Elton John, David Furnish raise $4.2 million

MUMBAI: Sir Elton John and David Furnish hosted the 15th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) party to celebrate the Academy Awards. The event was held on 25 February, 2007 at the Pacific Design Center and was co-sponsored by Audi, Chopard and VH1.

EJAF’s party to celebrate the Academy Awards was one of the Foundation’s most successful and visible fundraisers of the year, raising $4.2 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Elton John AIDS Foundation annual gala was the leading fundraising event in Hollywood on Oscar night. To top off the evening, Sir Elton John and Grammy winning artist, James Blunt, performed together live.

The 15th anniversary of this party brought about some exciting changes with an expanded dinner, significant live auction and enhanced musical performance. These modifications significantly increased funds generated to support EJAF’s grant-making activities in the fight against AIDS. This year’s event alone raised more money then in any other year since the gala’s inception.

The gala brought out some of the biggest and hottest celebrities from the entertainment community. Guests included Hollywood luminaries such as Victoria Beckham, Jon Bon Jovi, Sharon Stone, Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Sheryl Crow, Keifer Sutherland, Eve, Naomi Campbell, Simon Cowell, Dita Von Teese, Emmy Rossum, Zac Posen, Hedi Slimane, Roberto Cavalli, Macy Gray, Eric McCormack, Garcelle Beauvais, Gloria Estefan, Joely Fisher, John Waters, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Zegers, Cheryl Tiegs, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Bernie & Heather Taupin, Marlee Matlin, Petra Nemcova, Deborah Cox, Ana de la Reguera, Patricia Hearst, James Denton and Tim Allen.

Adding excitement to the evening was a live auction immediately following dinner. Items such as a private soccer lesson with David Beckham; the very first 2008 Audi R8 to hit the streets; a five-day stay at Villa Fontanelle (the legendary home of the Versace family); and a limited edition Herb Ritts photograph entitled Stephani, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood 1989 were auctioned off to raise funds for the Foundation.

The most exciting moment of the evening came when Sharon Stone jumped on stage to help with the live auction. Stone auctioned the “Sir Elton John’s 60th Birthday Celebration Weekend” package to two lucky bidders who each paid $250,000 to win the prize. The package included two tickets to Sir Elton John’s private 60th birthday party in New York City, two premium seat tickets to his sold out concert at Madison Square Garden, airfare and accommodations.