THE PARTY: An Enduring Vision: A Benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation
THE FARE: Filet Mignon, Green Been Bunches, Bellinis, and countless bottles of Veuve Clicquot
THE DEETS: Elton John’s galas are notoriously spectacular and Tuesday evening the artist hosted one of his best benefits to date. John and his partner David Furnish celebrated his AIDS organization’s 20th year by honoring some of it’s greatest supporters. Ron Perelman, Sandra Lee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John himself were all honored for their contributions to EJAF, which has raised over $300 million for the cause since its inception.
The night began with bubbly and cocktails along the packed bar. As guests clamored for Veuve Clicquot, Alec Baldwin and his wife Hilaria Thomas camped out beneath a tree beside the crowded service area; Baldwin, like the rest of us, waited patiently to get his glass. Before they headed to their seats for dinner, Clinton, Billy Joel, Governor Andrew Cuomo and honoree Sandra Lee were sequestered in a VIP area. They later mingled with adoring supporters and fans.
Matt Lauer gracefully handled emceeing duties as Anderson Cooper, who was scheduled to host, had to be in Washington to cover the government shutdown. Allison Williams, who was clad in Christian Dior, sat beside a dazzling Hillary Rhoda, while Ciara, in a hooded Emilio Pucci tunic, chatted it up with an overly casual Perez Hilton. A lively auction, where prizesincluded a stay in John and Furnish’s Venice apartment and lunch with Cooper, caused a bidding frenzy– one that artist Jeff Koons tried to stay out of. After dessert was served, one of John’s favorite bands of all time, Heart took to the stage and the likes of Donna Karan and Susan Lucci swayed to “What About Love?” Love certainly delivered and the event raised over $3.4 million for the foundation.
To donate to the Elton John AIDS Foundation visit EJAJ.org