For the first time since the ceremony's inception, the award was presented to representatives from Eastern Europe. The honorees for the event also included Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, DreamWorks Studio producer and co-founder; and Tamara Mellon, founder and chief creative officer of the Jimmy Choo brand.
An Enduring Vision is an annual charitable event established by Sir Elton John and David Furnish in 2001 to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation and to recognize individuals who have been generous friends of EJAF and who have made outstanding contributions to the fight against AIDS. Previous recipients of the EJAF Enduring Vision Award include: 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton; actress Sharon Stone; rock-star Ozzy Osbourne; and Chopard Co-President Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, among others.
Event Chairs for the evening included film director Steven Spielberg and producer David Geffen, DreamWorks studio founders; designer Donna Karan; Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, chairman of the board of Estée Lauder, who received EJAF's Enduring Vision Award in 2009; Revlon company owner Ronald Perelman; and other outstanding individuals. Attendees included M.A.C President John Dempsey; actors Hugh Jackman, Christina Ricci, Joanne Woodword and Cheyenne Jackson; artist Terence Koh; directors Baz Lurhmann and Cameron Crowe; and musicians Tony Bennett and Debbie Harry.
The charitable gala dinner, which raised over $2.1 million, was hosted by CNN anchor, Emmy award winning journalist, and best-selling author Anderson Cooper. The evening featured a concert performance by Sir Elton John and his special musical guest, iconic singer and composer Leon Russell. The two musicians released their new joint album The Union on October 19th.
In his award presentation remarks, Sir Elton John thanked Victor and Elena Pinchuk for their significant contributions to the fight against AIDS in the Ukraine and for their generous support of long-term care programs for HIV-positive people and their families.
As founder of the ANTIAIDS Foundation, Elena Pinchuk stated, "Certainly it is very important to receive the award for the work already done. But further changes in the lives of those people we help will be a bigger award for me personally and for my foundation. Together with the Elton John AIDS Foundation we work to help HIV-positive orphans to find their place in the life, find their reliable and loving family. We believe that in this way we will be able to change our country, change its future."
"Children Plus", a joint five-year project of the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation and EJAF, was launched in February 2008. The ANTIADS Foundation invested $2.5 million in the project, and EJAF brought in an extra $1 million from the Big Lottery Fund.
The ANTIAIDS Foundation (www.antiaids.org) was founded by Elena Pinchuk in 2003 (Elena Franchuk at that time). This is the first and only charitable organization committed to the fight against AIDS in Ukraine operating on private donations. The Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation works at all social levels, from national programs to direct support of people affected by AIDS epidemic. Foundation's programs include national media campaigns; large-scale educational events headlined by world-renowned celebrities; fund-raising projects; and policy work with important opinion leaders. The ANTIAIDS Foundation's programs attract the participation of HIV/AIDS experts from around the world and leverage the support and involvement of famous Ukrainians to help address the challenges of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Ukraine.
Since its inception, the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation has invested more than $8 million in HIV/AIDS projects in the Ukraine and provided assistance to more than 100 health and child facilities serving over 1,044 patients. The Foundation has organized several large-scale charitable events in the Ukraine, including Sir Elton John's concert in Kiev at Maydan Nezalezhnosty in 2007, and the Queen + Paul Rodgers concert in Kharkov at Freedom Square in 2008. The Foundation's HIV/AIDS media campaigns on Ukrainian TV channels has been estimated to have a commercial value of $60 million by media experts. In addition, the Foundation's educational programs have provided life-saving HIV prevention information to millions of people since 2003. During this period, the rate of new HIV cases in the Ukraine decreased from 15.6% in 2005 to 5% in 2009.
Today the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation partners with the Clinton Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation to support HIV prevention programs in the Ukraine. In 2010, Elena Pinchuk was appointed to the UNAIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention in recognition of her leadership in this field.
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established in the United States in 1992 (EJAF-US) and in the United Kingdom in 1993 (EJAF-UK) by founder and chairman Sir Elton John. Together, both entities have raised over $220 million for worthy programs in 55 countries around the globe since inception. Today, EJAF is one of the world's leading nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations supporting innovative HIV prevention programs, efforts to eliminate stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, and direct care and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. EJAF-US's current grant-making priorities target HIV prevention programs in the Southern United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America; HIV prevention and care services for highly marginalized and vulnerable populations; and HIV/AIDS prevention education and the promotion of sexual health for adolescents. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org.Photogallery