NEW YORK — There was something rather poignant about the turnout for Tuesday night’s annual benefit on behalf of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Just that morning, The New York Times reported HIV testing had doubled in the last year, but so had HIV-positive diagnoses. “That’s why tonight is so important for getting the word out there,” said Blaine Trump, one of the many who ventured to the Waldorf-Astoria for the foundation, which, so far, has raised more than $100 million to fight AIDS.
“Young people think that these drugs are a cure, and they’re not, so the education we’re now doing abroad we’ll have to do again here,” added Sir Elton John as guests began to sit down for dinner.
Marjorie Raein showed up, too, and, as it turns out, has quite a history with the cause. “I worked at amfAR,” she said. “It was my job: major gifts and special events, 1995 to 1997.”
Others in the crowd included Sophie Dahl (“I just love to hear him sing,” she said of John), Elvis Costello and Whoopi Goldberg, who not only emceed the black-tie affair, but dressed for it, as well. Just don’t bank on that happening again anytime soon. “Elton’s the only person I wear clothes like this for,” she said of her gold silk Nishiki Empire coat by Akihiko Izukura.