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Elton John held his annual Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation in London last night – and some very special guests helped out.

The event, held at the Grey Goose Hotel Du Palais at the Grosvenor in Mayfair, featured a performance by Kelly Rowland and three unique cocktail bars designed by couturier Roland Mouret, model Lily Cole and singer Lily Allen. Guests included Elizabeth Hurley, members of the Sugababes and The Saturdays, and Daniel Merriweather.

“The Foundation prides itself not only on producing beautiful events, but on ensuring that every penny they raise goes directly to our charitable work,” said Sir Elton and his partner, David Furnish. "This event is no exception, thanks to the generosity of Grey Goose. The Foundation is now one of the largest HIV/AIDS charities in the world, yet our overheads are amongst the smallest – currently 4.3%. Over the past year, we have committed to initiatives that change not only the way services are received in local projects but at a national or international level. These include working with the Clinton Foundation to expand and refine treatment services for over 20,000 children in Malawi, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya, and with Mothers 2 Mothers in the same countries to stop HIV-positive pregnant women transferring the virus to their babies. In Ukraine, a national programme for children will change the way HIV–positive children are told about their illness and how they are treated in school and in society.

“These programmes do not mean we have forgotten the small groups, the individual carers, the long term survivors. Our work reaches thousands of infected and affected individuals across 17 countries, including right here at home. The Winter Ball is a fantastic occasion to celebrate this work, to ensure that we can continue in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to celebrate Christmas.”

Last year’s event raised over £350,000 (US$567,000) for the charity.

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