350 Attendees Treated Like Hollywood Royalty
(Irvine, CA) — A red carpet, classic movie music and camera flashes greeted arriving guests at the Red Ball II – Hollywood Royalty, the signature fund raising event for AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF). The Red Ball raised $275,000 and was held at the Laguna Festival of Arts, Saturday, September 24.
Among the evening’s highlights was a moving tribute to Elizabeth Taylor including commentary from Project Runway finalist Mondo Guerra who honored the late actress for her fashion sense and commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS. Guerra, who appeared on season eight of the popular Lifetime cable television program, announced on the show that he is HIV positive and had been living with the disease for 10 years.
“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 Ken Jillson, a founding ASF board member who created the tribute to the actress. “I’m sure she would have enjoyed Red Ball and been pleased with the amount of money we raised for a cause that was so important to her.”
Broadway actors Jason Graae, Nicolette Robinson and Chryssie Whitehead teamed up for an after-dinner Hollywood-themed song-and-dance spoof entitled “Coup de Graae”. Graae created the show especially for the Red Ball.
Silent and live auctions helped to bolster proceeds from the night. The live auction packages included a men’s Tiffany Mark watch donated by Tiffany South Coast Plaza and a two night stay in an executive suite at the St. Regis Hotel in Laguna Niguel, two business class seats to New York from American Airlines paired with a stay at the Intercontinental Times Square Hotel and a two hour presentation with the Montage Resort and Spa falconer followed by lunch at the hotel.
“We are so grateful for all of those who attended the Red Ball and the many businesses and individuals who donated auction items, in-kind services and their time and talent to make this event a success,” said Jillson.
In addition to Jillson, Red Ball II host committee members from ASF included 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.
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