6TH Annual Gala Raises Funds and Awareness for HIV/AIDS
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- YouthAIDS, a global initiative dedicated to educating and protecting young people from HIV/AIDS, gathered leading celebrities, public officials, corporate leaders and musicians to raise funding and awareness to fight this pandemic around the world. The annual gala hosted by YouthAIDS global ambassador Ashley Judd, and presented by AOL, The Sheila C. Johnson Foundation, and Booz Allen Hamilton, took place November 2nd at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner and raised $1.7 million to support YouthAIDS programs in India and around the world.
Bono spoke about the devastating effects of AIDS and poverty in Africa and around the world and presented the Honorable Nancy Pelosi with the YouthAIDS Outstanding Achievement Award for her continued fight against HIV/AIDS. Sheila Johnson and the Honorable Bill Newman, philanthropists Vicki and Roger Sant, and businessman Sudhakar Shenoy co-chaired this year's gala.
"We are extremely privileged to be joined tonight by Bono, a leader in the fight against AIDS, to help us recognize the vital contributions of our 2007 YouthAIDS Outstanding Achievement Award honoree, the Honorable Nancy Pelosi," said Ashley Judd, host of the YouthAIDS gala. "Speaker Pelosi truly is a leader in our country and a visionary in the fight against HIV/AIDS."
On January 4, Nancy Pelosi made history, shattering the marble ceiling to become the first woman to serve as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. As Speaker, one of her first acts was to provide $4.5 billion for global AIDS initiatives in fiscal year 2007. She then worked with her House colleagues to approve nearly $6 billion in global AIDS funding for fiscal year 2008.
Since her election to the House 20 years ago, increased funding for HIV/AIDS has been one of Pelosi's top priorities, and she has worked to dramatically increase funding for research, prevention and treatment, extending the lives of millions and advancing efforts to develop an HIV vaccine and cure. One of Pelosi's first legislative victories in Congress was creation of the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program. Pelosi has represented California's 8th Congressional district, which includes most of San Francisco, since 1987.
This year's YouthAIDS gala themed, "Faces of India," highlighted the recent visit that Ashley Judd and YouthAIDS made to India. During the trip, YouthAIDS teamed up with National Geographic Channel and Bollywood stars Sushmita Sen, Akshay Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan to explore how HIV travels from high-risk groups to the general population and why young women are increasingly at risk for HIV infection. The documentary, India's Hidden Plague, premiered at a special screening in Washington last Thursday and will air in the U.S. on the National Geographic Channel on November 30th at 10:00 p.m. and on December 1st, World AIDS Day globally.
"The statistics are staggering and should move each one of us to action. Tonight's gala is a special evening where we gather individuals from all industries who share the YouthAIDS commitment of protecting young people from HIV/AIDS," said Kate Roberts. "We are especially pleased to have the opportunity to share the experiences of our recent journey through India to help raise further awareness for a region that is severely affected by HIV/AIDS."
An additional highlight of the gala included a private reception hosted by Top Chef's, Padma Lakshimi, jewelry designer Roberto Coin and Chef Patrick O'Connell of The Inn at Little Washington, a performance by five-time Grammy Award-winner Michael McDonald and a stand-up routine by Russell Peters. The gala also featured Congressman Joseph Crowley, Frederique van der Wal, DJ Rehka, Queen Noor and Miss India Puja Gupta.
A live auction was held featuring donated items including the chance to stay in a member's only Exclusive Resorts vacation home, a Roberto Coin jewelry suite valued at $25,000, a Bentley driving experience in Sonoma including the opportunity to ride in a Le Mans speed car and an overnight stay in the Claiborne suite complete with a private reception and dinner for 12 in the kitchen of the acclaimed Inn at Little Washington prepared by Chef and Proprietor Patrick O'Connell.
YouthAIDS, an education and prevention initiative of PSI, uses media, pop culture, music, theatre and sport to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and reach 600 million young people in more than 60 countries with life-saving messages, products, services and care. http://www.youthaids.org
YouthAIDS: Marshall Stowell, email@example.com, 202-572-4619
Qorvis Communications: Jennifer Stoltz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-448-3145
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