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Woodside Gallery Dinner helps to combat adolescent AIDS

23 June 2017

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WOODSIDE GALLERY DINNER
TO BENEFIT OF THE
ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION

HOSTED BY SIR ELTON JOHN AND DAVID FURNISH

RAISES FUNDS TO COMBAT ADOLESCENT AIDS WITH NEW UNIT IN DURBAN’S KWAZULU-NATAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Creative BVLGARI Auction Lot contributes to fundraising success!

Thursday 22 June 2017 - Old Windsor, Woodside Gallery:

Sir Elton John and David Furnish hosted their annual fundraising dinner in benefit of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) in partnership with BVLGARI, the iconic Italian jewellery, at their private gallery in the grounds of their home.

The intimate, private, black-tie dinner saw 140 VIP guests and EJAF supporters including Kevin Spacey OBE, Erin O’Connor OBE, Jay Jopling, Elizabeth Hurley, Tamara Mellon OBE, Lady Kitty Spencer, Evgeny Lebedev, George Osborne and Robert Tateossian treated to the first ever duet between legendary artist Joan Baez and Sir Elton John, as well as solo performances by both musicians.

BVLGARI Jewellery Creative Director Lucia Silvestri met with Sir Elton John to confirm BVLGARI’s further support of EJAF via the creation of unique pieces of jewellery in collaboration with Sir Elton John to be auctioned at the Woodside Gallery Dinner and other events in 2018. In fact, the opportunity for one successful bidder to join Sir Elton John and Lucia Silvestri at the BVLGARI ‘gem table’ in Rome to select the jewels for these pieces was the focus of one of the key auction lots which also included a one-of-a-kind 18-carat white gold and diamond BVLGARI Divas’ Dream necklace modelled by Lady Kitty Spencer, the total amount raised from the BVLGARI lot was £140,000.

In addition to acting as master of ceremonies, David Walliams OBE contributed to the auction with the promise to pen a bespoke children’s book for the winning bidder. David was joined on stage by maestro of urban magic Dynamo for a thrilling performance of wizardry and then by former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who spoke of his commitment to continuing his support of global AIDS initiatives.

The event’s fundraising goal of combatting adolescent aids amongst 13-15 year olds in sub-Saharan Africa with the creation of a HIV unit within the newly established Kwazulu-Natal Children’s Hospital in Durban, was presented via an inspirational film of Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s recent visit to
the hospital, as well as a Q&A session hosted by Foundation Executive Director Anne Aslett with the hospital’s founder Dr Arthi Ramkisson and 17-year old, Durban-born Lindiwe Nayathikazi who shared her moving story about her adolescence with AIDS.

“What an evening! This is one of David’s and my favourite fundraising events, as it brings together both loyal and new supporters of the charity within the intimate setting of our home and provides us with a unique opportunity each year to showcase what we can achieve with the money raised,” remarks Sir Elton John. “Also, it is great fun. I personally thoroughly enjoyed partnering Joan on stage and remain amazed by Dynamo’s breath-taking performance.”

Lucia Silvestri, Creative Director, BVLGARI, commented: “Tonight Bulgari and the Elton John AIDS Foundation are proud to continue initiatives to fight against AIDS in Africa. We are delighted to be standing once again with Sir Elton John, David Furnish and their friends to take us one step closer to making this a reality.”