An evening of grace and glamor to benefit people living with HIV/AIDS in Orange County
(Irvine, CA) — AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF) will literally roll out the red carpet for its signature fund raising event – Red Ball II on Saturday, September 24 at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach.
“Red Ball II will be a glamorous evening that reminds our guests of the glory days of Hollywood,” says Ken Jillson an ASF founding board member who is helping produce the fund raiser.
Red Ball II festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction followed by a served dinner, program, live auction, entertainment, and dancing.
“The theme is ‘Hollywood Royalty’ and will include a moving tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, one of the first celebrities to publicly advocate for help for people with HIV/AIDS and who personally supported ASF,” says Jillson.
“ASF was blessed by Elizabeth Taylor’s generosity and caring. In 1993 she donated her magnificent Nolan Miller sapphire beaded gown that she had worn to one of President Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural Balls,” says Jillson. “It was auctioned live at our “Big Splash” event that year and raised a huge sum for ASF.”
In the following years, Elizabeth Taylor contributed additional gowns and in 2002 appeared with pop icon Michael Jackson to support another ASF event – “Art for AIDS”.
“After Elizabeth passed away earlier this year we wanted to pay tribute to her for all she did to focus the public’s attention on HIV/AIDS,” said Jillson. “The Red Ball II provided just such an opportunity.”
Red Ball guests will be treated to a Hollywood-themed song and dance spoof entitled “Coup de Graae” that makes fun of such off-Broadway hits as “Forbidden Broadway” and “Forever Plaid”. Star of the show is Jason Graae who got his start on Broadway in “Forever Plaid”. Also appearing in the show are stage, film and television actors Nicolette Robinson and Chryssie Whitehead who play the “Fois Graaes” in the Red Ball show.
A spectacular live auction is also planned for Red Ball II. Among the items up for bid is a trip to New York including business class airfare for two on American Airlines and a stay at the new Intercontinental Hotel Times Square, a Tiffany Mark man’s watch from Tiffany South Coast Plaza and a two night stay at the St. Regis, Laguna Nigel among other fabulous gifts. Proceeds from the live and silent auctions will help further boost proceeds for the event which are designated for ASF’s client services.
Last year the Red Ball attracted about 450 attendees and raised more than $300,000 for ASF client services.
In addition to Jillson, Red Ball II host committee members from ASF include Maria I. Marquez, MFT, board president and event chair; Al Roberts, founding board president; Shelly Virkstis, board vice president, and Philip Yaeger, executive director/CEO.
ASF was launched in 1985 as a result of a very successful backyard fund raising event in Laguna Beach called the “Big Splash”. That was an annual event until last year when ASF started the Red Ball as a part of its 25th anniversary observances.
Red Ball II tickets range from the Platinum Level at $25,000 (table of twelve, 1 VIP parking pass, private server and other amenities) to an individual ticket at $250. All tickets include entrance to the event, cocktails, dinner, dancing, Elizabeth Taylor tribute and the “Coup de Graae” show. Proceeds will go to ASF client services. Tickets can be purchased at www.ocasf.org.
Annually, ASF helps more than 1,600 people and their families that are either living with HIV or are impacted by HIV disease. Services include food, transportation, housing, case management, emergency financial assistance, children and family programs, community outreach, mental health counseling, support groups, HIV testing and an extensive array of HIV prevention and education programs. Visit www.ocasf.org for more information.
Media contact: Barbara Lohman, ASF Office 949 809-5751 (direct) Cell 714 342-7464