The 20th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raised an impressive $5.25 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS on Sunday. Two decades ago, John pledged to the Hollywood community that he would host the event annually until the deadly disease was cured.
Hosted by John and his partner, David Furnish, the event kicked off in West Hollywood with cocktails and a five-course catered dinner. We caught up with Chef Elias about the delicious Cali-Mediterranean-themed feast, which you read all about and drool all over here. After guests cleaned their plates, they bid on auction items, including a tennis lesson with Rafael Nadal – which sold for $190,000 twice – and an in-home cooking class for up to ten buddies with Chef Cat Cora – which sold for $100,000, according to CNS. Oh, and guests watched the Oscars during the event, too.
John’s do-good soiree was sponsored by Chopard, a Swiss jeweler and watchmaker; Neuro, nutritional drinks purveyor; and Wells Fargo. Event proceeds benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
The star-studded guest list boasted a wealth of famous names, including Heidi Klum, Neil Patrick Harris, Gwen Stefani, Dave Grohl, Dita Von Teese, Ted Danson, Liam Hemsworth, Taye Diggs, Sandra Lee – who shared Oscars party menu ideas with us – and many, many more.
“American Idol” judge Steven Tyler, who also attended the gala, told USA Today, “I bought this table and I sold those two seats over there for 30 grand, so (I do) whatever I can do to bring a little attention to such a disease like AIDS. Thirty-three million people on this planet have HIV or AIDS-related (issues). I just decided to get this table, and it makes my heart feel good.”
Well done, Sir Elton John and fellow celebs.