Elton John Aids Foundation raises over $5 million at annual Oscar Viewing Party
Perhaps more exciting and entertaining than the Oscars ceremony itself was the star-studded gala that took place that same night at West Hollywood Park, the annual Elton John Aids Foundation Oscar Viewing Party. Hosted by the Oscar-winning music man himself, along with his partner David Furnish, the benefit raised $5.25 million in funds that go to the widespread education and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Pop stars and hot celebrities who participated in the event included Carmen Electra, Miley Cyrus, Neil Patrick Harris, Heidi Klum, Dave Grohl, Lance Bass, and Katy Perry, just to name a few. Despite the impressive guest list, the attendee who made the biggest impression was one-year old Zachary, the adopted son of John and Furnish, who came dressed in a custom made suit that featured an emblem of his name.
Also in attendance was Aerosmith frontman-turned American Idol judge Steve Tyler, who raised $30,000 by auctioning off two seats at his dinner table. Other big items that were auctioned off Sunday night included tennis lessons with Rafael Nadal and cooking lessons with celebrity chef Cat Cora, who catered the big event, both of which earned over $100,000 each.
During the Oscar Viewing Party, guests were indeed given the star treatment, featuring a cocktail bar and a five-course meal that included Cali-Mediterranean delicacies like sesame-encrusted lamb meatball, roasted vanilla pork loin, and cilantro-rubbed sugar cane skewer shrimp. Guests also enjoyed a live performance by the Los Angeles native indie rock band Foster the People.
“There’s 300 more people here this year than there was last year. So we’re getting bigger and bigger and raising more money and the money gets to people who really need it… We take care of [our guests], they have a great time, and they remember to come back next year.” – Sir Elton John.
Celebrating its 20th year as a non-profit organization, the Elton John Aids Foundation has raised over $255 million for the fight against AIDS. Despite the mediocrity of the Academy Awards show itself, which boasted “Angelina’s leg” as its biggest headline, Sir Elton John has given our favorite celebrities something more to look forward to during Oscar season: a reason to party for a great cause.