has raised US$110 million to end Aids and the stigma faced by people living with HIV and Aids, and those who are associated with the community.

The gala, held on Sunday at the West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles, featured the trio Gabriels, who performed ‘Are You Ready for Love?’ live with Sir Elton. Gabriels also performed ‘Love and Hate in a Different Time’, ‘Angels & Queens’, and ‘Great Wind’.

VIPs included Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Donatella Versace, Alicia Silverstone, Billy Eichner, Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Hurley, Jane Seymour, Cara Jade Myers, Christian Siriano, Brandi Carlile and Catherine Shepherd, Benson Boone, Tim Allen and Jane Hajduk, Dylan Arnold, Olivia Holt, Loony, Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Ashlyn Harris, Patricia Arquette, Orville Peck, Sophia Bush, Julianne Hough, Zoe Lister-Jones, Daphne Guinness, Zooey Deschanel, Lucien Laviscount, Charlotte Tilbury, Muna, Melanie Lynskey, Joseph Lee, Alexis Bledel, Toni Braxton, Colton Haynes, Eric McCormack, Olivia Welch, Bailee Madison, Hunter Doohan, Avril Lavigne, HotWax, Valerie Bertinelli, Ian Bohen, Smokey Robinson, Skai Jackson, Shangela, Kyle Richards, Eric McCormack, Sammi Hanratty, Daniel Franzese, Sheila E., Mario Cantone, Orville Peck, Lisa Ann Walter, Paris Jackson, Jake Wesley Rogers, Jake DeVito, Damian Hurley, Andrew Watt, and Foundation CEO Anne Aslett.

The charity auction featured a Yamaha piano in crystals by Nyenyezi signed by Sir Elton, sold after he joined Lydia Fenet on stage and played ‘Tiny Dancer’ impromptu (auctioned for over US$360,000). There were also two pinball machines by Jersey Jack Pinball (US$200,000 each), Chopard haute joiallerie earrings with 24 ct brilliant cut diamonds (US$500,000); the brand donated a second pair after being inspired by the auction, to total US$1 million. Sir Elton donated his Rolex watch from his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, and he and Furnish offered a meet-and-greet at the Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection. Also featured were Boreas Blaze from the Auric Fields painting series by Lita Albuquerque, Sir Elton’s own Gucci bomber jackets, an Andy Warhol illustration, and a blueprint drawing by Keith Haring.

‘So far, this has been an extraordinary year beyond my wildest dreams, including the honour of achieving the EGOT, but it’s tonight’s gathering that is the ultimate highlight,’ said Sir Elton. ‘I’m so grateful to everyone who comes out each year to have a lot of fun and do a whole lot of good together. We’ve been loud and proud about showing compassion and ending the dreadful stigma that follows HIV, and we won’t stop until we achieve our mission.’

‘Every year, our iconic Oscar Party just gets bigger and better,’ said Furnish. ‘In such worrying times with the rise of discriminatory laws against the LGBTQ+ community in the US, it’s so important to stand up and raise awareness for the people who need our support the most. The funds raised tonight are helping us enhance access to vital health resources such as HIV testing and medication, making a tangible difference in countless lives. We couldn’t have done it without such a great showing of support.’

‘On Hollywood’s most glamorous night, the true stars were those who united to celebrate the Rocket Fund and advance our global efforts to end HIV-related stigma,’ said Aslett.

Sponsors included A&E Networks, Chopard, Gilead Sciences, Health Care Advocates International, Robert and Dana Kraft, Bob and Tamar Manoukian, and Cheryl and Haim Saban. The evening’s co-sponsors were Iris and Michael Smith. American Airlines was the official airline partner, Cadillac its automotive partner, and Tequila Don Julio its spirits’ partner. The Foundation also thanked the City of West Hollywood for its ongoing collaboration.

Frazer Harrison; Theo Wargo; Monica Schipper; Michael Kovac; Kevin Mazur





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