Monday, February 28, 2011

19th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party





Guests arrived at the Academy Awards Viewing Party for cocktails followed by a gala dinner and viewing of the 83rd Academy Awards® telecast. This year Chef Ludo Lefebvre, owner of the wildly popular touring restaurant LudoBites, supported by Los Angeles-based Crumble Catering, prepared an innovative menu with his classic French styling. The menu included seared beef tenderloin with charcoal oil, a crispy bacon and goat cheese soup, and an apple tart garnished with orange creme fraiche and caramel syrup.

The dinner was followed by a lively auction conducted by Jamie Nivens of Sotheby's. Auction items included a five-night stay in Sir Elton John and David Furnish's private Venice residence, which sold for $150,000; and a Taylor Swift concert package including tickets and a meet-and-greet with the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, which sold for $50,0000; in-home cooking class with Chef Ludo Lefebvre, which sold for $20,000. Following the auction, Florence + The Machine took the stage to perform several songs including her hit "The Dog Days are Over". Elton John joined Florence Welch onstage to perform "Tiny Dancer" and "You Got the Love".

2011 marks the 30th year since HIV/AIDS was first observed by physicians in American patients, and while tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of this terrible disease, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. In 1993 Sir Elton John pledged to the Hollywood community that he would hold this event every year until a cure for HIV/AIDS had been found. Nearly 20 years later, the Hollywood community is still standing with Sir Elton John, showing their support for the Foundation and this worthy cause.

- Sun Herald

New dads Sir Elton John and David Furnish had no chance to slip off early from their glitzy Oscar-viewing party to be with their son Zachary.

"I wish we could but we can't, he might be coming down to visit us and say goodnight," Elton said at his celeb-packed fundraiser.

Kelly and Sharon Osbourne, Katie Price, Glee's Matthew Morrison and Chris Colfer, director Baz Luhrmann and actress Clare Danes featured on the swanky guest list.

Speaking before the evening got into full swing, Elton revealed how pleased he was to be performing with Florence Welch from Florence And The Machine.

"She's amazing, a great girl, so full of life. I love her, she's such a great singer and I'm mesmerised by her," he said.

Money from ticket sales and a special auction helped raise money for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Elton told American reporters about how he was shocked by the lack of HIV awareness in the States.

"We still find the stigma of Aids exists, the shame, the marginalisation of people that have Aids," he said.

"It's really disturbing. It's very hard to teach sex education to young people in this country because it's a very conservative country."

Elton explained: "We do it in Africa to the young ones so they learn about sex and condoms and infection rates go down. Here you can't get to them and the infection rates go up, you're banging your head against a wall. Until something radically changes and you can actually get to young people in America and educate them on a sexual level then nothing is going to change and that's horrific."

- UKPA

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