Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Desert Sun: Star-studded Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards help fight AIDS

The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards benefit for the Desert AIDS Project Saturday continued to prove that its fight against AIDS is seemingly immune to an ailing economy.

The 17th annual black tie event at the Palm Springs Convention Center sold out with 1,400 people buying tickets at $425 or $1,000 each.  Its more than $1.3 million in proceeds was $100,000 more than last year's record and included $800,000 in sponsorships plus proceeds from live and silent auctions.

The revenue will go to AIDS services that have expanded in the past month to include a new medical clinic in San Bernardino and the DAP's first Revivals resale store in San Diego.  But what most benefactors were buzzing about was how the always auspicious gala took it up another notch.

“I think what I'm really excited about is that we have a celebrity-filled room with terrific entertainment and honorees who truly deserve to be honorees,” gala co-chairwoman Barbara Heller said. “Most importantly, throughout the evening, people are going to be able to know what they gave their money to."

The event was hosted by Hollywood glamour icons George Hamilton and Joan Collins.

The celebrity presence was said to have included Joan's novelist sister Jackie Collins, past honorees Carol Channing, Bob Mackie and Ann-Margret, past performer Diahann Carroll, past participants Linda Gray and Donna Mills, Dick Van Patten and his son, Jimmy, and “NCIS” TV star Michael Weatherly, who presented the New Generation Arts & Activism Award to his co-star, Pauley Perrette.

Read the full article in The Desert Sun online by clicking here.

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