By Christopher Kai on
Twenty-three years after screen icon Elizabeth Taylor started her Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF), an intimate group of 250 family members and friends packed into the Wilding Cran Gallery in Hollywood to continue her foundation’s work.
Celebrity host Colin Farrell and musical guest Katharine McPhee mesmerized the crowd while the Taylor family – a true living and breathing testament to Taylor’s presence – were there in force to engage and envelop the audience.
Grandson Rhys Tivey sang and played trumpet to a captivated audience. Granddaughter Naomi Wilding spoke and assisted Andrea Fiuczynski, chairwoman of Sotheby’s West Coast, with auctions of priced works by notable artists and photographers like Bruce Weber, Carole Bayer Sager, and Catherine Opie. Ex-daughter-in-law Aileen Getty – who has lived with HIV/AIDS for almost 30 years – took to the stage with executive director of ETAF Joel Goldman. She encouraged everyone to give generously and announced that she would match every donation.
February 27th would have been Dame Taylor’s 82nd birthday and the event was truly a celebration of her vision, generosity, and commitment to raising awareness of those who are most disenfranchised within the HIV/AIDS community worldwide.
Joel Goldman called Taylor his “guiding star.” He played a video of Taylor’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award acceptance speech in 1993 that perfectly captured the spirit of her legacy:
“I am asking for your help. I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being to prove that we are a human race. To prove that our love outweighs our need to hate, that our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame, that our sensitivity of those in need is stronger than our greed, that our ability to reason overcomes our fear. And at the end of each of our lives, we can look back and be proud, that we have treated others with the kindness, dignity and respect that every human being deserves.”
Copyright © 2014 Look to the Stars