The invitation reads like the red carpet roster at the Oscars and Grammys – combined. There’s Courtney Love and Cyndi Lauper, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman, Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey. Then there’s Mick Jagger, Billy Joel and even Yoko Ono. There are stars from yesteryear (Angela Lansbury) and today (Alec Baldwin), and one who made her name photographing them all (Annie Leibovitz).
What unites the glitterati is one Hillary Rodham Clinton. These stars and dozens more have come together with Sir Elton John to host a black-tie benefit next week for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, where the former secretary of state and possible future president will be feted with the foundation’s first ever Founder’s Award.
The Oct. 15 gala – a cocktail reception, dinner and auction to be held at Cipriani on Wall Street in New York – is called “An Enduring Vision” and will celebrate Clinton’s work as the nation’s top diplomat to combat AIDS.
“Secretary Clinton’s ground-breaking speech in Geneva declaring that ‘gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights,’ and the bold plan for an AIDS-free generation she presented at the International AIDS Conference, epitomize [Elton John AIDS Foundation’s] concept of ‘an enduring vision of a world without AIDS,” the foundation said in a statement.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation award is one of many Clinton will have racked up in the months since leaving the Obama Administration.
Next Wednesday, Clinton plans to accept the Michael Kors Award for Outstanding Community Service by God’s Love We Deliver, a New York area charity that provides meals and counseling to people with AIDS and other severe illnesses. Celebrity attendees at Wednesday night’s gala include Kors, the fashion designer, as well as actress Julianna Margulies, singer and actress Bette Midler, Somali supermodel Iman Abdulmajid and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation gala will be emceed by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and, in addition to Clinton, will honor celebrity chef Sandra Lee, billionaire mogul and Revlon Chairman Ronald O. Perelman and foundation founding board member Howard Rose. Heart, the legendary rock band, will perform, and John and his partner, David Furnish, are the evening’s honorary chairs.
The invitation lists more than 100 individuals, as well as some corporations and nonprofit foundations, as chairs, sponsors or benefit committee members. Although organizers cautioned that not all of the celebrities are confirmed to attend the benefit.
The hosts represent a who’s who of Hollywood and Manhattan, as well as of Clintonworld. In addition to A-list stars, the event chairs include people who for years have funded and worked with the newly renamed Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation: fashion designer Donna Karan, mining magnate Frank Giustra and hearing aid executive William F. Austin.
A few political bigwigs also are expected to attend next Tuesday’s benefit, including New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who, like Clinton, is seen as a possible candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and a longtime Clinton supporter, is also scheduled to attend, as well as William Thompson, who finished second in last month’s Democratic primary for New York mayor.
Some journalists and television personalities are listed on the invitation as members of the benefit committee, including Matt Lauer and Al Roker of NBC’s “Today” show, Whoppi Goldberg of “The View” and Michael Strahan, the retired New York Giants star and host of “Live with Kelly and Michael.”
View the invitation here: